Library Help Hinges on Baseball NLCS

Library Help Hinges on Baseball NLCS

October 16, 2015 | Library News

QUICK UPDATE — The Mets are going to the World Series, Scott won the bet, and Tim will be shelving books at an APL branch in the near future!

Either the Albany Public Library or the Guilderland Public Library will soon have an extraordinarily over-qualified library volunteer shelving books … and which library gets the help hinges on the outcome of Baseball’s National League Championship Series that is pitting the New York Mets against the Chicago Cubs.

The potential volunteers in question are Albany Public Library’s director Scott Jarzombek — a self-confessed rabid fan of the Mets — and the Guilderland Public Library’s director Tim Wiles, who grew up in Illinois, and is a long-suffering fan of the Chicago Cubs.

They are each avid fans (short for “fanatics”) of their respective teams, so when it became Mets v. Cubs, a wager was made: The losing director will spend a day shelving books at the winner’s library.

“We have a number of branch libraries that Tim can choose from,” Jarzombek said. “He can shelve here at the Washington Avenue Branch in downtown Albany, or he can go to any of the branches in the more suburban parts of town, if he’s more comfortable there. After all, he was raised in the Midwest. Besides, I always thought the GPL mascot was a goat.”

Wiles, for his part, is looking forward to seeing if Jarzombek can still master the intricacies of shelving using the Dewey Decimal System, and is confident of a Chicago victory. “It will be hard fought, but clearly, the law of large numbers is on the Cubs’ side. Really, the last time the Cubs won the World Series was in 1908, when the Ottoman Empire still existed, so the Cubs are OVERDUE!” The last time the Cubs won the National League pennant was a bit more recent: 1945.

Before coming to GPL as director, Wiles was in charge of research for the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. His response when asked when the Mets last won the National League championship was “2000.” The World Series? A somewhat subdued “1986.”

So we have two baseball-loving library directors on opposite sides of this league championship series. It’s nothing for Jarzombek to zip down to Citi Field in Queens to take in a Mets game, and while Wiles is far away from his beloved Cubs, he slakes his baseball thirst by regularly taking in TriCity Valley Cats games. “Baseball is baseball, man; doesn’t matter where you see it,” he explained.

Asked separately who they would like to see their team face in the World Series – either the Toronto Blue Jays or the Kansas City Royals — their answers reflected a geographic bias: “Kansas City,” replied Wiles. “Oh, the Mets are going to kick Toronto back over the border,” answered Jarzombek.

We’ll see.

Stephanie Simon

Stephanie Simon is manager of APL's Communication and Creative Services Department, which provides content and information for the library's website, social media, publications, videos, podcasts, and other outlets. Stephanie also manages APL's public relations and marketing efforts.