For the last two, almost three, years I’ve worked in a public library.
I started at the bottom, as what we call a clerk—i.e. someone who shelves books—and have been working my way up.
I’ve been very lucky so far in my library career. I started off at quite a small branch in a kind, tight-knit community. The staff emulated this. They have always been so friendly, welcoming, and eager to teach. Through their guidance and support, I’ve been able to learn so much.
That may sound hella cheesy, but it’s true. I may not always want to drag my sorry ass out of bed, but I’m always glad I do. Even on the not-so-great days. My job is challenging, but that’s what makes it rewarding.
There are even more exciting elements of this new job. Before this position, I was working in a similar one at a larger branch. Some might say working in a bigger place is more challenging, but I’d say it’s just different. Here at the smaller branch, I’m given much more opportunity to learn and experiment. Not everything is quite so strictly regimented. Because of that, I’m able to challenge myself in creative and professional ways that I simply wasn’t able to before. It’s awesome.
One of my favourite things to do is plan and prepare displays. This is so much fun. I spend time on Pinterest here and there getting ideas, but it’s so great to be able to pull from my love of books to be able to make certain titles shine. It also lets me draw on my creative side as I put together other display elements, like posters and other little touches. Helping other people get excited about books is just the best.
Although I am in love with my job, I gotta say, it can be super tedious sometimes. We got a new print system almost a year ago, and I’m sick to death of having to explain how to use it every day with a smile on my face.
No matter the tedium, nothing has been able to sway me from my love of the public library. I could gush about its merit and value all day. Not only that, but I could gush about my library all day. It’s got its problems, sure. But nothing’s perfect. I’m just so proud of the work we do here and what we are able to do for the community.
Libraries are amazing places.