Last Saturday when I went to the archives library I made several mistakes.
In transcribing an obituary from a 1950s newspaper I had my pad of paper on top of the newspaper as I wrote. The young librarian sweetly cautioned me that the papers were old and that I shouldn't put anything on top of them.
I then asked about whether I could use a camera. I was given a sheet of instructions with a space to sign at the bottom and I retrieved my camera from the locker. When I turned it on to photograph a death notice in the same newspaper I forgot to switch the camera from its automatic lighting position to no flash. I was sweetly reminded by the same librarian that no flash was allowed.
When I went back this week the same sweet librarian was at the counter. Thinking that she probably recognized me and remembered my mistakes from last week, I told her that I hoped to "stay out of trouble" this week. She sweetly and smilingly said, "Oh, I'm sure we'll have to remind you about several things this week, too."
I was positive I would do better. She seemed just as positive -- in a negative sort of way -- that I wouldn't.
When I next go I will either stay away from that librarian or hope that it's been long enough between visits that she's forgotten me. (And I suppose I should review a list of dos and don'ts for public archival material.)