Diary of a Librarian

A look inside the secret world of the librarian – it’s one full of books, bourbons and bitching.

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8.50am Booyeah, early to work! Take that, Margaret, you awful bore. Might send her an email to prove it. Or put a poo in her handbag. Not for proof of punctuality, obviously. I just really bloody hate her. Just saw the replenish box. Heaved. Need at least four fags and two coffees before I’m even going near it. Where’s my Kate and Wills mug?

8.51am Hold up- what the hell is this? Already? Students are such losers. That one has been wearing the same clothes all week. Either she’s been sleeping in the IT suite or she’s got seven copies of the same dress, like Marge Simpson. Crackers, regardless. Is that lad brushing his teeth in here? Hope he doesn’t spit in the late-returns bin, because I will commit assault.

11am Stupid do-gooding Pat and her stress-reducing initiatives. Fine, they’re busy and stressed. But that doesn’t make it okay for them to come in here and guzzle all our tea and Bourbons. It’s the Bourbons that get me, mainly, I won’t lie.

You do not take three. These are our own personal biscuits, from the librarian’s biscuit tin. Are you a librarian, scabby young twat? Case closed. Hope you get crumbs in your eyes and fail your finals.

12.30pm Man, do I love this big window. Get to use the reflection to spy on Margaret using the broadband to book her holidays (should log that actually – and she spent 25 minutes checking the National Lottery website yesterday. She is gonna be soo busted when I reveal these records to the Computer Office!) That, plus I feel like I’m at the zoo. That boy’s spent 2 hours and two full Bics covering a page of his notebook only with the name ‘Roy’. Checked his reserves slip yesterday. His name isn’t even ‘Roy’. It’s ‘Dan’.

1pm Praise the goddamn Lord, lunch. It’s the students’ fault they’re acting so mad, because their food is terrible. Look at her! Two bags of Snack-a-Jacks and a hardboiled egg. Her lunch is literally going to taste like card and farts. And him, over there: four Pepsi Max, a packet of Proplus and a ‘Monster’. What’s wrong with a ham and piccalilli sarnie?

1.08pm That boy’s gotten really very twitchy. He keeps trying to scratch freckle out of his arm, and he looks like he’s attempting to animate objects with his eyes in the style of Matilda. Shouldn’t have read all those Goosebumps books last week. I’m scared.

3pm Wish I still worked in Borehamwood County Library. The kids in here keep evil-ing me for reading Now magazine. Yeah, that’s right- jog on, little specky geek. I might not know about Macroeconomics, but I sure know how to pull together a nautical-inspired picnic look for under twenty quid.

Pretty sure I won’t get sacked for throwing paper clips at them. Anyway, any stationary-related violence is basically child’s play after that bother with Peggy and the staple-gun last year.

4.45pm GOD, I hate books.

5pm Somebody get Margaret a muzzle. Yeah, they need peace and quiet, and ‘the library is a place of silence study’ and ‘please be respectful’ and ‘no mobile phones in the library’, but my new ringtone is actually wicked, and showing my support for Azerbaijan is probably sending out a really valuable lesson in multi-cultural respect.

5.07pm I can now see how some sensitive wimps might misconstrue the lyrics. Obviously I have the voice of honey and ermine fur, but singing ‘I’m running, I’m scared tonight; I’m running, I’m scared of life; I’m running, I’m scared of breathing’ might get to the more uptight of the freak-clique. Jesus, chill out – your exams don’t start for 16 whole hours! Where’s the fire?!

5.25pm Absolutely the best day of my entire life, ever. I am Queen of the Library. I am Cleopatra, Victoria, I am Miranda Richardson.

I have just exposed two word-pervs having book sex in the reference section.

Actually, I might even be Louis Theroux.

All over the big heavy dictionary. They’d upset the foot-stool. They’d even fiddled with the blinds with the signs that expressly discourage such interference.

5.45pm Almost too excited to type up my letter to the dean.

6pm. My hours are 9 ’til 5, but this is no ordinary day. Today is Sex-text-gate 2011 (and not the Rebecca Loos kind; this is dirt gone literary), and I am at the helm of this confusing ship of book abuse and inventive tension coitus.

Take that, Margaret. You can’t do without me.

Illustration by Amy Jeffs.