Things to Do in Martha's Vineyard

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The Happy End to a Tradition

BY VSH | 17 June 2009

The Ladies of the Edgartown Public Library have ruined my life.

I used to be able to enter libraries and browse, knowing that it was a Public Library, and that everything would be The Same As Every Other Public Library. There was comfort in that sameness.

Librarians are supposed to shush you, and scowl as they check out the books for you so that you will take better care of them. They give you ‘The Look’ if you have late fees or, Lord, have mercy…have lost the book you borrowed. (I did that once as a child. Man, was I scared!)

Right?  Everywhere I go I visit libraries, bookstores, and second-hand shops. I am a book junkie, always looking for a great read. The Fear of Librarians…that’s how I was raised…and by God, that’s how I was going to raise my daughter.

The Edgartown Library has changed that for me. I have complained to them about it but they seem unwilling to become grumpier just to accommodate me.

It is not their fault, I suppose. They are friendly and helpful and it is obvious that they enjoy what they do, but that’s part of my problem with them.

Now, when I enter a Library, I find myself looking for Customer Service and Helpfulness. I find that I want Friendly to be available to me and  if you are looking for a book, they’ll track it down as best they can for you.

I had a DVD series I was trying to find several parts of and was having trouble. All I needed was to confirm that I wasn’t looking in the wrong place; but they conferred, found that there were several parts missing and ordered the entire series… not just for me to borrow, but for the Library to own outright.  They then, reserved it to my account for First Dibs. I now have 18 individual DVDs on a shelf waiting for me to pick up.   There is a seven-day borrow period on DVD’s…if I don’t sleep I can finish them all in a week.

(They may be trying to kill me now for complaining about their Niceness. Curse my big stupid mouth…)

The Colonial Inn, where I work, is just a stone’s throw from the Edgartown Library, which is helpful for guests that need internet access and don’t travel with a computer. (The Colonial Inn offers complimentary wifi to all of it’s guests).  There are multiple terminals available at the Edgartown Library and it makes me glad to know that when I recommend a guest to them that they will receive helpful care.

I am going to go tell them that I want pony rides on Tuesdays. There must be a limit to their helpfulness…there MUST!

Image courtesy of Ian Wilson.


November 14, 2009 10:35 am

Well, Michael, we had a tough day today. What with rain, thunder, and a gazillion kids running through the library, and everyone dreading yet another rainy day…but then I came home and checked my email. What a great way to finish my day! Thanks for the totally awesome write-up (dude!). I’m am going to joyfully pass it on to the rest of the library folks. They will surely appreciate it. Watch out. You’ll be getting “special” service now. Really, really, thank you, and see you soon. (We’ll work on that pony. Maybe in the new building?)