At the opening of a new school year, I’m enjoying the chance at a clean slate–new colleagues hired over the summer, new ninth graders and transfer students, all brand new faces to introduce to my library. As I prepare for orientations–whether it’s a full tour or a five minute spiel–I’m re-evaluating my library ground rules. What are the most important things for new students to know? What kind of a space do I want to create for classes and faculty groups alike? How do I convey my educational philosophy in a sentence or two?

When I think about the range of possible library infractions, it really boils down to one question: what’s going to make me the crankiest?

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Sometimes I furtively drink coffee at the circulation desk.

I’ve seen students photocopying school textbooks, and I’ve looked the other way.

More than once, I’ve kept the library open well past five o’clock–without kicking any students out or writing the extra minutes on my timesheet.

In short, I’m a library outlaw.

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