Top Ten Tuesday: Freebie Edition

10 Jul

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie. Which means I pretty much had no idea what to post about.

Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you by

The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a blur and I can’t believe how little I’ve been able to read. I started a new library job yesterday and even though I am going to be surrounded by bookish awesomeness I cannot seem to think about any specific books. With that said my TTT this week will focus on the Top Ten Reasons Why Working in a Library is awesome.

1. Libraries are quiet.

I have worked in retail, daycare, food service, as a tutor in an elementary school, and as a nanny. All of those jobs are loud. Most of the time they all gave me headaches. The library is never very loud. Sure the children’s room can be a bit rambunctious, but for some reason kids having fun never bothers me. If I’ve had a bad day I get several beautifully quiet hours to think things through. Even the occasional annoyed patron doesn’t detract from the calmness I feel working in a library.

2. I get to see what kind of books people read. 

There is something sneakily satisfying about watching someone out of the corner of your eye as they select their books for the week. The other day I saw a man reading one of George RR Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire books. Sure these are really popular right now, but he didn’t really strike me as the type to be interested in Martin’s books. I love seeing things like little girls checking out a giant stack of books about trucks and sharks or the teen boy who checked out the Hunger Games books.

3. Everyone you work with reads.

I’m sure this isn’t 100% true. There is always a couple of people who don’t really read much, but everyone values the library and literacy at least. This is something that I have become very passionate about and it is actually really difficult for me to be around people who don’t enjoy and value reading. A lot of what I have to say is about books so it is easier to be around folks who get it.

4. Browsing happens all day.

I’ve never been very good at browsing in a library or a bookstore. I can stare at the shelves for an hour and not remember a single title I’ve seen. When I work I have to physically hold each book for a second and it makes it so much easier to see what people are really reading currently. Every now and then a title strikes my fancy and I glance at the synopsis. If it sounds good, I hold onto it to check out on my break.

5. I like helping people.

Does that make me weird? Probably. I love helping patrons solve problems. By helping them I feel better prepared for my job. If I can tell anyone how to get to something I feel like that makes me a much more valuable employee.

(Side rant: I’m a little worried that I won’t be able to do this as much at my new job. During orientation they made it pretty clear that patron questions should always be directed to the reference desks, because we (the non-reference folks) might not know what other things the patron might need. I’m going to have a hard time with this. If a patron simply wants to know where the mysteries are and it is only a few feet away, I’m thinking that they would rather just be shown rather than walk all the way to the reference desk and then be directed back to where they pretty much came from. I think my personal policy will be to help the patron with something if it nearby and make sure to let them know any other questions can be directed to the reference desk).

6. Air conditioning.

One of the best perks to working in a library is that they are typically kept dry and comfortable. Not only is this the best environment for books, but for working as well. In the summer having a nice cool place to work is such a treat. Unfortunately, patrons also like to take advantage of the AC and sometimes hot summer days become very crowded and messy.

7. Retirement plan.

I know that one makes me weird. At least in my area, part of my paycheck automatically goes into a retirement plan. Since I’m really quite terrible at saving money it is a relief to know that I am already saving towards my retirement. It isn’t very much money at the moment, but every dollar helps.

8. Organization.

I love putting things in order. I’m not very good at keeping an organized house, but for some reason my books and DVDs are always neat and tidy. Working in a library is a great outlet for my inner neat freak. I’ve had a lot of people ask me if my job was boring and I can’t imagine it ever being boring. There is something very satisfying about sorting a cart of materials and then putting them all away neatly. It is actually very relaxing.

9. Working at my own pace.

At the moment, since I’m a newbie, I’m not allowed to really work at my own pace since I have to put tags in everything I shelve so my supervisor can check my work. But once that is over with I can get back to my normal pace. I love not having to worry about a deadline or meet any sort of quota. I think it actually makes me work faster. My new workplace is pretty backed up in the sorting room and I desperately just want to clear as many carts as possible.

10. Books. 

I own a lot of books. I check out a lot of books. Books are pretty much my thing. So spending several hours in an environment surrounded by my favorite things is really awesome.

One Response to “Top Ten Tuesday: Freebie Edition”

  1. Lucy July 10, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    I love libraries, so much that I wish I had pursued working in one as a career. How fun to be surrounded by books all day in a nice air-conditioned library. Congrats on your new job!

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