I Want To Be A Librarian


Awful Library Books are books currently on library shelves that

are so old, obsolete, awful or just plain stupid that we are horrified that people might be actually checking these items out and depending on the information.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be a librarian, I’m a librarian… I want to be a librarian, but this book is so out of date…

Today at work, a woman came in. She’s going to library school and had an assignment: Interview a librarian in the job she wants to find out what they actually do. I can’t remember whether I had this assignment in library school, but she’s not the first library student to interview me.

My primary job responsibility is the reference desk. I work at a public library and of all the libraries in the city of Minneapolis we have the most diverse customers. I didn’t realize this until I went to library school, but anyone can go up and ask the reference librarian anything they want and the librarian will try to find an answer. So in a typical day I’ll have a 10 year old wanting something new to read, followed by a retired University professor wanting me to track down some article he read “it could have been in the New York Times”, followed by a person who speaks very little English looking for free computer classes….

At the same time, I am responsible for the adult and teen collections: pulling those out of date books from the shelves, making sure we have books in the subjects in demand, tracking down books that may or may not be missing, and reviewing books that are returned damaged. Our library can only submit 3 subject requests a month, and I try to limit myself to 15 title requests per week.

I also have programming and outreach responsibilities. This week and next I’m teaching 8-12 year olds Scratch, a very cool program designed by MIT. Next week I also have my 2nd booktalks to residents of local care centers.

I’m also in charge of our volunteers (who I so appreciate!) and have to make sure our 10 laptop computers are kept in working order. Since the county is short of money we’re short staffed. If the person in charge of the Walker Web Page, booking the meeting rooms, keeping the book display current or doing storytime is gone I’ll be doing that too.

The 5 hours, 4 days a week fly by pretty quick. I do love my job, but I think the woman who came in today will probably be looking at other career options.

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