here’s the thing

Things I’ve Been Thinking About

I. Libraries

Is is too early for me to be TOTALLY jaded about my career? I’m researching young adult librarianship for a class assignment (topic chosen by me, based on my own interests), and I’m reading all this stuff about how libraries NEED young adult librarians and they are CRUCIAL to the fabric of the world and blah blah blah.

And instead of thinking “Oh, yeah, awesome, we are needed and loved and someday if enough people continue to need and love YA librarians, I can get a job!” I’m thinking: “Um. That’s baloney. There’s no research saying we need and love YA librarians, or that kids need librarians at all, and the people who are saying ‘Yay, librarians for kids!’ are either A) Librarians for Kids B) Authors of children’s lit C) Publishers of children’s lit or D) Pining for the fjords their idyllic youth. Why aren’t there designated librarians for 25-30 year-olds? 60-90 year-olds? (They probably use the library a whole lot more anyway!)


Also, I’m never going to be gainfully employed. It seems the only activity I’m morally comfortable with is opening the library’s doors and pointing patrons toward a bookshelf or computer.

II. Inward/Outward

I remember when I was a kid, 10, 11, 12 years old, I just really wanted to be nice.

I didn’t want to be popular or exemplary or talented or well-liked or funny or good at sports or music.

I just wanted people to talk about me and say, “Oh, Jessica? She’s a nice girl.”

I wonder when that stopped being my central thesis of life.

It was a little confusing though, because when I was at school, I was Nice Jessica, but at home, my parents seemed to think I was fairly rude, selfish, and uncooperative.

Also, my sister told me I was manipulative the other day.

Me? Manipulative?

Yes, I can usually figure out how to get what I want in life, but that doesn’t seem manipulative. Especially given that my sisters use all the same tricks I do: they just think I’m the manipulative one because I’m the one who taught them.

At exactly what point does one become TOO self-absorbed to function?

III. Fall

It’s here. It’s cold.

What do I do in fall, again?

Put away my flip-flops?

Buy cold-weather clothes?

Pick apples for applesauce?

Waffle over/get ready for NaNoWriMo?

Look at leaves?

I can’t remember.

IV. Books

I am disappointed, all around, by reading this year. I’m disappointed by my own lack of reading motivation, and by the books available for me to read.

The only books I crave are old favorites I haven’t re-read TOO many times, usually dispensed by my iPod via audiobook.

It doesn’t help when I have 500+ page, 6 lb obscure 19th Century novels assigned for class, distracting me from literary enjoyment.

V. My Cat

I have Mondays off this semester. I realized, last week, that I haven’t had a full weekday off to do as I please since late April.

And boy howdy did I miss cuddling with my lovely kitty.

She’s just so dang cute!


4 Comments to “here’s the thing”

  1. I think the best part about my job is how cool my boss is. And doing storytimes, basically anything where I can hang out with a bunch of kids – but there are a lot of other professions where I can do that.

    I agree with your part 1 totally and may not be a librarian forever, even if I do have a full-time job right now and all the coveted insurance and other benefits. I just don’t know if this is the job I’m meant to do, but I’m giving it a try. Maybe we have the power to make our jobs into what we want, create something more rewarding, and I truly think that libraries vary depending on the community. Still, I don’t know about the future of this profession and where I see myself in it.

  2. In response as to why we have children/young adult librarians and not other age groups, I think it has to do with those being the formative years. If a kid doesn’t learn to love to read, there’s not a huge likelihood that they will be active readers as an adult. If one person (teacher, parent, librarian) can hook that kid on the reading bug, they’ve got it for life. Therefore children/young adult librarian = awesome!

    However, I am saying this as a gainfully employed academic librarian. I know the job market is really hard for librarians, especially public librarians. All the experience you’re getting can only help. And start looking at least 6 months before you graduate.

    From a former library schooler to a current one.

    • See, I’m not sure I care if kids read. I say this as an avid reader who was once an avid child reader and who continues to love children’s lit, buuuuut I know a lot of adults who didn’t read as kids, and don’t read now, and they are fine citizens! Some of them even librarians! Who am I to judge?

      And I’m also intensely interested in how exactly youth librarians ended up, historically, with all this responsibility for inspiring reading-love and literacy… and how we fuel the publishing industry in this strange relationship we have…

      Basically, I’m having a huge crisis of library-related beliefs. But thanks for the tips!

      • I was just saying that was the rationale, I’m not remotely a kids librarian, I just don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t love to read and I’m worried that my children might not like to and I won’t be able to communicate with or understand them. That being said, my husband is a non-reader and a perfectly functioning member of society. I don’t understand why he doesn’t read and some days it bothers me more than others, but I have learned to live with it.

        Your historical interest in youth librarians and how they contribute to the publishing industry sounds like a wonderful idea for an article. Which can also only help with the resume! You should think about it.

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