Day 9 Camp NaNoWriMo: A Library Poem

In addition to writing, I work at a fantastic public library. It’s been on my mind a lot lately, as most library districts (including mine) have been temporarily closed to do our part to fight COVID-19. And thus, a library poem for Day 9 of my month-long poetry challenge!


Notes from a Library Employee

a poem by Lauren Hallstrom


It’s been 33 days and I think I’m going through library withdrawal.

My hands are itching to straighten shelves

and type out search terms.

I have taken to organizing my pantry in alphabetical order.

Yes, it has gotten so bad that I have given each room in my house

a Dewey Decimal name—

the kitchen is 641.5 and the study is 005

and the backyard can be 919.69 if I want it to be.


At work, I could always look forward to

watching kids build towers out of magnets

and strangers bond over Where the Crawdads Sing.

I could collect a thousand little pieces of conversation

about what makes people unique.

Now I am at home, learning how to wait

and hope.


I heard that neighbors have been delivering groceries,

and if you look outside, you’ll see

people encouraging each other with sidewalk chalk.

There is a boy who crossed out the sign on his lemonade stand

and turned it into “Free Waves.”

I am discovering a million different ways we still find joy.


When it is time to return to our jobs

and welcome back a community

that is still hurting and healing,

let us keep creating our rainbows.

Let us walk through the doors and carry with us

the joy we found in unexpected places.

Let that be, more than anything,

the thing that spreads

on and on and on.



Published by laurenhallstrom

Lauren is the author of two CIPA EVVY award-winning novels, both written when she was a teen. She writes contemporary fantasy for tweens and young adults. She holds an undergraduate degree in English at Colorado State University and currently works in a public library. More often than not you can find her there - promoting lifelong learning, staring off into space, and dreaming up new stories.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: