A Librarian’s Dream

Before I entered the world of libraries, I was active in the theater, both as an actress and a director. I have been in hundreds of shows and I can tell you, no matter how many years I’ve been doing it, my pre-show dreams are besieged with the ubiquitous actor’s nightmare.

Surely you can guess what that would be (in some form or another). I get out on stage and I suddenly can’t remember my lines or, I discover I’m in the wrong play, or the worst, I look down and instead of my costume, I am stark naked.

Well, I have just discovered that actors aren’t the only ones with performance nightmares.

Last week, one of my colleagues told this night time tale:

“I was trying to get ready for a storytime and for some reason, I wasn’t in our branch. Instead, I was stuck in some other branch and no matter how hard I tried to find appropriate books, nothing was available. I was beginning to feel quite desperate and time was of the essence. So, I gave up on finding something there and just counted on being able to grab a book or two at my own branch. After all, the adults were probably squirming with their little ones, waiting for me. I got in my car and raced back. I ran into the building, grabbed a couple of books and headed into the story time room. As soon as I sat down, I could tell everyone was furious with me. They kept looking at their watches and murmuring to each other about the lateness of the hour. I took a deep breath, opened the first book, and it had transformed into an adult book! There wasn’t a single picture. The print was small and compressed. And the closer I looked at it – it wasn’t even English. I tossed it down and picked the next one: the same problem! I tried not to panic. I told myself to take a breath. The children were getting grumpy. The adults were complaining and asking me to start, for heaven’s sake. All right, I thought, I would just tell a story. I was a parent; I told my own children a million off the cuff stories. I’d be fine. Except, I wasn’t fine. I opened my mouth and nothing came out. Then, when I pushed it, the sounds that came out were not English but gibberish. I wanted to scream, ‘Help!’ but even that didn’t come out right. . . . And then I woke up.”

Not just a dream—a nightmare!

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