I feel like I'm really getting the hang of this. I have survived the biscuit embargo, and am 'professional-looking' enough to convince an innocent borrower that there is a sequel to Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath called The Pomegranates of Despair.
So, here are 10 important lessons I have learned:
- First of all, we learned (alright... made up) lots of songs about librarians
- That you... yes YOU... are called 'borrowers'
- That technological wizardry is not as wide-spread as we supposed * and most library assistants are strangers to the spreadsheet
- That there tends to be a 1980's attitude to tea breaks (good!) and health and safety* ... nobody comes running at you with an accident form if you try and remove staples from a wooden board with a tin opener.
- That I'm not the only person who borrows guide books and takes them on holiday with me
- That you don't want to go to 'the scary branch' during a visit from the local primary school
- Useful general life lessons like: What to do if kidnapped by a comic beat poet or What to do if a dog eats your library book
- Oh and lots of stuff about books and authors and the basics of the Dewey decimal system... which I am starting to incorporate at home
- That libraries really, really do have an invaluable place in the community - lots of really useful services used and much-appreciated by lots of different kinds of people... and the last bastion of no-catches FREE stuff!
- That there are still people who never go to their library, who come in grudgingly to use the photocopier or one of the computers in an emergency or join 'to support libraries in principle' and are astonished at the range and quality of our books, DVDs and facilities... and, indeed, jokes... or is that just me?
Go on - visit your local library this week to help me celebrate!
* Sweeping generalisations based on limited research