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Bleak Outlook?

I’ve worked for libraries since my senior year of undergrad, when I needed a break from all the retail work I had been doing and was looking for some extra cash while I figured out what to do next.  It was not meant to become a career.  In fact, I had solid plans to get into publishing, move to a bigger city, maybe even write a book or two.  Instead, I fell in love with the one job I never thought I would.

I started out as a Page (aka book-shelver).  The library I started at was amazing and let me do so much more:  helping out with programs, working the Children’s Reference Desk, circulation.  That job changed my life.  I changed my plans for grad school and enrolled in library school for my MLIS.  I moved up to the Acquisitions Dept. at work.  And I became a Young Adult Services Librarian and never looked back.

Well, that was over six years ago and times have changed.  I LOVE being a Young Adult Librarian!  I get to plan programs around popular teen fiction like the Hunger Games (I have a busy month ahead of me!), arrange college fairs with all of the local colleges and universities, and get to know the teens in my community which honestly, is the best part of my job!

Change is coming though, and sadly not in my favor I feel.  Libraries across the country are having to cut back on personnel and services due to budget cuts.  I’ve been very lucky because my library has not been greatly affected by this…yet.  However, I feel my job is no longer safe.

While I love ebooks and all eMedia I can see the effects they are having on my small library.  They are great and the wave of the future and all that but nobody is looking into the fact that they TAKE PEOPLE OUT OF THE LIBRARY!  I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with customers where after I have just taught them 1.) how to use the eReader device they have just purchased and 2.) how to download library books to this device, they end the conversation with, “I don’t have to come to the library again!”  You’re welcome!

Programs are being cutback in favor of more traditional reference services, services not being asked for by customers who have no reason to go into the library anymore.

Ok, now I realize that I sound like I’m saying libraries are dead.  I don’t believe so.  I think if we take the right steps (which sadly I don’t see very many libraries across the country doing) we could change this, we could survive!  We need to change tactics though, something many of the more traditionally minded in our profession shy away from.  We need to change our focus.  If more of our services are going online and digital where people no longer need to step foot inside the building than we need to give them a reason to come back to the library!

NPR did this fantastic story on the Providence Athenaeum library.  This library is a cultural center for its community.  Shouldn’t all libraries be that for their communities?  We state that we provide information for all, than we need to be doing just that!  Bring programs and exhibits and displays in to our libraries from all over the world and show our communities something they have never seen before (especially to those who would never have the chance to see it).

But the programs and displays are just the first step!  Where libraries really need to start putting their money is advertisement!  We NEVER advertise except for word of mouth, a few colorful fliers, maybe a radio ad.  We need to change this immediately!  We’ve lost touch with the world because they don’t know what we offer.  Potential customers have no idea the services we offer such as databases, DVDs, music, cultural programs, job search assistance, homework help, etc.  The list goes on and on.  And these potential customers will never know unless they step foot inside a library, which they won’t.  That’s why libraries need to advertise!  Make the library cool again!  I cannot believe in a society where “retro” is in and hipsters walk the streets that libraries are struggling to stay open!  WE NEED TO CHANGE THIS PEOPLE!!!

In conclusion, I love my job and I would love to be working in libraries for the rest of my life!  It’s ironic that it’s a career I sort of fell into and now it’s the only thing I want to do.

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The Librarian

The Librarian

#ilovemyjob La Dolce Vita!

Yes, I know this isn't from the movie La Dolce Vita but I liked this image better!

So my coworker and I have decided to learn Italian. With all the resources we have, not to mention an Italian coworker who will be helping us along, this will be a breeze!

 

Check out what your local library has to offer!

Today I helped a very kind 92-year-old man figure out the complexities of eMedia and how he should go about downloading books to his Kindle.

Just another day in the life of a librarian! 

 

eMedia Madness!!!

 

Check out some ebooks at your local library!

So every morning when I get to work I have to go through our shelves and pull the materials that people request online from our catalog.  I love this part of my day because I get to go through our collection and see all the great materials we have.  I also get to see what people are checking out.

Here are some interesting finds from this morning:

This one just looks like a fun read!

and

I never got to watch it when it was on but I've heard GREAT things!

 

I love my job because I’m surrounded by all this knowledge.  Whatever I feel like exploring that day I can find on our shelves.  You gotta love the library for that!

Explore the knowledge at your local library today!!!

Because I’m needing some positivity in my life at the moment, I have decided to create a series of posts involving reasons why I love my job!

Day 1:  Learning to Juggle

One reason I love my job is I get to learn something new everyday.  Today I had a program for my teens where a professional juggler came in and taught us how to juggle. 

Just another day on the job for a teen librarian!

And no, we didn't juggle knives!

Check out what’s happening at your local library today!

Just a Day in the Life

A conversation between my brother and I via text messages while watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone:

Me:  Oliver Wood… Where the hell did that guy go?  He was all Scottish and fantastic!

George:  And he could catch bludgeons… WITH HIS BARE HANDS!!!

Me:  Bet he could take down dragons too!  Maybe he later went on to star in How to Train Your Dragon?

George:  You’re right!  He kinda resembles the guy in the beginning, “AAAA!!!  Mornin!”