Actually I'm willing to bet at least one of you doesn't believe Librarians or are libraries are a "real thing" anymore. Though if you follow that school of thought, just hang out in my library for a day. We're young, we're fun and though we may wear a cardigan or two, we don't smell like mothballs or wear buns.
I promise I'll never *shush* you.
There's not much I can do in a short little blog post to describe to you exactly what I do every day. Or how much my job is community development or just how much we impact neighborhoods and help people access information. It's actually probably not what you'd want to read about anyway.
So tonight's list is just a collection of things I've done in my 3 + years working in libraries. Some are things I won't ever forget, others are the mundane type. The library equivalent of sending memos or talking at the water cooler (do people do those things at real office jobs? I have no idea). I won't say which tasks I found good/bad/hilarious/sad. You can just choose for yourself.
- I once had to explain to a man why we couldn't add his fines just on to his federal/state taxes at the end of the year.
- I have helped numerous people write on walls/post photos on Facebook.
- I once helped an older woman who fled from Nazi Germany as a young girl, locate a book her grandfather wrote that was taught in schools under Hitler's regime. It's currently in the National Library of Germany & the NY Public Library. And we also found a copy for her to buy.
- I've sat with an old man as he cried about the wife who left him & helped him find lyrics to songs long forgotten but always remembered.
- I've been called a "B*tch" and "Mean Librarian" in front of preschoolers over fines.
- I once got asked out on a date after breaking the ice by the ever popular "Do you know the recycling schedule for this town?"
- I regularly lead one-on-one lessons on how to use eReaders.
- I have located books based on the following descriptions: "It's green and about Albert Einstein," "It has an apple on the front of it," "Jesus talks to someone in a shed," "It's about the Amish & there is a field on it," and so many more misspellings, wrong authors, crossed plots & paperback confusion.
- Have had to remind patrons of our Internet usage policy as they browsed less than reputable sites & *sometimes* took pictures with their cell phones.
- I've laughed with children as they talk about their favorite books & call me "teacher" during Story Time over & over again.
- The number of times I have answered the following questions are endless: where is the bathroom, what is my email password, why won't my books renew, how do I order something from Amazon, can you explain Craigslist, do you have tax forms, can you edit my resume, show me how to remove double spacing, why is the Internet slow, etc., etc., etc.
And in the end, I love my job so. very. much. Questions for the librarian? Leave them in the comments!