Things I will miss:
High-fiving kids on the last day of school.
Being called “Mrs. Liberry” on occasion.
Going on the morning announcements and talking about Happy Bacon and Sad Bacon.
Calling Susie at 7 a.m. and begging her to bring me coffee. (Though she probably won’t miss that as much as I will.)
Introducing kids to terrariums when they ask about the one on my desk.
The surreptitious dumping of obsolete consumable materials. Try it sometime.
Signing a hundred yearbooks with a cheesy “Keep reading!”
Recommending and promoting my favorite books to a whole new audience each year.
Turning into my Alter Ego, “The Laminatrix,” and getting drunk on the power to coat things in plastic. I HAVE THE POWER! (to laminate!)
Teaching kids how to use the computer. Cut, paste, and copy will change their lives.
Talking smack, UFC, and parenting with Carlos.
The presents kids make me every year, plus all the goodies I get at holidays.
Photoshop competitions with the IT dudes.
Being described as a “plucky, indispensable librarian with floaty hair.”
Being recognized whenever I leave the house. Obviously this isn’t always a good thing, but sometimes grocery shopping makes me feel like a minor celebrity.
Typing in a kid’s name into the label maker, telling them it’s an advanced computer scanner, then blowing their minds when I point it at them and their name pops out.
Finding the truly ridiculous library books.
Giving my student aides nicknames. They love that.
Greeting the excited seventh and eighth graders as they come through the library on the first day of school.
Telling the kids, “YOU HAVE TO WANT IT!” when the main door sticks and the students think it’s locked.
The shushing. I will totally miss the shushing.
Having conversations about books with kids who are excited to read.
Calling the library my home away from home.
Each year I have the opportunity to affect at least one kid’s life in a big way. Usually more than one. I still keep in contact with some kids who graduated eight years ago.
Giving up my Librarian Trading Card.
The good substitutes. And the substitutes that maybe weren’t very good but at least made for good stories.
Telling patrons about my favorite library apps.
The dear friends I’ve made.
Things I will not miss:
Fielding a ton of telemarketer calls and telling them, no, I do not have a budget this year, either.
And, oh yeah, now that I mention it, the total lack of budget.
Dealing with insane coworkers such as The Kracken, Harpy, and Withered Lich. And their dysfunctional department.
Signs on the vending machine saying it STOLE TWO DOLLARS FROM SO-AND-SO AND THERE WILL BE BLOOD.
Chain emails from the Superintendant that read like email forwards from your Grandpa.
Kids who try to use their bus pass as a library card.
Lifetouch. OMG, the shittiest, sorriest excuse for a school photo company ever.
The fact that you will be Cc’d in any email complaining about you to your supervisor.
Textbook Collection Week.
The people who keep score at the potlucks, judging you if you brought something unworthy—or worse, if you ate three chips but didn’t bring anything at all.
The free, freshly-baked cookies that turned out to be leftover year-old fundraising cookie dough somebody found in the freezer.
The inappropriate questions about my reproductive future.
The Facebook requests from coworkers who are completely unaware that I dislike them.
The political maneuvering. It was necessary if you wanted things like, say, tape or light bulbs. I was horrible at it when first hired, became proficient at it by the end, hated it all the way.
The shitty substitutes. The racist substitutes.
Giva, the unbearable coworker whose ringtone was the techno frog and who used to eat two packages of powdered donuts and a red bull every morning. The resulting burps terrified both the children and myself.