Stereotypes of the Library Lady


Here is a cute article from the DesMoines Register about the old lady who said Shhh!! all the time.\"The thousands of books were well past their prime and so was the woman who ran the place. Miss Library Lady was about 99 years old, wore her hair in a tight gray bun and looked at you over the edge of her half-glasses. Her vocabulary amounted to little more than \"No talking\" and \"Be quiet\" and \"Shhhh.\"

\"Since our school didn\'t have a library, this is where they\'d take us on a class trip. Talk about a good time.\"

\"My most vivid memory of that place and that woman was the day in eighth grade when Charlie Oringer and I were poring over the \"Dictionary of American Slang,\" looking up words that rhymed with \"luck,\" \"hitch\" and \'split,\" trying to use them in sentences. This caught Library Lady\'s attention. But on this occasion \"Be quiet\" and \"Shhhh\" weren\'t going to cut it. She stretched her repertoire a bit to include: \"Shut Up\" and \"Get Out Now.\"

\"I was reminded of this Saturday when I headed out to the grand opening of the Urbandale Library. They asked me to come and read to some kids. I went with the image of the stark room and the old lady still fresh in my mind - almost 40 years after the fact.\"

\"I pulled off 86th Street into the parking lot and from a distance I could see balloons, a clown, kids enjoying soda, ice cream and popcorn. I was handed a magazine called \"Dreams Take Flight.\" It was about the library and included everything from a time line to a blurb about the architect\'s \"design philosophy.\" I wondered if the guys who put together the Allerton Avenue Library had a \"design philosophy.\"

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