When someone says “librarian,” do you picture a bespectacled, bun-in-hair, unmarried woman running around saying “SHHH”? Maybe you know all the words to “Marian, the Librarian” and picture Shirley Jones in The Music Man.
Check out the pictures in this blog to see what librarians really do when nobody is looking. These were taken at the gathering of better than 350 people, predominantly librarians, at the Faye be Kaigler Children’s Book Festival. I’ve added a short list of other things they do that come readily to mind.
- Match new books to patrons who will “just love this one”
- Locate books for interlibrary loans
- Work hand in hand with classroom teachers to enhance education and children's love of books
- Teach technology challenged adults to download books loaned to their electronic reading devices
- Lead book clubs
- Provide computer access for those who do not have it at home
- Plan engaging summer programs for kids through adults
- Read banned books: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harry Potter, Bridge to Terebithia, Gone With the Wind, the Bible, etc.
- Defend banned books – for firsthand accounts read True Stories of Censorship Battles in America's Libraries edited by Kathy Barco and Valerie Nye, a collection of essays, some by children's librarians
I could go on but I must get back to the librarian stereotype. At the festival, I did see several who were bespectacled – they read extensively after all. They were single, married, or divorced. Some had children or grandchildren, and some were childless. I did not see one bun in the crowd of librarians, and nobody said, “SHHH”.
I close by asking you to do two things for me as a personal favor:
1. If you see a librarian this week, just say thanks.
2. Please don’t tell my librarian friends that I ratted them out with my pictures. I’d hate to lose my status with the Children’s Book Festival.