Plus, you know, the children's department is full of children...or demons parading as children. Some of the sounds they make, you never know.
Some of the children are okay, I guess, managing to find a book in there amidst the toys and the DVDs and the computers. I see them sometimes, quietly curled in an armchair, discovering the new worlds that can found by combining a book and their own imaginations. I've learned to recognize a blossoming reader - they are so often alone, their joy misunderstood. Their first venture out of the safety of the children's department and to the reference desk is frequently a stuttering, hesitant thing but I get giddy when I see them coming to my desk. I lead them into the vastness of the non-fiction section, explain the Dewey Decimal system, and then watch the realization dawn on their little faces.
"Wow. All these books?" they say.
"Yep. All these books," I answer, spreading my arms wide as if gifting them with the whole world. We're both grinning by the time I leave them alone in the stacks with all those books.
A new "for the children" federal law might ruin the magic, for all of us.