Thursday, May 8, 2014

My Dream Job--at Age Fourteen!

As I mentioned earlier, when my sisters and I were little, my mother took us to the library weekly.  When I grew older, I passed the small but handsome library on my way home from school.  One day, much to my surprise, as I was checking out a book, the librarian offered me a job.  Me?  A job?  Looking back on it, I hadn’t longed for the job because I didn’t know it existed.  Of course, it took me only a split second to say “Yes!”

My parents gave their permission and I had my first job—no, come to think of it--my second.  I had done a lot of babysitting.  The babysitting was challenging but I considered this my first real job.

Miss Ainsworth, the librarian, was a very kind person.  I couldn’t then and can’t now think of a nicer boss.  My library job duties included sticking inside the front cover of every book a label with the library’s picture and name.  Next was to squeeze with a handpress the words “Westboro Public Library” on page 100 or if there were not 100 pages, on the page halfway through the book.  I suppose all this was to protect the book from theft.

I discovered that while I was doing these routine tasks, I could read a page or two--enough to know whether the book was something I wanted to put on my list of books to read.  (I always was a fast reader and probably became faster as I rushed through those pages.)  Before long I discovered that young readers like me were not allowed to check out certain books shelved behind Miss Ainsworth’s desk.  The only one I remember was Forever Amber.  Hmmm…I never have read it.  Perhaps I’ll locate it and find out what the deal was.

Another thing I remember from sixty years ago is that suddenly three or four boys that I knew from school started hanging around in the stacks where I worked.  Miss A., when she caught sight of them, clucked disapprovingly and shooed them away.  The boys hadn’t so much as spoken to me but I could see they were working up their courage, and Miss Ainsworth would have no teenagers fooling around back in my workspace.

Having a real job motivated me to have a real bank account and on the day that I received my monthly check, I always went straight to the bank and deposited it.  As the teller handed back to me my bankbook, I looked at the growing figure with pride.  I knew that my dad was determined that his four daughters go to college, yet worried that he might not be able to afford it.  Now I could help.