It's National Library Week-have you visted your library yet?
I wanted to share a guest post I wrote last year in honor of National Library Week. I still think it's one of the best things I ever wrote as a guest post and I hope it captures why I do what I do as a librarian.
If you met me today, especially in the library, you would probably not believe me when I said that I used to be painfully and awkwardly shy. I walk up to strangers in the library, talk to people every day, and I’m very energetic and outgoing. But as a kid, I couldn’t bring myself to talk to people. I talked to my family, but that was about it. I was actually loud and outgoing at home, but get me in public and there was no way I was going to say anything. I remember having to psych myself up before I approached kids in my class just to say hi.
So I read a lot as a child. I am very lucky to have grown up in a home of booklovers and my parents took me on weekly (sometimes daily) library trips. I would come home with my arms full of books and I would read. I even played library and would check out my books to my stuffed animals.
Books helped me so much during those years. My imagination grew with the help of Anne Shirley. I saved pigs with Fern, lived in a little house with Laura, and ran away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Claudia and Jamie. Meg Murray helped me see that I could be shy and have a temper, but I could also be strong-and Calvin liked her, so maybe someday a boy would like me!
All I ever wanted when I visited the library was for a librarian to say “oh, that’s a great book!” or “have you read this one”-but I was way too shy to ask. I remember how important books were to me growing up and how I wanted to find other readers. That’s one reason I love working in the library now-I’m surrounded by readers every day! I also remember how hard it was for me to ask for help, so I make sure I say hi to every teen that walks into my department. Some teens want suggestions, some are fine browsing on their own. But letting them know I’m there and that I love to talk books is what makes my job so great. I love when teens tell me about books they’ve been reading and I can tell them about books I’ve read. I love finding books for readers and matching them with the perfect book. I love sharing books so much, that I have to stop myself from asking everyone I see with a book even outside the library what they’re reading!
There is no better question to ask a librarian than “can you recommend a good book” so celebrate National Library Week by visiting your library and talking about good books. And maybe you’ll come across a shy reader who just wanted to know someone else loved books as much as they do.