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Library Materials

No Library Materials in the Restrooms

Really? Really? Is this something we have to tell people? I am mystified by this sign on the library bathroom door. Are people bringing books in there? Why?

Ok, I know why. But this is not the privacy of anybody’s own home, so I’m thinking that no one would seriously bring reading materials into the public restroom.

Obviously, I’m wrong. Otherwise there wouldn’t be a sign. But you have to admit, The Library Materials would be a great name for a band.

 

The Library Materials with their first single, "Dewey to Me One More Time"

Other signage I feel we could do without:

 My state has a concealed carry law, so citizens are out there roaming around armed. Very important in my small, suburban town, where one could easily be attacked even in broad daylight by a gang of rampaging squirrels.

The bank, and the library and the churches and the temple all have these please-don’t-bring-your-gun-inside notices stuck on the doors. It sort of reminds me of that old country song, and makes me feel a bit like I’m living in the old west.

Maybe we should post a please-check-your-gun-at-the-door notice at the bookshop. We could use the old umbrella stand for rifles, and get a hat rack for balaclavas, hockey masks, and Halloween Nixon-faces. Hmm…

Please place smaller weapons in basket.

It’s harder to know what to do with sawed-offs and pistols. They’d just rattle around at the bottom of the umbrella stand and somebody might put their eye out on the barrel of a .22 while reaching in for their glock. I’m thinking a nice Longaberger basket, attractively perched on a slim end table, for the smaller weapons. Cuz you know, that would be tasteful.

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Filed under sort of about books

Parking with the Dead

Today I had a meeting on the campus of Kent State University. Though around here, Kent is known for its excellent public radio station and for black squirrels (escapees from an experiment), lots of people know it for the shootings.

In 1970 the National Guard came out, shot some demonstrating students, and killed four. I provide this information in case you are too young to listen to Crosby Stills Nash (& Young) songs and remain unaware of this.

In a strange compromise between pretending the whole thing never happened and memorializing the students, Kent State University erected black pylons in the parking lot where students were hit, a little square of black posts marking each victim’s place at the time of the shooting.

But it’s still a parking lot.

So as I went to meet my client at the Kent State University Library, that’s where I parked. Why? Because my friend Marsha, who works there said, “Here’s a parking pass,” and gave me a hang-tag for my car. “Park in the lot where they shot people.”

Oh, that one…

The fact is, I’ve lived in this part of Ohio for a while now, and I’ve even been to the annual May 4th remembrances of the whole awful thing, and so I knew right where she was talking about. On the 4th, when all the hubbub is going on, there are no cars and the atmosphere is sort of reverent and a little rowdy – with overtones of “Down with The Man.” The rest of the time it’s just a parking lot. With what look like hitching posts grouped in some of the spaces. If you didn’t know better, you would think they were marking off areas to fill in potholes.

I sort of wonder what people on campus visits think — prospective students and their parents, visiting dignitaries, new professors — “hey, what’re those?” they might ask.

“Oh, that’s where the National Guard killed some people.”

“In the parking lot?”

“Uh huh.”

But not just anybody can park with the dead. Without a pass, they’ll tow you.

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Filed under Not about books at all really