Tag Archives: librarian

Things Librarians Look At.

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When I started as a clerk at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh- East Liberty, I had no idea that being a librarian was a thing. I just needed a job. I didn’t even care about libraries!

It is totally a thing. We do things like this. And there are lists like this. Even Legos!

Here are some funny yet  informative things librarians look at (during lunch breaks of course.)

Awful Library Books

Sometimes books need to be thrown away. Sometimes a librarian can’t do it. These are the (often unintentional) hilarious results.

Pretty awful, yes?

Pretty awful, yes?

Book Porn

It’s exactly what it sounds like. Sexy pictures of all things book-related. Unlike regular porn, this will lead to DIY projects.

Book Riot

Book review websites can be so pretentious. As a voracious reader who will read anything, I love that Book Riot covers everyone from J.K. Rowling to Dave Eggers to James Patterson. Plus, they have a pretty awesome “mission” statement:

We create. We always prefer the book to the movie. We riot as a team. We geek out on books, embarrassingly so. We’re leaders. We practice charity. We miss our subway stop cause the book is that good. We are non-traditional. We believe in family (bookshelves and cats count).

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Books That Changed Me

I love these lists. I love the reasons people give for loving their top ten or twenty or thirty. I’m amazed at how many books show up over and over again. Good is good.

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I Work At A Public Library

Working with the public can be…challenging. It’s also inspiring, funny and fascinating. 

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Librarian Problems

Problems. We got ’em. Books are for nerds!? You cut our funding?!?!

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Librarian Shaming

Like dog shaming but for bad librarians. Billed as a “place for those of us in libraryland to come clean” Librarian Shaming has confessions ranging from the awful to the sublime. My own confession? I dropped a Bestseller in the tub. My very first week of work.

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Your Librarian Hates You

Your librarian really doesn’t hate you. She hates someone else. Like the guy cutting his toenails at the computer desk.

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suzy, who has never cut her toenails in public and tries to be good.

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“So What Do You Do?”

I don’t know about you, but I cringe when people ask me this question. Why, you may ask? Contradictory reactions.

When I say I’m a reference librarian, sometimes the reaction is, oddly yet interestingly, excitement.

Them: “Oh! How nice! I’ve always loved libraries!”  or “I love to read!” or “What a great job! How fun to be able to read all day!”

Me: (big smile)

Thank you, but no. Yes, libraries are wonderful places and we librarians love our chosen career and, yes, many of us love to read. But, alas, we do not get to read all day. I wish. Except review journals and computer screens!

But, on the other end of the spectrum, I’ve had quite another reaction.

Them: “Really? Huh.” (looks blank)

Me: (sighs inwardly and smiles politely)

Many people have no idea what librarians do all day. Really. And I admit that even I hadn’t a clue when I got my first library job as a page shelving endless carts of books over twenty-five years ago. But I quickly learned and was quite fascinated.

So here, in a nutshell, is what reference librarians do all day:

We help you formulate a research strategy.

This is my favorite and the number one reason that I am a librarian. We love to do research. Tell us what your project is and we’ll help you devise keywords to find subjects that will lead you to sources that will assist you. We will search every catalog, every database, every reference and citation to find as much information as possible. And we’re happy to show you how you can, too!

We help you learn how to use library resources that seem really confusing sometimes.

Whether looking at multi-volume reference book sets, downloading an e-audiobook, or searching an online journal database, we can teach you how to use the library’s resource tools so that you, too, can understand (and maybe even teach others).

We evaluate and order the materials in the library that you use and enjoy.

Librarians are given budgets every year in specific subject categories–mine are crafts and world literature–with specific dollar amounts to spend on new materials so that our users can discover new and exciting things every day. And this includes digital, electronic, as well as physical item formats.

We help you navigate the library building so you don’t get lost and help you find treasures.

Some libraries are huge buildings with multiple levels, corridors, and nooks and crannies. And we realize that can sometimes be intimidating. Librarians want to make it exciting and fun and love nothing more than to see our patrons light up with delight as they discover something new or finally find the answer to their question.

~Maria

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