If you ever played library as a kid, you’ll remember that the main part of the game was checking books out and returning them. That was about all a kid figured took place at a library and a lot of people still think that.
It’s been almost five months since I started my job at our local library. Now that I’ve seen the inner workings of the place, I thought I would share 10 fun facts about my job.
- You won’t find a stern librarian shushing you. Except for a designated area, people don’t whisper in the library.
- Libraries are run like a business and we keep track of many stats.
- Snacks and drinks are okay. We even have vending machines. Just don’t eat or drink by the computers!
- The Dewey Decimal System is alive and well. Ask a librarian where the books on history and geography are and right away she’ll tell you, “They’re in the 900s.” If you ask me, though, I’ll have to refer to my chart.
- We can’t wear open-backed shoes on the job. Danger of tripping. Too bad…
- Many of the questions I answer at the adult reference desk are about how to use the computers.
- You can learn yoga at our library.
- Mobile hotspot rentals are very popular.
- We have a TV in our lobby. CNN is up with closed captioning.
- This week, an embarrassed woman returned what was left of a book she had borrowed. The excuse? Her dog ate it!
Did any of these surprise you?
Thanks for visiting – come back soon!
22 thoughts on “10 Fun Facts About My Library Job”
Good list! I only briefly worked in a public library, but I’ve held every post from Page (book shelver) to Library Director. Everything is so different today. My first job was in 1980. I was in the last M.L.S. class not required to learn online searching! I’ve worked in both Dewey and LC classified (cataloged) libraries. Glad you are enjoying your work.
I am and I’m learning a lot. But I’m still a newbie and can only pretend at being a real librarian!
That and having the degree! Do you have an MLS? That’s great then! I like it when people enjoy working in the library–I always do.
No MLS just an MBA which doesn’t translate to the stacks, but I could get it online if I decided to…
MBA and experience could get you the Director’s job. Most librarians loathe dealing with budgets!!! Go for it! You’d be awesome I’m sure!
What a nice thing to say – thank you! 😃
Wow! This is like the perfect job for you.
What an interesting job. Doing yoga at the library surprised me, but I’m not sure if its available at mine! I must confess, and I feel rather embarrassed at doing so, that I haven’t visited my local library in a while. I often think that if I hadn’t been a teacher I’d have been a librarian. I’d be happy to not have to shush anyone.
It can get pretty noisy in the kids department, but it’s usually all good noise! Thanks for stopping by, Norah!
Libraries are the best places! Those stacks remind me of my undergraduate days, long before the Internet came out.
Yes, they are very relaxing, aren’t they? Thanks for commenting!
During college, I always had a part-time job working in the college library. And loved it! If I had to have a job, being surrounded by books was the way to go. And back then, books were still stamped with the date when we checked them out. I LOVED using that little stamp….. I still remember the Dewey Decimal system, too.
Hi Ann, it is very relaxing there. People come in just to read the paper or do a jigsaw puzzle. I’m a little envious when I see them, but the job isn’t very stressful so some of that relaxation rubs off on me. Thanks for stopping by!
I’ve been working at my library for 11 years and it’s funny, but the only item from your list that surprised me was #5. I’m trying to remember if any of my fellow staff members wear open-backed shoes, as I don’t remember it ever coming up as a rule. Everything else seems pretty much like my library, right down to yoga classes and dogs eating library books! (We’ve also had two very water-logged books come back recently, one fell in a pool and the other was left out in the rain.) 🙂
Hi Marcia – I think I will eventually see it all and hear the excuses, but it never seems like too big of a deal. My favorite shoes are my clogs because they keep my feet from hurting, but I have to leave them at home. Too bad. At least I won’t trip while I’m working. Thanks for reading and commenting!
You piqued my interest with the very first phrase, “If you ever played library as a kid…” You must have been destined to become a librarian some day. I remember playing school and house, board games and ball games, but playing library never crossed my mind, although I really enjoyed going to the library and picking out my books. I must not have been aware of all the other services back then, but I am now and frequently give a silent Thank You to Ben Franklin.
Hi Karen – I think the dramatic stamping of books and telling people when they were due back or collecting late fees had some appeal to me. But everyone is very nice at the library – no stern reprimands! Since I’m just a library assistant, I have a ways to go before I can do everything. Thanks for reading and commenting!
It brings to mind the Library Cop on Seinfeld, but I’ve had nothing but good experiences with library staff.
Haha! Hadn’t thought of that. Love Seinfeld!
Many of these surprised me–Dewey Decimal System still alive? Food allowed? Don’t have to be quiet? I need to get out to my local library more.
It’s a bustling place! I was surprised about the food and beverages because I remember in college how strict the library was about bringing anything in. Thanks for visiting and commenting Jacqui!
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