Tuesday, July 30, 2013


After yesterday's post I had some leftover thoughts to share. Just more to add to the conversation.
 I know many people assume working at a library is all about reading books, but 40 hours a week, 8 hours a day we work with students.

Oh, and their parents.
Our duty (at least the way I see it) is to help them be more independent by putting into their hands knowledge either through books or web tools.
Some students rarely need our assistance, I imagine their parents took them to the library at a very early age. My mom took me to sharing time at our local library; I loved the feel of handing over my library card and taking home free books!
When we would visit my grandmother at the beach, she took me to their local library. A walking (or biking) distance from their house.
The excitement these two women in my life had over libraries rubbed off on me in a very positive way.
I grew to love reading and the freedom to explore new ideas and characters.
Some days working in a library is a challenge, take today for example. I had a college student's parent call to complain about her child blocked from obtaining transcripts; he had yet to return two of our books.
Instead of explaining how quick and prompt he would be in returning those, she began to blame the institution, the library, and me for the lack of notification her child was given over a book due over a year ago.
My first thought of course was, why are you calling and not the student?
My second thought was, breathe and be polite!!
Now remembering what I posted on yesterday, what character traits were taught to her child?

Momma will do it for me. Responsibility? Eh, no.

It’s everybody else’s fault, but mine. Humility? Eh, no.
The rules should be flexible for somebody like me in my situation. Respect for the rules? Eh, no.

Is my job fulfilling? To be honest, every day is not fulfilling.  Sometimes we get glares, eye rolls, sassy comments, and the occasional rude phone call.

 The good days are best described as a student coming in with a nervous look on their face, overwhelmed by the atmosphere of a new place, (some have never even set foot in a library), our students are away from home, but when they step into our place my hope is that they feel comfortable.

I am fulfilled when a student slides a book over the desk to me and says they found what they were looking for, or even better, they find a new book in the series they've been waiting months to read!

Whatever the reason, I feel my job isn't just reading books. It's constant customer service, meeting other's needs, thinking of somebody else besides myself, and thank goodness it involves serving and helpings others!

Even if sometimes they are grumpy and rude!


Madtatter80 said...

She was probably mad at herself cause she didn't do things she could have, and you got stuck with having to put up with all that.

J. said...

Who knew working in a library could be so dramatic? I always assumed it would be a blissful job having mostly books to deal with. Now I'm schooled. :)

Erin Elizabeth said...

When I worked at Geico a customer's mother called upset about her son's policy and wanted me to fix some kind of issue. Her son was 43 years old (no known disabilities). You can't please everyone. Remember the good, move on from the bad.