May 2, 2011
10 things i love about u... library
Inspired by Rene Cousineau's "10 Things I Love About Being a Barista" I have decided to dedicate today's post to being grateful for my job. I am grateful for my job EVERYDAY. I consider myself so lucky to not just enjoy, but to LOVE my job. Sickening I know, but I actually think "YAY!" when I get phoned up for a shift. So. Here is my 10 reasons I love being a librarian:
Duh. Ok sounds obvious, but seriously I LOVE books. I love the papery-ness of them, the fonts, and hardcovers, the paperbacks, and OH THE SMELL of old library books.... *swoon*. From colourful endpapers, to pop-up books, to cover art, to graphic novels, braille, audiobooks, thick encyclopedic tomes, to Quarto-sized art books... Books are beautiful.
2) My regulars.
From Allen, who has read every Western book on the shelves, and who I am constantly hunting out little Western treasures for. To Mark, who comes in to use the internet and says thankyou about a million times. There's Priscilla who's a fantasy fan, and Mrs Taylor whose card never seems to work, or the computer tries to double-charge her for reservations. And the dozens of horse-crazy girls who just want to be shown the horse books. I love the ineractions, conversations and relationships I have with people at the library.
3) Being people's safe-place
From the homeless man asleep on the couch, to studying teens, to elderly people getting in out of the cold. Breast-feeding mums. People with disabilities. Carers looking for respite. Gamer geeks. Academics. Lost kids. People looking for Legal Advice. The library is a safe haven for eveybody. A free, egalitarian, truly public space where anyone can find shelter, company and quiet.
4) My coworkers.
Truly - what a bunch! I love their humour, their patience and their quirks. There isn't a single person on staff you cant have a giggle with, or ask for help.
5) The history.
Have you ever opened a book, and seen what the earliest date stamp is inside? Can you believe someone read the book you're reading in 1974? That that little red RHB in a circle drawn carefully on the endpapers, represents someone you've never met, who loved the same book? Have you ever read the 1948 edition of "The Complete Family Medical Reference" or anything by Mrs Beeton? How far we've come...
6) The quiet.
Having been a teacher, and a teacher of students with special needs, I TRULY appreciate having a job where I can hear myself think.
7) Chance findings.
I love it when someone recommends me a book, and I think 'yeah, why not. I'll give it a read...' and then I cant put it down. And I stay up reading in bed until 4am - to hell with being tired tomorrow! And I am different for having read it.
8) The order.
My OCD LOVES the orderliness of the library. The catalogues, the databases. the DEWEY DECIMAL SYSTEM! Everything in its place. Knowing that if I search Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone, and the computer says we have a holding at our branch - there it will be: Youth Fiction, letter R, marked ROW. Spine facing out.
9) The Comfort
The library is always the right temperature. The carpet is clean and soft. The couches and ottomen and cushions are plump and inviting. The desks are clean and waiting. The swivel chairs swivel. The lights twinkle, and the breeze gets pushed around lightly by lazily spiralling ceiling fans. My work clothes are soft trousers or flowy skirts, comfy shirts and flat shoes. it's warm in winter and cool in summer. *sigh*
10) Generally, people are happy.
People generally come to the library, because they want to. Whether they need information, or a place to wait, or a place to change their baby, or entertain their children on a rainy day, or to send an email, or just someone to chat to or get out of the house, people are usually happy to be in there. We don't need to police people, or deal with aggro, or maintain order, or entertain people, or force them to do anything. Our job is just to be friendly, to look after the library and the books, and ultimately to help people. Our job's motives are simple and alrtuistic. What a blessed relief.