Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Children's Librarian's Word of Warning about [Public] Librarianship.

I can honestly say that at my branch, I only have one friend on the Info side.  The rest I would define as "friendly coworkers."  That's 1 out of 13.  When they found out I was going for my MLIS, they would talk about the profession with all too rosy glasses, without one negative thing to say about librarianship, particularly public librarianship.  That kind of alacrity about working the info desk at a public library makes me question their honesty.  It was like hearing someone reading the ALA website out-loud, all the so-called good and none of bad aka reality.

Luckily, there's my one info friend.  Ironically, she sits on the polar opposite on the opinion scale from her colleagues.  She has flat out told me she regrets getting her MLIS and she always ends every sentence with, "Can't say I didn't warn you," even if we weren't talking about anything library related, I guess it's just her knee-jerk reaction to constantly remind me that I am heading to library hell.  Even when I try to suggest that academic or special libraries ought to be different, she shakes her head disappointingly "no."  I guess, I'm too hard headed, but I really see myself any where BUT a public library.  *SPOILER ALERT* 10 years from now I will be chained to the Info Desk which I stared at during my time working the Circ Desk.

Like any real friend, we have decided that I should take swift action if she ever joins the Management Darkside.  She gave me these warning signs to watch out for:

1). Barking at innocent subordinates.
2). Wearing SOCKS with SANDALS -- all year round.
3). Wearing loose, baggy, ill-fitting clothing, all year round.
4). Drinking the cool aid which [library management darkside] provides on a regular basis, so to speak.
5). Being overweight, yet always being on Weight Watchers.
6). Wearing Christmas sweaters -- not Christmas-inspired sweaters, but sweaters with, say, Santa on them.
7). Having a lot of stuff with cats on it.
8). Defining a Good Day as one in which your colleagues brought in doughnuts.
9). Believing that wearing Chapstick counts as wearing makeup.
10). Working at [our branch] full time.

This was posted strictly verbatim and I think that they do serve as the perfect check list to make sure one isn't becoming a library zombie.

"You've Been Warned...."


  1. Numbers 2, 6, 7 and 9 describe my former branch manager to a T.
    Number 5 describes so many coworkers it isn't funny.

  2. LOL. That describes tons of people in my building.

  3. Yes, my Info Friend is very wise and incredibly snarky, no wonder we get along so well!

    I've worked at several branches and this seems to ring true everywhere.