08 February 2009

The Sunday Spook

The library at the end of the street was a popular place. There was a huge children’s section, and volunteers were on hand every day after school to read to the children and conduct activities related to the stories they’d read. There was a room with several computers for people to use on a sign-up basis. There were tables and chairs in the middle so people could bring their books and papers back to conduct research. There was another room with newspapers and magazines, and comfortable fabric lounge chairs. Finally, there was a big section in the back with microfiche films and machines. There were archives of newspapers, family biographies, and computers with access to genealogy websites. This was indeed a very popular place.

This library was different from others also in that it was open from sun-up to sundown. But because of legends of strange happenings when darkness took hold, they were pretty strict about not letting a soul through the doors before the morning dusk was whisked away and just as strict about ensuring every living, moving being was out the doors before the sun took its final bow. This created quite a problem with the staff of this very popular library.

You see, the no-one-enters-this-building-before-daybreak-or-after-sundown rule was enforced even with the staff! The manager opened the door for the workers at the same time as they opened the door for the patrons. The manager kicked out the workers at the exact same time as they kicked out the patrons. It didn’t matter at night if the library hadn’t been cleaned up and if books were all in-disarray. The whole building must be emptied every evening before dark without fail.

It was said that the library looks quite peaceful in the darkest hours of the night; the architects and engineers who built it made it so the lighting took on a special glow at night that was intended to bring calm and peace. And calm and peace it did bring. To every area of the library but one:

The genealogy section.

This section was too busy at night to be peaceful and calm. While the other areas of the library were silent and unmoving – a situation that would be ideal for the dedicated patron seeking a retreat from the noise of the day -- the spirits that took hold of the genealogy section were hard at work. While researchers spent valuable time each day poring through the films and print to find just one tidbit of information, the spirits spent valuable time each night relocating and hiding the data that was removed during the day, making sure the genealogists would never completely finish their work.

The movement within the library after dark was quite spooky; hence the strictness in obeying the hours of operation. The spirits, though, knew just what they were doing. If the genealogists couldn’t find the information they sought, they’d have to come back. The spirits, you see, were not scary spirits, just lonely spirits. They were content to scare off the patrons at dark, knowing they’d be back for more at the sun’s first morning kiss.


Apple said...

LOL I've been to that library!

Janet Iles said...

I love your story.

I worked in a library for over 30 years. I really like your explanation for why things always seem to be hard to find in the genealogy/local history area.

Janet the Researcher