Stories from the Stacks: A 10am Closure?

The Drum

The Drum

Today’s post comes from one of our community members Adetoun Oyelude in Nigeria. Thank you for sharing Adetoun:

Last year, I lived in a location very far away from work and therefore needed to get up very early in the day, leave home at 6 am to be able to get to work by 8am. This was due to heavy traffic situations along the route I took to work. This morning, I could only leave at 6.30am and that meant I would get to work about 9am! Anyway, I proceeded only to get a phone call from a junior colleague just as I was driving into campus, asking me if I had heard that the library was being shut down. It was not a holiday, and there had been no emergency the previous day so I told her to hold on, I would soon be in the office.

On getting to the library, the porters on duty told me that they had been instructed by the University Librarian to beat the drum at 9.30am so as to close the library at 10am for everybody to go home. The drum beating is our indigenous way of signaling that the library would be closed in half an hour, and everyone should start preparing for closing. This drumbeat is heard on all four floors of the library and the basement. I got to my Section and found only two of my eight staff preparing to leave. The others had gone back home already, and were busy calling others on their way to tell them the library was being closed.

In a short while, even those to be on afternoon duty were being told to stay back home. I could not stomach driving all the way back home through traffic without knowing why and therefore called our University Librarian who I was informed had had gone for a meeting. I called him all the same to find out what the emergency was about, only to be told that he gave no such instruction! I was told to keep the library open.

This was so strange. Almost all the staff that had arrived had been turned back even some of my senior colleagues had gone back without question! In an hour, my boss was back from the meeting and he said what he told them was that there would be no overnight library services for the rest of the week and they were to remember to beat the drum at 9.30pm so the library could be closed at 10pm! Needless to say, the library was sparsely staffed that day, but it taught a few a lesson – Always find out properly before taking action. I had been so sure that the library would not be closed for flimsy reasons and refused to go back until I got clarity from the University Librarian.

What a day! I cannot describe how I felt not really knowing why a 10am closure was necessary!!

Posted in Discussion topics, Round 3 and tagged , , .


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