Hinton, Lynne. The Order of Things (New York: St. Martin's Press, c2009) 225 p.
Andreas Jay Hackett loves being a librarian.
I love the system of numbers and titles, stacks of books all related by subject matter or fiction genre. I love knowing that if I learn the files, understand the rational method of where to put books on a shelf, that I can find any piece of literature in any library in any town in America. There's power in that kind of knowledge and I appreciate the magnitude of what I know. I love the Dewey decimal system with its classification rules and the simple ways to categorize. I love knowing that I am operating in the most widely used library classification system and that I can go anywhere and be an expert on how to find things. There is great comfort in that especially when I feel so lost from myself.
Even before I became a librarian, I felt at home in the quiet rooms surrounded by the bound pages of history and science, by the written biographies of explorers and adventurers. I have always loved the smell of leather bindings, the feel of paper between a finger and thumb, the crinkle of the page as it turns, the easy way life falls open from a book. As a child if I was missing, my mother always knew where to find me. I was always in the library. Later, as an adult, once I unlocked the secrets in the library and gained the knowledge that I can find any answer somebody needs, I felt a great pride in my work. After all, I have a real gift for reference work and I'm confident that everybody I work with would agree with that statement.
“Go ask Andy,” the other librarians would say to the researching student. “She'll know.” And they were right. I usually did. (p. 37-38).
And then Andy checked herself into a psychiatric hospital.