Ongoing History: Research

Shortly after three o’clock on Saturday, a woman in her early twenties waited at one of the long tables in the second floor reference room of the library. She wore a beige sweater and blue jeans and a red scarf that she unraveled and set on the table, next to a large purse, a composition book and a cell phone. Eventually, two librarians brought over six bound volumes of Glamour magazine. Then, one of the librarians returned carrying a seventh volume and said, “That’s all of them.” The young woman spent the next half hour flipping through the volumes, taking cell phone pictures of various cover models.

Downstairs, a man giving a presentation on urban chicken farming said, “Well, the way I was told to handle it is you grab its legs with one hand, its wings with the other and slam its head down on the table. That stops the cycle cold. You can always make another,” and his colleague placed her hands on her cheeks in semi-mock horror at the half-serious joke. Someone in the audience pointed to the three chickens sitting inside the cages by the new non-fiction shelf and asked, “Are those there for eating or just for eggs?”

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