Submitter: This gem is still on-shelf at [University], where I attended library school. The writing is pretty good overall, but it was the text on page 16 that first had me howling — the kids at the library each *happen* to come across a wonderful book that just *happens* to be written by Sarah Splaver. What a coincidence!
The fact that the tech services librarians have personalities that are “quite different” from the public service staff — such as the “pleasant, enthusiastic” children’s librarian — made me imagine surly catalogers and scowling acquisitions staff hiding out in the back offices.
I was happy to see diversity in the images of this book! Given that it was published in 1967, I wasn’t expecting that. On the other hand, the chapter “Were Men Meant for Librarianship” emphasizes that men are especially wanted for TOP JOBS and administrative positions. ‘Cause none of the ladies are best suited for that, apparently.
The photograph that had me gaping in disbelief was the one featuring the music librarian… as she helps a patron who has a pipe in his mouth!
Holly: The kids in these pictures are about to retire from their librarian careers!
Not too long ago, a library student asked me about my job. I am closing in on my 20th year of library service and both Holly and I have done tasks along the entire library spectrum, from shelving to hiring and firing. For a long time, I thought it was personality or training that made one successful in library service. Of course this is true to a certain extent, but I really think the test of staying power is the ability to roll with the changes and absurdity of this career.
Library school students: regardless of your fabulous portfolio, your success in library work will be more about your ability to manage that illusive “other duties as assigned” part of any job. Both Holly and I are here to tell you that whenever you think you have actually heard it all or seen it all, you will most likely be facing something wholly unbelievable before the day is out. At the same time, your job will require you to answer the same questions over and over, and you have to make it look like it isn’t making you crazy. Holly and I have helpfully compiled a list of those duties that just don’t quite make it into those job descriptions. I do not think our list is even that unusual for public librarians as I have heard similar tales from my professional cohorts. So newbies, as you contemplate your future career goals, consider the following “extra” duties in library jobs. For you library veterans, make sure you include these skills on your next performance review or resume.
Please share your own special “other duties as assigned” in the comments.
Peace, Love, and Stable Library Funding in 2018,
PS. Stay tuned for our Best of 2017 list coming soon!
The Deputy’s Perfect Match
I have been on a romance binge for the last year or so. Lately, I prefer the contemporary/HEA kind, provided I don’t hate the protagonist or think he/she is particularly stupid. I am also partial to librarians as main characters. So in honor of National Library Week, I am going to share a librarian romance off my TBR pile. As this one was just released, I am only about 25% in. So far, I am annoyed at our librarian who gets a bit snippy about our romantic lead’s inquiry about getting a library card. (It sounded a bit judgmental.) She does lighten up as the story progresses. I do love the set up of the deputy “investigating” our intrepid librarian by attending a Jane Austen book club. So far, the public library setting is pretty perfect, but hey, it’s a romance and fiction, so all the patrons are very well behaved and no one is too weird….yet. I am sure my romance patrons that like a more gentle tone in their fiction will probably love it.
Happy National Library Week,