Were we all in the library?

Posted on August 15, 2011

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had several different conversations with several different people, which have all, for one reason or another, wandered back to our high school days. These high school days all took place at different high schools, at different times.

But we all had one thing in common.

“I spent a lot of time in the library in my high school years,” confided my bubbly friend N over a cup of Nescafe on the weekend.

“Well, I hid in the library a fair bit,” said my outgoing friend M over a glass of red a few weeks ago.

“You spent year 8 in the library, didn’t you Al?” said my all-knowing friend A, on the phone.

Choose any night on Twitter and someone is using their 140 characters to confess their misspent youth with the Dewey Decimal System. These are bright, funny people. Very good in writing. Those hours of isolation amongst the dusty shelves have stood them in good stead.

I have just one question. If we were all in the library, who was in the playground? Surely someone was out there, living the dream, being the Cool Kids.

Was it you?

‘Fess up. Did you spend your high school years in the library or, er, smoking behind the bike sheds?

[image: Tumblr.com]


  1. blonde girl

    i was definitley a library kid. even when out of school my room was like my library. not anymore though!


  2. Thea

    I can still see the library vividly…and I haven’t been there for 26 years so I guess I spent a fair bit of time there. I even dropped a subject so I could spend more time in the…you guessed it…library!

  3. Lina@MothersLoveLetters

    Gotta admit, I was so NOT in the library. I hated the library! I was a playground kid… 🙂

  4. Erin

    Definitely the library here:) I so wonder what happened to all those old treasures I loved, I bet the school has tossed them as libraries seem to be on a ‘new books only binge’ of late, throw the old. grrr. (Did you know that the NSW libraries policy is at present to toss books older than 10 years!)

    anyhow looks like lots of ‘birds of a feather’ are ‘flocking here together’:) A library lover, that’s why I love your blog.

  5. Donna

    I was one of those terrible people who preferred the library but often succumbed to the pressure of the other alternative. Though books ALWAYS came before sports. Netball and the like made me run for my books faster than I dared in any PE class.

  6. Jo

    In the dance studio. Complete bun-head. And in my last year of highschool this blinkered focus somehow led me to the edges of the ‘under-the-locker’ cool crew. Must’ve been the mysterious librarian-associated myth of the wild one waiting and restless under the bun 😉

  7. MummyK

    Sometimes at the library — but only to stalk my crush.

  8. Nurture the Little People

    For 3 years, my form room was at the library. Which was awesome because I always had unlimited books to read, and made me feel a bit like I was In the Breakfast Club or something. I did spend a fair amount of time in years 10 and 11 at the library avoiding those cool kids and mean girls!


  9. Joni Llanora

    Great insight! Me in the library too having a giggle with friends reading the Laughter is the best medicine section of the latest Reader’s Digest.

  10. the rhythm method

    I wish I was in the library! Maybe I would have a writing career now if I hadn’t spent all those days lusting after boys and being bored out of my brain. When I got to year 11, I spent all of my time in the senior art room. It was my library. It was like a second home.

  11. Kate Sins

    Hmm, the library, where was that? I was one of the smokers but for us it was down the back lane… Looking back I wish I’d spent more time in the library! It would’ve been healthier and I might’ve met some nice people. Ah, so glad not to be a teenager any more!!

  12. Rhonda

    in high school I was probably not even at school, most likely I was skipping (possibly reading somewhere else) although I was a cheerleader for a year, and I did sports a lot, but never team sports…hmmm does not play well with others?

  13. InkPaperPen

    I spent most of year 10 and year 11in the library. I liked being in there. But at the time, I did think I was cool for rebelling against the Cool Kids. Though the Cool Kids were far too busy smoking by the bike sheds to notice I was rebelling against them…


  14. InkPaperPen

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. deer baby

    Smoking on the cricket field.

  16. hearts_in_asia

    Oh yes, I’m afraid so! But, I recently realised that probably during all that time in highschool that I spent feeling isolated, I was surrounded by people who felt just as alone as I did. If only we’d all gotton together, the cool people would have been outnumbered 10:1.

  17. Susan @ Reading Upside Down

    I was definitely in the library. If you met me in person, you would be able to guess this about me. Surprisingly, I was hanging out there with Meredityh from Oh, The thinks you can think (@thinkthinkers) who now tries to play down her high school library connections. 🙂

    I was waiting in the library last week for a writing class I am working with to meet me. My son was running late. I asked the librarian if she knew where he was and her reply was ‘not sure, but if you wait here until lunchtime you’ll definitely be able to catch up with him’. Looks like we have another generation of library lurkers in the family.

    PS the library kids ARE the cool kids. it’s just that the other kids don’t realise it. 🙂

  18. tinsenpup

    Library. I think in retrospect, it was actually the cool kids hanging out in the library. At least I think that those who didn’t quite fit in in high school have turned out to be the coolest grown ups.

  19. Chantel

    Library for me! Books were my main companions for a while, but then mum became school librarian, so I migrated to the computer science lab – still very daggy!!!!

  20. Diminishing Lucy

    Oh goddess, I wish I had been in the library.

    As you posed your question, I seriously had to wrack my brains to think where on earth the library was situated in my high school.

    I am not sure where I was? Smoking in the toilets probably.

    Rehersing for the school play?

    Pontificating on and on and on in the debating society?

    Hockey practice?

    It’s all a blur.

    I was so not a cool kid. I had no idea at all…

  21. Maxabella

    I wasn’t in the library, but I wasn’t behind the bike sheds either (that came later). I confess I was doing something far less cool than either of these things – I was (gulp) blending in. Blending in with the types you never hear from after high school because they have neither the scholastics nor the gumption to ever really do anything… They graduate and then they blend into the walls at the local council and the hairdressers. Thank god I found the library (and the bike sheds!) eventually!!!! x

  22. Sarah

    The library. Mainly because I would leave my Lit essays to the period before lunch and have to finish them in time. See? Nerdy and disorganised!

  23. Jodi @ The Scribble Den

    I was in the drama room. Just like the library, only louder 🙂

  24. Cate

    Well I wasn’t one of the cool kids, but I was one of the sporty ones – definitely not in the library. Aths team, x-country team, swim team, soccer team, tennis team, hockey team, netball team, lunchtime aerobics…I think that was all? Too long ago 🙂

  25. Cath

    About 1/2 Library and 1/2 Careers Room, as we could talk there. Our own little outsiders club, complete with comfy couches and coffee.

  26. Janet

    Library always. Writing poetry and thinking up eays to change the world. Nowhere near as cutting edge as my sister who was laughing so hard in a class music lesson, she fell out the window into the rose garden.

  27. Mrs Catch

    Loved the library. Still do. Now I hide from my kids…

  28. Lady Estrogen

    And P.S.

    When I went to school in Melbourne, it was the middle of the cricket pitch – if you were ‘anyone’, that’s where you’d be. HAHA

  29. Lady Estrogen

    I was a 1/2 and 1/2 girl.

    I loved spending time in the library but then I’d go smoke out behind the trees for about 10min before lunch was over.

    I think sitting around doing nothing but being ‘cool’ bored me a little – I thought 10min of coolness was enough for me.

  30. KC

    Library for me!

  31. Amanda Kendle

    Definitely in the library, I’m afraid.

    The closest I got to smoking behind the bike sheds was hiding in piano rooms during our religious education lessons.

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