Wednesday, August 18, 2010

If you lived here you'd be home now

According to the police, a man lived in a NJ library for nearly two weeks. The homeless Charles Jones Jr. had been living in the basement for nearly two weeks and taking food from the staff break room, which, anyone who has ever worked in a library knows, is an endless supply of unwanted Hydrox cookies, stale leftover chips from birthday parties, and old Halloween candy/vacation candy like salt water taffy. The jig was up when Charles was caught peeking out of one of the library's basement windows.
Peekaboo! (Not Charles Jones Jr.)

Whenever something like this happens, people will ask, "How could this happen? How could anyone not notice?" and I am here to say, yeah, it happens. You stop noticing some things when you work a routine job. It isn't even like the homeless are sneaky either, you just get used to seeing some of the regulars there that sometimes at the end of the day one forgets to make sure that they all go out.
While I do not work at the NJ library where this took place, I did once work at a library that had an incident where one of our homeless regulars spent the night in the library (luckily, not during my shift). He had been watching Gone With the Wind at one of our viewing stations and fallen asleep, making him unable to hear our closing announcements, I suppose, and probably all the lights being turned off didn't help wake him. The next morning he was still there in the same chair, awake, but afraid to move because he was worried he'd set off an alarm or get in trouble. The whole thing was more of an embarrassment on the library's part than anything else. I think we bribed him with some Hydrox cookies not to tell anyone that we were locking people in the building...
As a child, I used to fantasize about getting locked in the library overnight, or as a teen, locked in the library with my secret crush. As an adult who now works in the library, I can honestly say I'm pretty much cured of that fantasy.


  1. Aw, you should never abandon your locked-in-a-library-with-your-crush fantasies. Even though, at my library, it would mean standing completely still for 12 hours so as not to set off the alarms. Romantic?

  2. we had a library school student who used to live in the building, until he was caught.. I think it must be difficult to close up a multilevel building, to check all the floors.. did you ever see that movie where the guy is stuck in the department store with the vicious guard dogs.. I think it's Trapped with James Brolin... yeah, not an awesome fantasy..