This semester, Gleeson Library has been broadcasting the 2008 presidential debates on our information screen in the Access Services area lobby. I work just adjacent to this lobby and have watched as patrons take short study breaks to quietly, and earnestly, watch the candidates answer a question. Some patrons pull up a chair and stay awhile. Many stay for the duration of the debate. Other patrons, weighed down with loads of newly checked-out books, stop on their way out the door and listen intently for just one more minute. Last week, I looked up and saw a patron watching from the second floor balcony. I waved. He smiled and waved back. Soon, though, the look on his face returned to one of concern and concentration as he watched on. In a long and turbulent election year — one that has, rightfully so, required us to learn about and address many complicated issues — this is a rather simple, and for me, sustaining scene. Author Raymond Carver might have called it “a small, good thing”:
We’ll have the third and last debate of 2008 on at Gleeson Library, this Wednesday, 10/15, at 6pm. Hope to see you here. Thanks to Debbie Malone for taking the photos for this post.