The Librarian by Karri Cassidy

the librarian

Sitting at the library and paging through the microfilm, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around briskly and was offered a slip of paper by a Library Assistant. She saw the quizzical look on my face. “Oh, I saw you looking up birth and death certificate records on the projector. I figured this would help you in your search.” she stated.

I looked down at the URL scribbled on the scrap paper and flushed a dark shade of red. I had no clue that the microfilm apparatus had been made obsolete. It turned out that a quick internet search on a public records database would yield all the information I was looking for in only a fraction of the time it would take to scroll through the whirring and low-tech machine I’d just been trying to use.

“Thank you.” I stated while making my way to the row of computers with internet access. As I took a number and waited my turn for an open computer, I thought deeply about how, even in the technological age, some people remain astute and ready to help another person at a moment’s notice. It struck me that the library assistant was merely doing her job, but it did seem that she truly did take an interest in helping me expedite the process. Such a minute yet helpful act put a smile on my face for the remainder of the day. After retrieving the information that I was looking for, I left the library and cheerfully helped an elderly woman cross the street. She had an iPhone in one hand and a cane in the other. She looked slightly disgruntled and on edge.

“Please, let me help you.” I held my arm out. She stopped for a second and looked befuddled. Then, a crescent of a smile overtook her lips and she thanked me profusely. Paying it forward truly is its own reward.


Karri Cassidy is a student at SJSU.

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