The library is in chaos. Like many libraries, our technology book sections are shrinking because it makes much more sense to buy those as ebook subscriptions which change as the technology changes (every two weeks, it seems). But our humanities sections keep growing as both faculty and students still like paper books to read for both work and pleasure.
So we need to shift some of the humanities. But there are a couple of problems. One, the technologies and the humanities are on opposite sides of the library. And, two, every book will have to be moved.
We started this project with enthusiasm and purpose. But now two weeks in, it’s beginning to resemble Lord of the Flies. There have been disagreements on whether to knock out some shelves, physically move some others, how many books to put on a cart as we shift, and even if everyone is dusting the shelves the right way. At this point, I expect fisticuffs to break out any moment. (Well, the librarian equivalent of it, which is to go into individual cubicles and refuse to speak to anyone for several hours.)
When such things happen, and they do happen, whether in libraries, offices, or homes, I find it helpful to remember that the person with whom I’m so irritated at the moment is also the person who brought me a gift for watering her garden, made me laugh when I was sad, gave me a chocolate out of his secret stash, etc.
Sometimes, remembering such things is enough to bring everyone back to amity.And if not, it can at least keep fisticuffs at bay.