The Interlibrary Loan

The Interlibrary Loan


Today, I was checking in an interlibrary loan. (For those of you not up with “library lingo” this is a book we’ve borrowed from another library system.) This is not unusual, it happens on most days, but something was different about this one. I looked at it, and it looked familiar, not the book itself, but the markings. There was nothing particularly distinctive about the book. It was a commentary of the book of Exodus and looked old and worn. It was stamped and marked with “Zondervan Library.” At first, I thought I was mistaken, seeing things, but there it was. The book I held in my hands came all the way from Taylor University, Upland, IN where I went to school for two and a half years.

All at once, I could picture Zondervan Library (where I worked for part of my time at Taylor): the Bell Tower next to it, the brick of the exterior, the arrangement of the stacks, reference desk and offices, the study rooms I had to kick people out of when they were being disruptive, the children’s area where I spent as much time as I could.

I thought about the seniors I knew who had gone to the library, taken a book and written their names in it, just so that they wouldn’t ever leave the school.

I couldn’t help it: before I scanned the book, I opened it to a carefully chosen page, made a small mark on it and sent it on it’s way back to Indiana. Maybe someday I’ll go back there, find that book and look for the mark I made. As much as I’m glad to be done with school and on to the next phase of my life, I am still capable of a little nostalgia about that place. What an unexpected intersection of two parts of my ever-changing life!