Thursday, June 27, 2013

Pointing the Finger at the National Library

Reading Room at National Library of Ireland
I'd forgotten what a haven of decency and decorum our National Library is.  How tranquil the atmosphere is - how helpful the staff. The beautifully designed reading room with its archaic fittings and first come first served ethos is ideal for researching.  And you can now order books online, as I did, and have them waiting for you when you arrive.  They even have a cafe these days.  I settled in with my books and began to take notes for a writing project.  Apart from the occasional distraction of some toothsome young woman moving through the room all was quiet industry.  The suddenly, out of the clear blue sky, like the Japanese at Pearl Harbour, I was attacked.  A short, stocky, choleric creature, vaguely feminine, appeared in front of me and it was clear she was angry.  "You can't use a pen in here" she railed.  "Are you serious" I countered, "How am I supposed to take notes?".  "You must use a pencil" sez she, proferring the very article.  "It's in the rules that you signed  up for".  Of course I never read the rules, or the bloody Terms and Conditions, so she had me at a disadvantage.  However she made the fatal mistake of wagging her finger at me as she spoke, so instead of gracefully conceding my guilt I went on the offensive.  "Whatever about your rules, please don't wag you finger at me" I retorted.  Taken aback she had the grace to say "I'm sorry", thereby making me feel like a bit of a prick.  Score draw I'd say.