Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Queens Public Library - Astoria Branch

I go into the Astoria Branch of the Queens Public Library the other day looking for books on Italian history. It's just after school has let out and the place is packed with rowdy kids (the days of "shhh! this is a library!" is long gone). I look around for the research librarian to see him sitting at a table surrounded by children, patiently and kindly helping them with their homework. He's tall, thin and very pale - the perfect librarian. He looks too busy to interrupt. I ask someone else to help me but she directs me to him. I timidly let him know I don't want to interrupt and he says with a sweeping gesture, "This is my everyday existence. You are special today." I'm fairly certain they don't have what I want but he runs around looking anyway and we finally decide I should find a title online and see if they can order it. I take two books just to make him happy, check them out with the very surly librarian who's been there for 100 years and keeps the place from being too ridiculously sincere, and walk home musing about how I have that library to thank for helping me write my past two novels and will help me write my third. Little poor Astoria branch library, only open 1-5 Monday through Friday, has my sincere thanks.

Evaluation: Very sincere

Queens Public Library - Astoria Branch
Astoria Blvd. and 14th Street


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