A Small Contribution

Yesterday, I was fortunate to enjoy having breakfast with a very good friend. She doesn’t like eggs, but I am willing to look past that. I don’t see her as often as I’d like, which is mostly my fault. I need to do better. We worked at the library together.  We did good things. I love the library. I love librarians. They are among the best people.

I also made plans to meet up with another library friend in the early afternoon. We both share a love for a certain band.  They performed in Salt Lake this past weekend. I got to attend. He didn’t. His young son, also loves this band. I had acquired a clever poster of the band members, and thought his son would enjoy it. It gave me a good reason to get out of the house, go to the main library, which is a place that still means the world to me.


I worked at the Salt Lake City Public Library for a decade. It was a career I sort of stumbled into, not realizing how much I’d love it, or how deeply the philosophies of librarianship would penetrate my personal, emotional, intellectual life. I made the best of friends, shared hours of conversations and debates with like minded individuals.  The best part was the reference work. Finding the correct information from the best possible resources, seeing someone light up with excitement, was very rewarding. It was important work, it had infinite integrity. I like to think I made a difference in a small way in people’s lives.

I miss it more than I’d like to admit.

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About Ryan Carty

There are some who call me, Tim?

6 responses to “A Small Contribution”

  1. Liesbet says :

    Any way you can get back to it? Maybe part-time? Sounds like a great job and environment. I love libraries as well. As a kid when we picked out books to read (my mom would take us once every other week or so to get the maximum allowance of books – 5 each) and now as a quiet place to work, or to find inspiring books. It is a great place! If I had more time, I would go every day and spend hours on end in a comfy couch learning about everything! 🙂

    • fenster says :

      I most likely could get hired there again, but I’m not sure I want to go down that path again. I do miss it, and I would love to be around those people again. Still, there were things that drove me absolutely insane, and the reference part of the work is vastly different now. I have a volunteer gig at an independent bookstore near my house and I hope that evolves into something permanent.

  2. Ellen says :

    My sister is a library person and really enjoys her job so I can see why you miss it. There are lots of people out there who don’t enjoy their work, so I’d say you were lucky to have had all those years working at the library.

    • fenster says :

      It certainly had its bad moments. Sometimes it was extremely taxing and draining. I often forget those times when I was nostalgic. But yeah, it was a great gig.

  3. jmh says :

    I didn’t know you worked at a library! Lucky you. I wish I knew more librarians. They are amazing people as a whole.

    • fenster says :

      Indeed. Being a librarian was amazing, hard, frustrating, infinitely rewarding. We are pretty amazing if I do say so myself. Guardians of intellectual freedom and liberty! Go us.

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