The Night Before The Night Before
It was the last evening WPL was open before Christmas 2016 and the big old main library was full of folks in the living room and on the computers. It had been an uneventful night, with the usual early evening rush of reference questions and then the steady flow of customers selecting their holiday reading or working on a last minute assignment. However, this evening was to be different.
At 8:45 Len, a long time staff member and his backup ensemble took to the library airwaves, flipped the switch on the PA system and began to read The Night Before Christmas. In his very best Barry White voice, Len filled the big old library from top to bottom. The folks who had been sleeping in the living room seemed to wake up and start to listen. On the second floor, genealogists in the Local History Room stopped reading and amazingly the customers at the Dufferin computers raised their heads to listen.
Len read on…. “not a creature was stirring……
Now, for those folks who have not read the classic Clement C. Moore poem in a while, it’s long…..about 10-12 minutes. But customers continued to listen to the very end.
Much to the staff’s surprise; on the second floor customers smiled and nodded, folks in the living room wished staff a Merry Christmas as they headed out and a customer at the Dufferin computers stood up, clapped and said thank you.
Staff were so surprised and thrilled that on Friday afternoon before closing they recruited the effervescent Annie and did the same thing…..with the same results.
Our customers loved it and the experience reminded me of why we do this tough work, day in and day out. We in library land do it to make a difference in the lives of our customers and to make our community a better place to live, work and raise a family.
So yes Virginia, that is how the tradition of reading a holiday classic to our customers started at the mighty Windsor Public Library.
Merry Christmas to all
And to all a good night.