An Open Letter to Parents

An Open Letter to Parents

Jun 5, 2018, 12:02:49 AM Opinion

Dear Parent,

As a librarian, I have the honour and duty of inspiring your child to read books and enjoy them. It is my express purpose in life to understand that some children do not enjoy this and need coaxing to find their true love of literature, whatever form it may take. But, it doesn't stop there.

Being a part of this service  as they venture into our air conditioned land of fairy-tales and adventures, I do not expect your child to be left to his or her own devices while you get five minutes peace from your special creation. It is a misunderstood concept among parents these days that it is the responsibility of staff of various facilities to undertake the task of teaching these poor children manners and common decency in public places. Of course, some parents take the time and effort to monitor their children and allow them (and us) the joy of watching these young pioneers undertake their first adventures out into the big world of libraries, schools, activity centres and so much more. It brings great joy to see these children use the various facilities with respect and follow the simple rules that make it enjoyable for the rest of the patrons at these facilities. Alas, not all parents feel it is their responsibility to maintain that level of respect as some leave their children to destroy books, throw them around or dump toys and germs on every surface left free and clean. Why? I ask this question out of curiosity and confusion. Did I or any other staff member ask you to have children that you will one day regret or need a break from because they require constant supervision? Do you honestly think that libraries, schools, or activity centres are created for you to pawn off or dump your child so that you can get a rest from their incessant need to learn, be entertained and looked after? Are they puppies that you were glad to have at Christmas but now want to return without a receipt? I have to give you the sad news that your child does not suddenly become the property of the greater majority when you leave them at these facilities and your responsibility to maintain and observe said offspring does not end at the door. I have to remind you that you were happy to create them. We are there to provide a service and assist you with their growth - not take over and take responsibility when they act out.  That's on you.

Therefore, if you decide that you want to drop your child off at a library, school, activity centre or other place where they will receive external help, advice and motivation to grow as beautiful, young adults, please remember that your children carry your habits like viruses waiting to be spread to unsuspecting victims. Your attitude to the staff, equipment or books have to deal with your dear little princesses or princes and tolerate the manners you have instilled in them. Remember, we were  not there when you decided to conceive these wonders of society and therefore do not take responsibility for their lack of knowledge of proper behaviour in a public setting. That responsibility lies with you.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I do hope you will visit again with your lovely children.

Kind Regards

The Disgruntled Librarian

Published by Eloise De Sousa

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