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KDL Blog

If you want to be a librarian, you should know...

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Librarian

No one remembers their PIN.
People who buy e-readers for their parents seldom help set up the device for said parent. That’s your job.
If it doesn’t work, turn it off and on again. People will think that you are a magician!
At some point you’ll need to clean up bodily fluids and/or kill bugs. Be prepared.
You’d better like people as much as you like books.
Libraries are not quiet places.
Children like hand stamps. On BOTH hands.
Patrons will share their grief, joys, anger, frustrations, and gratitude with you.
Patrons will expect you to be able to solve all of their problems. ALL of them.
You never know what you might find in the book drop. Kittens, lobsters…….
Empathy goes a long way.
If the internet goes down, all is lost.
If you are warm and friendly, people normally respond in kind.
There are a lot of sad, lonely, and ill people out there. Your smile might be the only bright spot in their day.
Librarians don’t sit around and read all day.
Use your vacation time. Remember to take a break.

Anjie, Gaines Township Branch

 

Although you’ll be surrounded by books, it doesn’t mean you’ll have any more time to read! People often assume that part of being a librarian is the ability to pour through your favorite books while at work but, unfortunately, that’s just not the case. Sure, you can have a great time discussing things you’ve read late into the night after everyone has gone to bed but it’s rare that you’ll have any time to get caught up at work. That said, it’s certainly a great way to stay aware of what others are reading and what’s popular or interesting at the moment. Ultimately, being a librarian means connecting people with all of the resources the library has to offer – including books, movies, music, games, etc.. You’ll never be able to read, watch, or listen to all of the great content the library has to provide but you can have a great time sharing what you know and discovering new things with the wide variety of people you end up meeting. So if you’re thinking about becoming a librarian, just remember you’ll most likely have to keep that late-night reading schedule.

Eric, Byron Township Branch
 

Jacque at our Cascade BranchPeople think you have the best “volunteer job” EVER!  (“Oh?  You mean you actually get paid to work here???? I thought you were all volunteers!”) Also, grandparents bring their grandchildren and say to you “I brought my child here to your storytime, and now I’m bringing their children!” You can impact multiple generations of a family!

Jacque, Cascade Twp. Branch
 

 

The advice I would give to people wanting to be a librarian is to try out a few different options. There are all sorts of librarians out there including but not limited to medical, law, academic, and public (my personal favorite). If you are not sure which type sounds the best to you, try volunteering or taking an internship or seasonal position. If those are not offered, you could chat with a librarian about their experience.

Brittany, Cascade Twp. Branch
 

Sarah at our East Grand Rapids BranchThe best way to learn about all the great stuff that goes on in your library every day is to volunteer!  Become a Teen Crew member (if you’re that age), or join your local Friends of the Library group.  Work alongside the staff and meet the public.

Sarah, East Grand Rapids Branch

 

 

You become so attached to certain patrons, they become like family. You learn their reading habits and have books waiting for them when they come in.
Tamara, Nelson Twp./ Sand Lake Branch


It’s not quiet anymore and men work here, too.

Laura, Plainfield Branch