A Normal Night in the Library

  By Jia Robinson

Every day is more or less the same. I work about a 40 hour work week in a calm environment (Career Spotlight: What I do as a Librarian).

Expelliarmus!” a voice yells behind me. I groan as the sound of a startled scream is followed by a dull thunk. Let me rephrase my earlier statement: I work about a 40 hour work week in a relatively calm environment.

Leaving the cart of books, I trudge towards the sound. I see books strewn around the aisles before I see a boy in school robes checking for damage on himself while standing on top of a fallen bookcase.  

“Are you alright, Neville?” I ask, earning the fictional fifteen-year-old’s attention.

Sheepishly he nodded, “Sorry mum, I-I didn’t mean to make a mess. I was practicing for Dumbledore’s Army in the Room of Requirement and-”

I raised a hand, stopping his apology speech. He turned up here often, different versions of him finding their way out of the Harry Potter series. Last week, first year Neville from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone found himself here when he was hiding from Malfoy’s gang.

“It’s been a long day, just make sure you pick it up okay?” I pleaded. Eagerly, he nodded and I turned on my heels and walked away.

In addition to checking out books and cataloging, I work with people; I help recommend materials to students to help them in their research; I help people create and submit their resumes and on occasion read to children (Employment & Public Libraries). These tasks I was prepared for. For babysitting fictional characters when I’m trying to finish things up and go home? Really wish that they had put that one the job description.

“Working for $48,000 to $58,000 to deal clean up after these messes just doesn’t feel like enough,” I sighed aloud (Average Librarian Salary).

“I know how that feels,” Ben Stiller’s character Larry Daley of 2006’s Night at the Museum said with an understanding nod. If anyone would understand how I felt it was the man who had historical exhibits come alive. Different worlds, but we still had a bond over it.

“Thanks. Here for a book? Looking for someone? What’s the deal?” I asked.

“A book? On dinosaurs? Specifically T-Rexs?” he answered.

“Straight that-a-way,” I said, pointing my finger in the opposite direction I’d passed Neville. “Do you need me to go with you?”

“I think I can find it on my own. Thanks,” he half jogged away, making me wonder why such a need had come up.



By some miracle, I found my way back to my cart, but after getting through half the books that needed to go back, I’d grown suspicious. Something, or someone, would have surely commandeered my attention by now. I shook my head as I rounded the corner and saw a tall, pale boy standing in my way. He had slightly tousled bronze hair and topaz eyes that held a certain anguish that made my heart flutter. I was sharing space with the Edward Cullen. The very same from the Twilight series, which had helped me unwind in my college days getting my required bachelor’s and master’s to get such a job (Library Science Degrees & Librarian Careers. How to Become a Librarian). After it became uncool to love the series, I had completely forgotten my intense love that I’d harboured for him.

“Can you help me get back?” he asked in a beautifully brooding manner. “My love is dead.”

New Moon,” I cooed, passing it to him from the cart. I then blushed, remembering that he could read minds and I definitely didn’t need him to find out what I was thinking. I never got to hear his voice like bells thank me for the help, for right after he had the book I was pushing past him.

I knew better than to fall for one of the characters. When I was searching for work, I learned first hand that the job outlook was slower than usual at an underwhelming 2% because I found absolutely no job openings (Summary). The job opening was too good to be true for me and unexpected on the library’s part. Later, I learned that this coveted slot was open because of the people coming to life thing; she ran away with some manly man from one of those romance novels.

For now though, all I had to do was finish the cart. Then I could go home and they would be left to their own devices. Then in the next row, I saw something that the daytime’s customer service could never prepare me for. The Kraken lay in a swirling whirlpool where my next bookshelves should be. Ishmael stood at the front of a small rowboat with who I believe were the Baudelaire children from Series of Unfortunate Events. A small sailboat with a face on the sail, no doubt from a children’s book, had a look of horror on its face as it became a victim of the violent waters.

“They weren’t lying when they said the library’s always changing,” I sighed, rolling my sleeves up and pulling my hair back, ready to go into the eye of the storm.


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