A few days ago I started a new job as a library assistant! It’s been awesome. How could it not be? I’m surrounded by books all day, talking about books all day, handling books all day, scoping out the back cover descriptions of books all da–I MEAN, definitely not getting distracted by that, of course not, nope. 🙂 I’m kidding, I’ve been way too busy learning the ropes for any distractions. Library work is a lot more complicated than it looks on the outside, hoo boy.
Some of my friends have asked what exactly a library assistant is, and how it differs from a librarian. Well, assistants do a lot of what you’d consider librarian-y: checking books in and out, searching for items within the system, studying the market in order to answer bookish questions and recommend titles, plus the less glamorous work of dealing with overdue fines and such. We also hold programs, events, clubs, etc, as well as putting books out on the shelves. Full-fledged librarians do the high-up stuff, like ordering new books, cataloguing them in the database, budgeting, hiring, etc. Academic librarians may also do research and archiving. Oh, and firstly they need a Masters in Library Science.
People colloquially call us all librarians though, and that’s fine. 🙂
Here are a couple fun things that happened during my first few days:
While shelving, I saw a little girl drawing a big scribble. She then loudly exclaimed to her mom, “Look! I drew a FART!” The mom urged the daughter to lower her voice, but the girl just proudly trumpeted, “It’s a fart!! This is what farts look like!!!” I was trying so hard to keep my laughter quiet that tears came to my eyes.
I did Storytime, which was a blast. Only three kids showed up, so instead of reading in front of them, stage/audience style, we sat around a small table and I asked them questions while I read – something I probably couldn’t do with a big group because they’d all talk over each other. I really enjoyed that cozy setting and the kids were cute and sweet and fun to talk to. Gave my heart a smush.
A woman checked out a book on John Muir, who is my HISTORICAL HERO ❤ ❤ ❤ and we bonded over that. That’s exactly the kind of moment I was hoping for with this job.
I’ll be sure to share more ~Adventures in Librarying~ in the future. 🙂 Til then, cheers!