Zombies at the Library

You shuffle in day after day, like zombies, only without the thirst for brains. Ironic. Instead, you’re searching for something to make you happy for a while. Maybe it’s Facebook – sending endless messages back and forth to various people… some of the most vulgar, hateful, perverse and pointless messages I’ve ever seen. I wonder what it took to bring your mind and life to such a low point that this is “normal” for you. Or maybe it’s online poker, or Farmville, or some bloody shoot-to-kill game targeted toward teens (but of course, there’s no connection). And so it goes, some of you staying all day – eight to twelve hours – leaving only occasionally for a bathroom break.

I try not to judge. After all, this is your local public library where we have open minds (more or less). Maybe there are good reasons for your hours-long expressions of vitriol on Facebook. Maybe playing video games all day keeps you from doing something much worse.

Yet I can’t help but wonder if your lives wouldn’t markedly improve if, just for a week or so, you drove to our nearby state park instead of the library, and took a walk around the lake instead of messaging on Facebook, and sat on a bench feeding the ducks instead of playing video games; if you rented one of their bicycles and rode through the campgrounds, surrounded by trees, the wind fluffing your hair while squirrels scamper all around you.

Is it possible that, for a while at least, your mind might free itself from its Internet dependency, game addiction, and the vulgarities which seem to flow so freely from your fingertips to other people’s Facebook feeds? Is it possible that you might begin to ponder the bigger questions of life; to think about where you are now and where you’d like to be in the future? To think about possibilities? About meaning? About purpose?

But I just work at the library. It’s not my place to suggest such things. I’m really not even supposed to think them. I’m just here to help if your computer freezes or you can’t get logged in. I’m here to facilitate whatever you want to do all day without passing judgment. But there is one forbidden, offending thing I do for you, unknown to my employer and most of my coworkers – I pray for you.


  1. Now that libraries offer more than books: DVDs, CDs, job assistance, and computer / Internet access, we get all kinds in for all sorts of reasons. My job has me looking at computer screens all day, and much of what I see is extremely negative or derogatory. That’s why I sometimes write while at work, to get my mind on something positive. 🙂

  2. a strong piece of writing which all comes together in the last paragraph. I too wonder about libraries. I zip in and out to borrow books or make Readers’ Suggestions. It’s good to have the librarian’s take. I use Facebook almost entirely to message people or to post something of mine which has appeared on ‘The Drabble’ or on my own blog which I think has wide appeal

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