I've been working at my library for almost four years now. One thing about being a librarian that continues to surprise me is how my job doesn't always end when I leave work for the day. When people find out where I work, they want to ask me questions, get my opinion, and talk to me about books and the library. I love my job and I'm very passionate about what I do, so I'm always happy to talk to people about my job even when I'm not at work. And I'm glad that people see the library as a vital part of the community. So what sort out of the library encounters have I had?
-After a teller at my bank found out I worked at the library, he proceeded to tell me about how his son hid a book from him and kept it out so it become very overdue. He was told he had to pay the late fees and charge for the book since it was lost and never returned and wanted to know if this was true. I told him yes, he would have to pay the late fees, but if he did find the book, he could bring it back in and the charge for the book would be waived.
-My elderly neighbor asked me if I could check out some Hawaiian music CDs to go with a themed birthday party he was going to. I happily looked for some music he could check out from my branch.
-I was grocery shopping when a couple of teens saw me and said "hey-you're the library lady!" I had just done summer reading school visits and so I laughed and said yep, that's me! I think of that as my librarian celebrity moment!:)
-I was purchasing duct tape for a teen program at Wal-Mart and when I gave the cashier my tax exempt card, she looked at me and said "they use duct tape at the library?" I told her yes we do and she was curious and wanted to know what I was using all the duct tape for. I told her all about my teen night after hours program and how I was the teen librarian and we were going to be making crafts out of duct tape. She was very impressed and I was glad to share that the library is more that just books and Internet.
-My friends are always asking me for book recommendations. I love it, but it's always funny to me how when they need a book to read, I'm the one to ask. I've even been sent messages on Facebook from friends I haven't talked to in awhile who find out I'm a librarian and need book suggestions for their classroom, kids, gifts, friends, and themselves.
So why do I mention all this? Because as a librarian, I represent the library, even when I'm not physically in the building. People recognize me and know that I work for the library, so I need to know about what's happening at the library, events and policies and procedures, so I can answer these questions even when I'm not at work. And as a librarian, I'm expected to know about books and be able to recommend great reads-so I better keep up with current literature and make sure my reader's advisory skills are sharpened, because I'm asked by all sorts of readers for suggestions.
Being a librarian really is a full time job and it's something you better love doing, because your job as a librarian is never done. Your attitude about the library outside of the library reflects on the library itself and if you have a positive attitude about your job and are helpful and happy to answer questions about the library-even when you're not there-you're going to leave the public with a positive impression about your library-and that's exactly what we want.
Have you ever had any outside of work work moments as a librarian, teacher, or another profession?