have a confession - I didn't always want to be Librarian. When I was going to "library school," I would often hear other students say they wanted to be a librarian because they loved books. Fact is, I became a librarian because first, I really dig doing legal research and second, I find pleasure helping people. Turns out, I've done better than I expected because as a Law Librarian I am often treated like a priest in that people often confess their, uh...conduct (or misconduct, so to speak). Maybe it's the fact that I wear a suit to work or it's my dashing selection of bow ties. Whatever the reason, I've heard it all (or, a good deal of it, anyway).
Some stories are sad, others not so much. One I heard this last Friday was related to me by two desperate parents. It seems that they are parents of a young rapscallion of tender years who knew how to get under his neighbor's skin. I mean he actually took pleasure driving people mad. So much so that it was not infrequently that the neighbors felt compelled to complaint to his parents about his daily shenanigans. Let's see, there was the daily tormenting of the neighbor's cats, over turning trash cans on trash day, tramping through prized flower gardens, tossing rocks in neighbor pools, throwing tomatoes at passing neighbor cars - the list just went on and on and on and....
Seems his parents realized that no amount of "punishment" would ever completely erase their child's "need" to cause discomfort to others so, with an eye toward the anticipation of future litigation, they visited their local county law library. I felt their pain and, recognizing their sense for haste, led them over to a few resources that might help them in their hour of need. For those actions involving civil actions (such as negligence or intentional torts), I suggested they look at California Civil Practice: Torts (West) and The Law of Torts: Examples and Explanations (Aspen). For the eventual issues dealing with possible incarceration, I suggested they take a look at the Bible of criminal law, California Criminal Law (CEB) and Criminal Defense Techniques (Lexis).
Confessionals are never pleasant but as long as there is conflict in this world, I suspect there will always be a need for shoulders to cry on. As it turns out, mine is just as good as any man of the cloth.