Monday, July 23, 2012

Life as a librarian

I'm linking up with Growing Up Geeky's Toddle Along Tuesday today and the topic today is occupations! As I've mentioned before, I am a librarian turned stay at home mom. I've written before about my adventures as a stay at home mom, but I haven't really touched on my career as a librarian so I thought I'd elaborate on that.

This is what most people think of when they think of a librarian:

On the opposite side, librarians tend to hear a lot about this "fantasy:"

In reality, most of us are pretty normal people. You won't see many buns or large glasses, although we do tend to be known for wearing comfortable shoes. If you haven't been to the library lately, it is probably completely different than the one you remember. Most libraries are ::gasp:: noisy, with cafes, kids areas, computers, amazing programs, and even video games to rent.  They are still great places to study and find your favorite books, but the stereotypical old librarian is gone. In fact, your local librarian is probably one of the most tech saavy, creative people you will ever meet.

Most of us wish that our jobs were like this:

Yes, I have watched all 3 of these movies.
While our day to day life isn't quite as exciting as that movie makes it out to be, I loved my job as a librarian!

I never thought about being a librarian growing up. I loved reading and always spent a great deal of time at the library, but I didn't actually get a job in one until I needed a work study job in college. I already spent a large part of my time in the library doing research, so the librarians knew me well and immediately offered me a job when I mentioned that I needed one.  I was majoring in history and thought at the time that I wanted to work in a historical museum of some sort. I actually applied to a museum studies Masters program at KU when I was a senior and got frustrated by their lack of communication and timeliness. I was venting about it to some of my coworkers and the librarian in charge at the time casually mentioned that I should conisder going to library school instead. I had never thought about it, but started doing some research on the job outlook and got very excited at the prospects. Plus, many museum archivists have both their Masters in Library Science and their Masters in History, so I thought at the time that library school would be purely a stepping stone into museum work and further schooling. I applied to the University of Missouri's Library Science program and was quickly accepted! I got a job after graduation at a local library branch as a full time desk clerk figuring that it would help me with my work in library school.

As I got into my job at the library, I discovered how much I loved it. Every single day was different. I got to help people find the info they needed and they were always so happy when we found just the right thing. I got to see all of the new books that came in (ie my must read list got extremely long!) and I never ran out of movies to watch. I got the opportunity to lead story times and both kids and adult programs. I saw amazing presenters and even got the chance to start a home school program at my branch that grew from only a few attendees to over 50 each session. I was on committees for the summer reading program and new graphic novels. Basically, my job was never boring.

When I graduated with my Masters in Library Science, I realized that I didn't want to work at a museum anymore, I loved where I was. Within several months, I got a promotion and became the assistant manager of a larger branch. I managed over 30 employees, set the daily schedule and dealt with any and all issues that came through. Again, my days were never the same and every day was challenging! I loved the variety and responsibility of the job and was sad to leave it when the time came.

I love being a stay at home mom, but when my kids go to school, I will most likely go back to being a librarian.

And no matter what my husband says, I very rarely ever said "shhhhhh!"

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  1. This is so interesting, thanks for sharing! I like to think of you as a naughty librarian, though ;)

  2. Libraries are really so great today. The really are little hubs for the community. I have so much respect for librarians, you guys are always so helpful, and I can't believe the information they know off the top of their heads.

  3. Can I just say I love this post?! I loved reading your perspective point of view about it. Amazing!

  4. A librarian sounds like a pretty awesome job! I've often wondered how some older employees keep up with the changing technology. I know there are lots of debates among the library crowd about the introduction of e-books and what not (at least around here).

    1. Our library system provided a ton of training in technology, but honestly some people just couldn't keep up. Those who couldn't normally had to retire or quit. By the way, a lot of younger people have trouble keeping up too!

      Yes, e-books are quite the controversy. Personally, I love them. They are so convenient! However, I don't think they will ever replace regular books. There's something irreplaceable about the feeling of cuddling up with a good book and flipping the pages.



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