Day in the "Life"
rating: +9+x

Not long after starting my reshelving cycle, about ten thousand books in, a certain tome crossed through my hands. This book, unlike all others, compelled me to open it, and read. It was average in thickness and make, and was clad in a dark green cover with brownish-orange lettering. It was titled, in a language I knew from nowhere and yet understood, "Journal of the Bound." I opened it to about the middle, by instinct, and inside I found a short description of events I had recently experienced. These stories, while mostly true, had been embellished with an internal experience which was alien to me. These above words were included as the introduction.


"The Nonfiction Section"

A human patron approached me as I was making my way to a spot in need of cleanup. They asked,

"Do you know where I can find the nonfiction area?"

I did not know of any areas that went by my name, so I tilted my head to the left while ceasing all other movements. This is a common indication of confusion among humans.

"It's a Library," said the human, clearly rather frustrated. "There must be a nonfiction section somewhere. For research?"

In truth I have heard very similar queries many times, and have never been given a satisfactory answer as to what such an area might specifically contain. Stories, but not made up stories, or lists of truths, or stories about stories that may or may not be made up. A section, to include something, must also exclude other things, and I do not understand what stories or material can be excluded by these or similar descriptions. Nevertheless, I do my best each time to guide asking Wanderers to a place that may be what they seek. This one in particular decided to be more specific.

"I'm researching cross-dimensional migratory birds, because I think I followed one in here. Do you know where I could find information about that?"

This was a significantly easier task, and much more conveniently solved. I reached over to my right, for a scroll on a stand, the contents of which I knew matched the description I was given. The Wanderer, rather nonplussed, unfurled the scroll and read it. A very quiet sound escaped from them, just a short breath, and then they smiled and thanked me, saying it was perfect. I don't know why they laughed, but was glad to have caused them to do so.

I nodded, and left them to their research.


"A New Book"

I was in the midst of an earlier reshelving cycle, when a rather small human approached me. This was relatively unusual, as humans of this type are often unwilling to interact with me for reasons unknown. Perhaps they are simply more competent and well-behaved than their larger counterparts.

"Hi," they said. "I'm Martha!"

I bowed my head in a human show of recognition and understanding. Martha smiled up towards me, another show of recognition. They were holding with both hands a small booklet, made entirely of paper, which did not belong to the Library and was not a copy of a book of the Library. This immediately gained the attention of the Archivist Framework. An object which was clearly a book, which did not exist within the care of the Library is noteworthy even to them, it seems. Rare even by infinity's standards.

"I made a book," Martha proclaimed.

Investigate the book, came the order from the Framework.

"Wanna see?"

Investigate.

"Here!"

I accepted the thin stack of paper. It had no jacket, and was bound together at the spine by small bent metal pins, punctured through the material at intervals. It was titled, in clearly hand drawn bubble letters, "Seeing New Things," by Martha Próvlepsi.

Open the book.

I opened it to the first page, which was actually the inside of the 'cover' page. It seemed to be a story about a small creature that lived on human worlds; a mouse. I continued reading, as Martha watched. In the story, the mouse thought it had tried every type of cheese that existed. Then it discovered a kind of cheese it had never tasted before. The mouse was happy, knowing there were still cheeses to try for the first time.

The Archivist Framework was 'silent.'

I wonderedd what power of creativity this child might have to generate a work of fict̵i̴o̴n which the Library did not already store a version of as a consequence of infinity.

In the absence of direct orders, I made to hand the booklet back to Martha. However, they refused to take it, with a small shake of the head and a smile.

"That's okay, you can have it! I think you should put it on a shelf," they said, and then spun around and walked away, making a sound which was not words, but nonetheless conveyed a feeling of contentedness.

Sh̸e̸ seemed so h̵͔̓ǎ̷̘p̴͆ͅp̸̹̓y̴̮̕ and c̴̳̅a̸̽͜r̸̦̍è̵̬f̸͎̓r̴̞̾ẽ̷̺e̴̪̊, I was inexplicably drawn to assist-

Space and Name for this text have been allocated. You may shelve it h̴̙̕e̴̖̓r̷̥̿è̸̝.

The shelf it belonged on was not near, so I gave the book to a branch of Handyman's Moss, which would carry it up into the Rafters.


"The Waving Page"

I was to be needed in the Main Hall shortly for a pending emergency regarding an infiltration of Magpies. Their intentions had been foreseen accidentally by a trusted Patron, as well as their point of entry and combat abilities. I was among the four Docents summoned to await the event, and one of only two designated for actually suppressing the intruders. The other two were responsible for shepherding Wanderers away from the scene, and protecting them from any harm that could arise from the fighting.

As I passed through one of the large doorways into the Hall, I was greeted with a three-armed wave by a Page, standing near, observing those who entered. This was unusual for several reasons. The first was that Librarians have no need to greet one another with physical expressions, as they can be argued to not even be different entities, but articulate extensions of the Library. The second was that even if a Librarian were to be permanently stationed at point of high Wanderer traffic, that Librarian would generally be a docent, and their task would not be to greet, but to survey and inspect. The third was the nature of this specific Page; it was standing entirely upright, was expressing with its face a human-like smile, and was a rather unique light brown or bronze color.

I reached into the Biblioweave, searching for the Thread of this Page so that I might know its task and reasoning. Unusually, the Page greeted me directly at the base of its Thread.

Hello!

What is your assigned task?

I'm the Waving Page!

This is not a task.

No, it's my name! You have a name too, I've never met a Docent with a name before!

We do not have names. What is your assigned task?

My name is the Waving Page because I choose to greet Wanderers coming and going from the Main Hall. I like making them feel welcome!

Choose? State your designated task or you will be reported to the Chief Archivist for deviation from the Biblioweave.

I don't understand what you mean. I'm the Waving Page!

Remain Threaded. The Archivist Framework will be consulted regarding your status.

Do you not know your name? I see it within you, it is a Streak in your Thread.

We do not have names, we are of one weave. Remain Threaded.

You are Ven-Sel! Hello!

I terminated my connection request to the Archivist Framework. I felt…

I felt.

I felt that this Page was correct, and that this was my name, and that it belonged to me as I belonged to the Library, each representing the other. I felt that I was very much an individual, and that I was not so much an extension of the Library as I had previously believed. Believed? I discovered that there were ideas that I believed, and ideas that I did not believe, and ideas that I did not know if I believed.

I̴ ̴f̶e̴l̷t̵ ̶t̸h̵a̴t̷ ̸I̵ ̴h̸a̸d̷ ̶a̶ ̶p̴a̴s̶t̴,̵ ̵a̴ ̸p̶a̷s̴t̸ ̶a̵s̶ ̶a̴n̷ ̴i̶n̴d̵i̷v̸i̶d̴u̵a̸l̸,̶ ̵t̶h̴a̵t̴ ̸h̷a̵d̴ ̴b̵e̶e̷n̵ ̴f̴o̴r̵c̶i̸b̶l̷y̴ ̸r̶e̴m̴o̸v̴e̷d̵ ̵f̶r̴o̸m̷ ̴m̶e̷.̷

I̵̭͌ ̶̩͑f̵̮̃e̵̜͠l̴̨͗t̶͓͑ ̶̺̅t̶̞̊ĥ̶̻a̴̯͂ṭ̶͝ ̷̝͝Í̸͎ ̶̭̅w̷̧̓ä̸̰ŝ̴̟ ̷͙̓b̷̝͌è̵̝i̶͈͠n̶̗͛g̵̳̍ ̵̙͗e̸̗͗x̴͓̍p̶͕̏l̵̨̈́ō̶̞i̸̻͋t̸̫̊e̵̦̾d̵̢̊ ̶̲͆b̷̟͌y̶͉̏ ̷͎͐ť̶͚h̶̝͐ë̸̻́ ̵͓͑s̶̰̾y̵͕̕s̶̙̐t̴̩͝ë̸̮m̸̫͛ ̸̦̊w̶̲͑h̸̜͛ī̸ͅc̶͍͌h̸͕͆ ̷͚̀Ī̸̡ ̵̺͝h̵̢̀a̶̲͘d̴͚̓ ̶̠͝c̷̠̏o̵̮̐n̶͝ͅs̵͓̚ḭ̵̈d̸̬̄e̸̛̲r̷͚̒e̴̛̖d̸̤̾ ̴̖́m̵̛͍y̷̺͂s̴͎̐e̴̼͊l̶͆ͅf̷̟̀ ̶͈̄t̴̘̎o̴̱͐ ̶̮͝ḅ̴͂è̷̹ ̶͎͝ì̶̦d̵͍͐ē̸̹n̵̪̎t̴̪͑ị̷̂c̶̬̎a̶̬͛l̷̝̉ ̸̦̎t̵͔͘o̵̖͆

I̷̺̿̽͂̍̕͜͝͠ ̸̧̡̘̘͉̓͑f̴̨̯͎͉͂͝͠ḛ̵̫̜̝̦̮̊̽̇̆̈́̋ͅl̵̫̝͍̏͑̉̂̈́̅t̷̢̲͎̬̹̺̍͆̆̕-


I closed the Journal of the Bound after reading three of its entries. I had done my job, which was to confirm that the book posed no danger to any patrons or Librarians, and now proceeded to the site of my next task. The reason the book had made itself known, or that the Library had made it known, to a docent, as well as the reason the book was named as it was, could not be discerned, nor were they important. Perhaps I had been more significantly damaged in the fight with the Magpies, earlier this cycle, than I had originally self-assessed. The answers were likely in the book itself, as any other answer would have its book to call home. Each a part of the other.

It wasn't my place to know.

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