Last week, I had the privilege of going on the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies(FABS) annual tour. For anyone who doesn’t know, an American Bibliophilic Society is just what it sounds like: a society for bibliophiles. There are many, many groups around the country, and some of them are allowed to also be a part of the Fellowship, and, if they want, go on this annual tour.
The annual tour is in a different location every year, and it consists of about 4 days of tours of libraries, private collector’s homes, printers– everything related to books that they can cram into the allotted time. The tour is also a rather expensive excursion even without factoring in airfare, room, and board, but we had a large group of very enthusiastic people.
Day three was the day that I got to enjoy, because it was in Providence. Technically, my role was as “getaway driver” i.e. if someone falls down (which was a legitimate concern cause some of these people were seriously old), or simply cannot continue on with the tour that day– it is my job to transport them back to the hotel.
Thankfully, my services were not needed and I got to enjoy the whole tour plus lunch and late afternoon snack with champagne. I was worried that lunch would be a bit awkward since I really didn’t know any of these people, and I thought they might be somewhat snobby. On the contrary, most of them were completely fascinated with the fact that there was a “young person” on the tour and kept pelting me with questions about my hopes and dreams.
At lunch, I sat next to a rather chatty Lebanese woman who remarked “I spoke to your boss about you, she says you are very good with technology. Is that true?”
“I suppose so.” I replied.
“Tell me what you know about technology.” she demanded, and the waited for me to tell her.
I managed to side-step actually listing off programs I’m familiar with, and opted instead to blame my facility with gadgets on “being of a certain generation.”
The following day, I had to work and it was the symposium portion of the tour that consisted of three hours of lectures, briefly interrupted by pastry and coffee. I got to work early to find my boss in a state of panic. Apparently, the laptop and the projector were not communicating with one another putting a serious crimp in the power-point presentations. Never having used this projector before, I was at a bit of a loss, but I gamely pushed buttons and sighed heavily. Nothing worked, and our tech services librarian had no clue either.
Finally, I pulled out the manual, figured out that we needed to hit fn+F5, and saved the day. The rest of the presentations went well, and afterward, when I was sneaking my coffee and pastry another woman came up to me and said “Excellent work with fixing the computer. You must be pretty good at stuff like that.”