Library Laws

From each librarian to his successor, the laws
have to be repeated, endlessly repeated
itemized and memorized and from
every generation into next
the laws are inked to memory and flesh
so each librarian becomes like law itself

The laws starts by stating well known facts:

— The library is infinite or a lattice endlessly repeated.
— The exit to the library is only known to visitors.
— The number of librarians is a closed but unknown set.
— If you meet another librarian one of you will leave
— The next anointed librarian will appear a week before you die.
— The purpose of the laws is to preserve the books.

The laws state further that:

— Days are marked by daylight and a hum of traffic.t
— At night you may retire to your cot or desk-bound stay awake
— Every second month your office will be moved
— You may only sing at night.
— You are not allowed to make friends with visitors.
— Supervisors of the library will come incognito as guests.

From the basic laws each librarian reserves the right
to amend and add (but not remove)
more detailed rules regarding spitting, food or wardrobe sex.

The aged librarian repeats by heart the laws
before he falls
restlessly to sleep.

The Rule of the Circle,The Rule of the Game by
Geta Bratescu

Frank asks us to include descriptive details in the prompt at dVerse, and I thought that this would be the moment for me to describe the library a bit, and my choice was to describe it through its laws.

September 12, 2019

15 responses to “Library Laws

  1. You’re building a world with your library. Will these be in your book as parameters? I can see the value of such a thing. I like The Highlander Law of there can be only one librarian in the realm.

  2. Your aged librarian legacy continues to deepen, becoming a realm unto itself, like Narnia. You should be proud of your word-whelping.

  3. Excellent writing Björn — wonderful descriptors — “the laws are inked to memory and flesh”, fascinating.

  4. Even as recent as 50 years ago, many public libraries here had apartments–but they were for the janitors and their families, not the librarians. Every profession has its secret rules, known only to practitioners though–you’ve got that just right. (K)

  5. My daughter just posted on Facebook photos of the Long Room at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, with its soaring ceiling and thousands of antique books, so your write strikes a cord with me. Very creative laws!

  6. The embodiment of process, I enjoy your creative thought Bjorn, I’ve spent many hours in libraries and this rings true but it also raised a smile.

  7. These sound more like laws than rules, it sounds that the place may break if they are violated. Like a the laws that govern the heart are vital, the rules that govern it are only within the parameters of manners. Rules won’t break a heart, laws will, like when it meets another, one of them has to leave…
    I guess a physicist would be able to tell the difference, as yo seem to. loving this world.

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