Spring Break for students and instructors means time off and often travel. For support staff I’ve come to realize that spring break is pretty much summed up in three things. Less noise, fewer places to get food on campus, and better parking. That’s it. I did however enjoy one extra perk. The library closed at 7:00pm instead of 2:00am and thus I was able to leave work Monday two hours earlier than the standard 9:00pm. My Monday schedule is in some ways cruel since Mr. Gaba’s latest work schedule involves working Tuesday to Sunday nights. That’s right. The only night he has off is the only night I work (barring my working the occasional Sunday 12:30 to 9:00pm shift.) So we took full advantage of my spring break and went out to eat Monday. Latif narrowed it down to three places: one in our Riverwest neighborhood, one Downtown, and one on the East Side. More than that he would not tell me. Mr. Gaba actively works to dissuade me of the notion that I should be able to plan and anticipate my future with any kind of a clear idea of what will happen. We were able to easily get a table at the place in Riverwest—the Centro Cafe. It’s a very small Italian place with amazing food, cooked just feet away from the tables in an open kitchen. I really hope we go again sometime.
As my spring break progressed I found myself spending several hours at the circulation desk. This was the result of the Access Services Librarian being out with health issues and no students volunteering to work during some parts of the break. I don’t blame the students. With the coffee shop closed the library has taken on the more hushed ambiance of those days when I was paid $3.75/hr to sit at the desk. It feels very familiar. Also familiar is the feeling that I had as a freshmen of not really knowing enough to be completely helpful. This is after all the first time I’ve been by myself at the circulation desk since last August. I’m OK with the basics, but if someone needed to pay a fine I would have had to call for backup. I also had to open the library myself on Thursday. It has been a few years since I opened a library and it wasn’t this library. I did manage to figure out where all the light switches were and how to log on to the circulation computers.
Saturday while students and faculty began considering having to head back to campus, I got to spend four hours at work. Only four. This is after all a break. The hours went by quickly as I had a test to proctor and then did two library instruction sessions for international MBA students who operate on a different academic schedule.
Spring break just isn’t what it used to be.
lhg edited and approved