Hello and welcome to Stacking Up, a blog for the "modern" librarian! The great thing about today's librarians is that we are so diverse: different ages, backgrounds, personalities, looks... this blog is here to share this diversity with ideas, insights, stories, experiences and opinions for anything and everything having to do with being a librarian!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Library Crush Week!

So this week I am honored to be a guest blogger at the lovely Trish's blog Just A YA Girl!! I am super-excited to be over there during Library Crush Week, talking about what it was like to be a library school student and what I love about my local libraries. Be sure to click on the image above to stop on over and check out my post, along with Trish's beautiful bookish blog! Or, if you want to stay put, here is the post I wrote up:
OK, so I have a story about being a library school student... When I was still going to library school to get my Master's degree in Library and Information Science, I sort of got a lot of weird looks from people. I would be at like a family reunion or party, and someone would ask, "So Lea, what are you doing these days?" And I would answer, "Well, I'm going to school to be a librarian." This would then be followed by some polite nodding, an awkward silence, and occasionally by statements/questions such as these:

1.) "You have to go to school to be a librarian?"
2.) "Do people still go to libraries?"
3.) "Don't you think that with the internet/ebooks that libraries are going to go extinct soon?"
4.) "What a cool job! I wish I could get paid to read all day!"
5.) "Huh. You look way too young to be a librarian."

I think it's interesting that there are so many people out there nowadays who really don't understand the value of the library, or what goes into becoming-- and being-- a librarian. So let me clear up some of these misconceptions:

1.) Yes you have to go to school to become a librarian. Actually, you need to have a Masters degree from an accredited school that takes 2 years of study and an internship to get! It's a lot of work, but it's definitely an accomplishment that I'm proud of :)

2.) Yes yes yes, people still go to libraries! Lots of people go to libraries! They're called students, children, teens, families, young professionals, the disadvantaged, the elderly, teachers, volunteers, and pretty much every other part of society you can think of! All of them love and support their libraries, and make them thriving centers of their community.

3.) The internet has been around for (not even?) 30 years... The written word and books have been around since as early as 5000BC. I'm pretty sure they're not going anywhere anytime soon! And personally, I would much rather read print on paper than a computer screen any day... but that's just me! Plus, libraries now offer not only e-books for pretty much any e-reader out there; they also have DVDs, MP3s, and even video games available! Just like any other area of society, libraries and librarians are aware that they need to stay current and up-to-date if they want to remain relevant in today's world.

4.) So do I! Working in a library has about 5% to do with reading books, and 95% to do with people skills, social networking, marketing, technology, information management, teaching, and other skills that need higher education and a LOT of experience!

5.) Um. I have no idea how to respond to this lol. People crack me up!

Today I'm a Librarian (capital "L" heehee) and in the short time that I've had this title (about a year now) I've seen first-hand just how awesome libraries are and the kind of impact they have on local communities. Working part-time at the city branches isn't always a piece of cake, but I've seen first-hand how libraries are places where kids go to get off the streets and learn to read, where teens study for their GEDs, where adults learn how to use computers for the first time to find jobs and type up resumes, and where all kinds of people come together to make a difference in their communities. Honestly, I can't really think of a greater way to make a living than to be a part of this!

So why do I love my library? Well, besides being such a fantastic place for so many different people, I love my local libraries because I get almost all the books that I read and review on my blog from them! If it wasn't for the library, I probably wouldn't be able to keep up with my blog, or get to read nearly as many amazing books as I do. What can I say-- libraries are the best! And I'm sure that they will be around for a long time to come, as long as we continue to give them the support that they need :)