Seeker of Happiness

$12 Tote Bags and Some Happy Thoughts

Separate and Unequal Libraries.

Carrie Lynn2 Comments
I'm feeling slightly discriminated.

We live in North Salt Lake, Utah. It's about a whooping 10 minute drive from downtown Salt Lake City- which is wonderful. I love living close enough to the capitol that it's not stressful to join in during events, but far enough away that I don't have to listen to sirens in the middle of the night. Ten minutes from the heart of Salt Lake is perfect for me.

But that ten minutes is the difference between using the state of the art, gigantic public library located downtown, and using one that smells like cat pee.

I TRIED to use the Salt Lake Library. I even brought my utility bill to them and everything. But they told me I didn't live in Salt Lake county. They told me MY library was the one 15 minutes away from my house instead of 10. They told me if I wanted to use THEIR library I would have to pay them $80 a year.

For $80 a year, I'd just BUY every book I wanted to read thankyouverymuch.

So, begrudgingly, I ventured to the Bountiful library. It's book selection is about the size of my pinky. It's walls are a mix of brick and that faux wood from the '70's. It has flickering lights. Even the newest books are dirty and look old. It smells bad. I went there once, got my library card and hadn't gone back.

Until yesterday. Yesterday, Georgia and I took our first "just us" trip to the Bountiful library because I wanted some summer reads. I had a list of seven books to get.
The library had one of them. ONE.

Georgia was so upset about this that she began to wail down aisle P-S. I did not have much to comfort her with since I was pretty upset about it myself.

We gathered our feminine emotions, however, and went to check out when I realized that in all my preparation, I had forgotten my library card. And my driver's license. Don't worry- I had my wallet with my BYU-Idaho ID and an old Blockbuster card, but nothing of real importance. I explained to the librarian that this was my first time out with my baby and that I had just gotten a little frazzled.

I was expecting this librarian to tell me to get out of her library and "don't come back without a card." In my experience, most librarians are kind of uptight and protective of library policy. I was imagining this would be no different since she worked in a place that smelled like pee.

But instead, she smiled. And laughed. And told me all about when she helped her sister take the twins to the grocery store. All the while, she looked up my account and let me check out two books. She congratulated me and wished me a very nice day.

I bet the snotty SLC librarians wouldn't have done that. I bet they would have made me pay. I bet they would have told me to shut up my baby and take her back to Davis county where she belongs.

So while I despise how small my local library is, I am grateful that a.) I have one at all and b.) that the people who work there are reasonable.