Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Myths about libraries and librarians

It's National Library Week, which is the kind of holiday I can get behind. Sure, there are lots of days out there honoring different foods, pets, and siblings, but a whole week of celebrating libraries is pretty awesome.

I love books, and I'm a writer, so that makes sense. Remember, of my two side gigs is at a library. I'm technically a circulation clerk, but I like to call myself a part-time librarian. Since I started my job there, I've had a lot of people make generalizations and false comments about libraries and librarians. I figured today was a good day to debunk three of them.

Myth #1: No one goes to the library anymore.
My library is very busy -- particularly in the summer months when we have summer reading programs going on. There have been many days when more than 1K books circulated in and out of the building. Youth are probably our biggest demographic, but I see all ages there on any given day.
This is what the overnight dropbox looks like on any Sunday. It usually fills at least one cart.

Myth #2: You must get so much reading done at work.
Apparently, people picture me sitting with an open book and my feet up during my shift. I wish. I stay plenty busy assisting patrons with checking in and checking out materials. The only reading I do is spine labels.

Myth #3: Everyone uses e-readers now instead of reading real books.
There are still people who prefer a physical book over a digital one. And plenty of individuals who like to "rent" books instead of filling their bookshelves at home (or maybe they do both). Plus, the library has more than books.  My library, in particular, also has movies, video games, puppets, learning tools (a globe, a brain model, a geocache GPS device, etc.), and even cake pans and candy molds.
Here are just a few of the items available for checkout at my library.

Myth #4: Librarians wear glasses and cardigans.
Hmm. This one is half-true for me. I don't wear glasses (and haven't had any form of vision correction since I was 20), but my cardigan collection has grown since I began my employment at the library. So ... maybe we're on to something here. 

Do you have a library card? (I'll try not to be offended if you say "no.)
What is your favorite use for the library?


  1. Getting a library card was a top priority when I first moved into my apartment, but I'll admit it's because I was low on cash and still wanted to keep up with reading. I still utilize my library regularly, and prefer physical books to e-books, but sometimes e-books are just easier to get a hold of! I think my favorite use for mine though is the collection of books for sale. 25 cents for a hardcover? Take my money! If I don't like the book or don't want to keep it, I swap it on paperbackswap. Love these debunked myths!

  2. I actually have two library cards! One for the library a few blocks from where I live and one in a neighboring town that's much larger! I SHOULD go to the library more (because I'm running out of room to store books!), but I do love keeping copies of books I enjoy. I also do not always have time to read a book within the time limit! But I really should check out more books during the summer!

  3. My library card expired from lack of use. I have gotten so lazy about reading and own so many books I need to read. I need to get back to the library, though.

  4. I see "Oh the places you'll go" in that pile! My favorite!


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