Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What I've learned working at a library

As I might have mentioned in this space a time or two, I took a part-time job a few months ago. I started looking at my budget and realized I could really use some extra cash.  I scoured Craigslist and a few other sites for part-time opportunities, but it was tough.

There were reasons for that. I needed something that would fit in with my full-time job schedule.  I wasn't willing to give up all of my evenings and weekends.  And, to be honest, I wanted to find something I would enjoy.  I know that's a lot to ask in a part-time job, but somehow I found it all.

A kind friend suggested I look at library jobs. I've been an avid reader for as long as I can remember and I love books.  It sounded like a great fit.  As luck would have it, there was a part-time opening in one of the metro libraries and the person doing the hiring was someone I knew from a previous job.  Although I was certainly qualified for the job, I think it helped that I knew the person taking the applications.

I was very promptly hired as a part-time circulation clerk and was promised six hours a week with the option to pick up more hours as available.  And believe me, I've taken advantage of that "option" every chance I've gotten.

My library job is everything I wanted in a part-time gig and more.  It's a much-needed departure from my day job, and I love being around books and people who enjoy books.

I've only been in the job for a little more than two months, but I've already learned so much about the library business and trends.  I thought I'd share a few of those tidbits.

:: People do not have any respect for library materials.
[source]
Books get worn and sometimes a bit of water damage. That's nothing.  Movies and CDs usually bear the worst damage -- full of scratches and often covered in mysterious stuff that I don't even want to begin to identify.

++++

:: Graphic novels are a huge deal. And you read them backwards.
[source]
I had no idea how popular graphic novels were.  I'm so intrigued by them.  Some of them have some great artwork and intriguing titles, but I haven't bit into them just yet.

+++++

:: "Classics" from my childhood are still somewhat popular.
[source]
 I smile a little whenever I see a Baby-Sitters Club, American Girl, or Judy Blume book cross the circulation desk.   I haven't seen any Sweet Valley High books.  I'm not even sure we carry those.

+++++

:: There is a graphic novel series where the hero is a lunch lady. Not kidding.
[source]
I was highly amused when I first saw this.  And every time I check them in or out, I can't help thinking about Adam Sandler's "Lunch Lady Land" song.

+++++

:: One of the most popular young adult series is about warrior cats.
According to Wikipedia, the series follows the adventures of four Clans of wild cats—ThunderClan, ShadowClan, WindClan, and RiverClan—in their forest and lake homes.

+++++

:: I am in the minority when it comes to library patrons.
[source]
The smallest demographic in library users is 20- and 30-somethings without children.  I don't know if that's because people my age don't do a lot of reading or if they're all using e-readers.  Either way, it makes me kind of sad.  

+++++

::  I will never run out of books I want to read.
Seriously. I constantly see books coming in and going out that I want to add to my to-read list.  It will never end.  And I regret nothing.


7 comments:

  1. I'm in the smallest minority too then! Which makes no sense. Chicago library is awesome. I can get all sorts of e-books and even check out free passes to go to all the museums. People who don't use the library are throwing money away.

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  2. Okay it sounds like you've found the holy grail of PT jobs girl! :) And omg The Baby-sitters Club!! Totally remember those books. I don't think there's anything better than getting paid to look after books all day. :D

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  3. I have a book from the library sitting on my nightstand right now. I haven't bought a book in ages (except for school) bc most of the time I can check them out at the library. And for a 25 cent fee, I can have them delivered to my local library so I don't have to make a trek. It's fabulous and such a great resource. I'm 30, no kids, and I had no clue we were in the minority of library users.

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  4. I will never run out of books to read either.

    This reminds me that I really need to get back to the library. I've had so many things on my shelves to read that I haven't been to the library in a really long time.

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  5. I used the library a lot when I lived in the US. I still do because my library lets me check out e-books, so I load them onto my kindle. Libraries are fabulous!

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  6. Some of my students are obsessed with those Warriors books! I think the appeal must be similar to the Redwall books that were popular when we were kids but I just can't wrap my head around the fact that the main characters are cats.

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  7. Great post! I love my library so much and got a volunteer position, but I was pregnant and suddenly put on bed rest. I'd love to get an actual job! Now we visit at least once a week, but usually twice. My kids love reading and I never want it to stop.

    I also seriously need to check out some BSC books for myself. :)

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