THE IMAGE of the old unmarried woman has inaccurately been made synonymous with that of the librarian. I say this is inaccurate because not all librarians are old (or at least not yet), not all librarians are unmarried, and not all librarians are women. But I–a woman librarian fast approaching my thirties–have realized that the profession I am in can very well be a most influential factor on why I am–although at peace with the fact–alone.
Six-and-a-half years of library school and nearly seven years of practice have imbued in me that careful selection is at the heart of having a good collection. A long list of set criteria–fit, quality, artistic merit, reviews, among others–should be strictly followed. Be very careful, or you will make mistakes, and your resources, your investments, your efforts will go to waste. Use your head over your heart: Do not let something in if it doesn’t fit, even though you might think you really, really like it.
Of course, you could be very careful in selecting and still something ends up wrong. Suddenly, it doesn’t fit. It doesn’t belong. Maybe it has lived past its purpose. Or a better edition comes. Or you have been blinded and it should never have been there in the first place. Whatever the reason, you deselect. You weed it out. Do away with the clutter. Let the irrelevant move to a place where it might be needed. The process could be painful and heartless, but you must do it.
That’s when you begin to appreciate empty spaces. Some people are afraid of empty spaces, but that is not what you see. You see room for something new, something better. You see the opportunities. Suddenly, you are not suffocated. You breathe better. You get a clearer view of what you have.
And you realize that what you have, no matter how small, is really everything that you need.
And, of course, how can I possibly be with a man who doesn’t love to read?
Patricia Castillo, 27, is from San Jose City, Nueva Ecija.
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