• We’re all old. I’m 36, and if you’re 13 that seems pretty darn old, but in the scheme of things it isn’t. I could presumably be in the spot slingin’ books for another thirty years, and I really got started late given that my career began after I left the cut-throat corporate world of pharmaceuticals. Age doesn’t have to matter so much if you’re staying abreast of what’s popular and necessary in the information business. We’re in the information business and don’t let anyone tell you differently. We provide information and we must do so with an unbiased and open heart. Honestly, I’m not sure you can do this job if you are not constantly checking your biases. And lots of times that dichotomy between what is true and what is appropriate hits librarians, especially in the school system, really hard.  You can read more about librarian self-censorship in this great study by SLJ, Unnatural Selection. 
    • We’re all women. While men are outnumbered by women by a large margin I know tons of male librarians, and most of them are on the elementary school level. That means they’re dressing up as the Cat in the Hat and reading to babies. They select the greatest books for kids struggling to read and teach them how to use a mouse for the first time. This kind of representation is so important because their is this idea that men don’t read or that reading isn’t manly so seeing those guys in that position dispels that myth before it has a chance to root into those kids’ subconscious. There are great programs out there who are doing the good work and making sure that kids see guys reading and encourages boys to read. Check out BarberShop Books, which puts mini-libraries into barber shops across the country.
    • We’re obsessed with silence. Who doesn’t love a quiet hour or two, but the silent library is something I haven’t been able to cultivate since I became a librarian. My space has multiple uses. Kids come to read, research, work on projects, take a break from the chaos, meet up with friends, find out about the latest gossip, get homework help, play online games, and more. Some of those are quiet activities, but more often than not there is a rise and fall to the decibel level based on the time of day. There is a lot going on and that’s how it should be.
    • All we do is read. It’s funny to me when people hear that I’m a librarian and assume that all I do is sit behind a counter and read all day. I wish. That would be lovely if that’s what I got paid to do, but really it isn’t. There is no typical day for me. Everyday I check out books, that is true, but I also run several after-school clubs, teach, manage the school’s technology and assist teachers with that technology. My favorite thing to do is to introduce kids to how technology can help them access the world. That may be through workshops on creating websites, how to manage your social media content, or how to edit videos. I also help kids with homework, along with the counseling and emotional support that all school personnel provide to students. Reading is done on my own time.
    • We’re boring. Hey! Anybody with as much access to information and with as much need for that information as a librarian is far from boring. I’m sure we can talk to any person about any subject because we have to at least familiar with almost everything under the sun. Can your dentist do that?

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