I spent a lot of time inside the public library growing up, though I only borrowed the same three books every time. They were these movie monster books on King Kong, Universal monsters like Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster, and, of course, the King of Monsters Godzilla. That last one received a bountiful amount of love from yours truly.
I would sneak off by myself, sometimes, even though that was clearly against the rules. A rule that I enforced during my years working in the Children’s Department of a later reincarnation of said public library.
Things changed when I “discovered” girls. It wasn’t until high school that I rediscovered my love for the library. While I didn’t check out books, I did borrow their computers to surf the internet and print out my 10-free pages of the day before each print cost me a dime. I nursed my love of books in the days after high school, when I spent days inside my home with no aspirations for college.
I would love to work here, I thought. And thought again. And that became something I wanted, but not something I did. Not right away. Instead, I read Wonder Boys and the seed was planted. I wanted to meet writers of books. I wanted to write books.
So I applied to a local university and attended.
And I spent my mornings and afternoons sitting in the library. Reading. Researching. Surfing the internet. Never doing homework or studying however.
I write about this because I want you to understand where I am coming from. How the public library and, later, the academic library filled my time. It only made sense that after a string of contractual work that I would find myself applying for a library job.
I spent nine years in the public library setting, and the majority of that time was working in the Children’s Department. In the last years of my career there, I was responsible for puppet shows, storytimes, plus all the “menial work” the public loved saying they could do it. And let me stop you there – you can’t, and it’s far from enjoyable.
Covid did a number on millennials (and Gen Z) workwise. We were exhausted. At least I know I was.
When I applied for a position in the academic library field, I didn’t expect to get it. In fact, during the interview, it was hinted that the job would be a step down from what I had in the public library. But with city changes and the library’s new idea of what its employees should do, it seemed like a place where I could grow. Not a place that would continue to hinder me.
I’m not going to say my time there was always terrible, but the way they handled situations that arose during covid was less than favorable. And the way they expected us to learn new skills off the clock, wasting our own free time, was also not something I was game for.
So, yes, I love my job. And I loved my job then. Working in the library helping people – be it child or college student – seems to be my calling. And I love learning new things with them.