The Library-Infant Connection

I have a secret theory about our IT department. When a young computer tech is thinking that perhaps it’s time to have a child, the director sends him/her to the office in the library to make sure that this person is ready for the responsibility and patience necessary for parenthood.

To the computer tech, I’m sure that there are many similarities between his new library colleagues and infants:

  • Infants cry, but they have no way of telling you what’s wrong. While we can talk, I’m sure much of what we say sounds like babbling to our tech. “Jeff, the printer’s mad at me.” “Jeff, the computer is blinking.” “Jeff, there’s a message. I couldn’t read it all before the computer shut down. But I think the words ‘zombie apocalypse’ were there.”
  • Infants cry when their toys break. In the library, there may be tears when the printing system goes down, and we have to have students save documents to a flash drive and then we print them at the circulation desk.
  • Toddlers love saying the same thing over and over. While our purpose is different, we tend to do that as well:

“Jeff, my computer’s not working.”

“What’s wrong?”

“It’s not working.”

“Can you tell me exactly what happened?”

“It was working and now it’s not working.”

  • Toddlers/Infants can throw tantrums. (Umm, will say no more here to protect the guilty.)
  • Infants love you unconditionally. We adore Jeff. He is always patient. He never talks down to us. He’s willing to answer our questions, even if it’s the 300th time he’s been asked.  We think he’s pretty much perfect.

Last year, Jeff and his wife did have a baby, and he’s a good parent. And luckily, so far, he has chosen to stay with us.


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