settle a debate for me please..
When interviewing for a teen librarian position in an urban library— does one have to wear a suit or can you show a little more of your personality with say, a nice skirt, professional top and a blazer?
From a library director standpoint (and I can’t speak for all directors), I say to wear the clothes that fit your personality. Just make sure your clothes are clean, match in pattern, style, and color, and that they’re in good condition. That might go without saying, but I know I get turned off by people whose clothes don’t fit together. I love many different styles and fashions, but clashing styles on one body are a distraction from personalities and abilities in an interview. Remember that you want to stand out for the right reasons.
Asked by Anonymous
Hi there! Good question. Libraries have all kinds of policies and criteria on making decisions surrounding weeding, and what they do with books that have been discarded. Sometimes the items in a book sale were donated by a member of the community, but the library already had plenty of copies. Other times the book sale items could be discards from the library collection. I feel like that’s usually the main reason for why books end up in a book sale. The basic criteria for weeding books at a library where I recently worked was:
- What is the condition of the book?
- How often has it circulated?
- Does the content (if non-fiction) present inaccurate or out-of-date information?
- Is the content freely available and accessible online from an authoritative source?
- Does it contain or represent historical, cultural, organizational, or other significance?
- Is the book rare, or is it commonly found in other local libraries?
I used to see all books as precious, but I no longer do. I love weeding, and there have been times when I’ve even thrown a book in the recycling bin. That doesn’t give me pleasure, but it also doesn’t bother me whatsoever. If a book is mouldy, in rough shape, or just plain garbage, I will gladly toss it.
Consider this example: Books on caring for your lawn, plants, or trees in your yard, etc from the 1980s, 1990s (and earlier years). Those books will likely contain outdated information about pesticides, and how to treat certain plant diseases, or exterminate pests. Where I live, pesticides and other chemical solutions are now illegal, and can’t be used. Books in a library that endorse pesticide use should probably be removed from the collection (or at least from the circulating stacks), since the information is outdated, and potentially harmful. So although they should be removed from the collection, they also shouldn’t be added to a book sale for the same reasons they were weeded. I’d probably throw them out.
I’d also like to add the example of exercise and fitness books in our collections. The latest research indicates that the greatest long term calorie burn comes from high intensity interval workouts like tabata and lifting weights. But exercise books from the 1980s and 1990s tell us that moderate cardio is the way to lose weight. Nutrition information also changes. Have you noticed how there always seems to be a new recommendation about eggs? They’re good, no, they’re bad, no, they’re good! Oh, and I would never keep a bodybuilding book from the Arnold era because that was the pioneering time for the sport and they didn’t know that some of the ways they lifted were poor form that caused permanent damage to your body. Today, we know more and newer books tell us about proper form and how it affects certain muscles and joints. All of those books that provide outdated, harmful information don’t belong in a book collection or in the book sale. I don’t want to be responsible for hurting someone!
Keep in mind that keeping all books with the idea that all books are precious is book hoarding. Libraries have limited space and we constantly add to our collections. We need to decide what stays and what goes, or else we end up with overstuffed shelves that turn off people who want to come in and just get the latest best seller or do research using accurate information. If we keep everything on the shelves just because we worship our print collections, we actually tarnish our reputation for keeping current, accurate information.
Leigh Hallingby in a letter to the New York Times.
This argument is funny to me, because if you look back in history and study different kinds of literacy, it becomes glaringly apparent that oral/aural literacy was prevalent until the spread of vernacular writings thanks to the printing press. Look at The Song of Roland and other chansons de gestes from the Middle Ages. The stories were well known because they were shared aloud in great halls and taverns. We like to say that the medievals were illiterate, but I argue that they were only textually illiterate. They knew a wide body of stories that they shared orally. So why is listening to an audiobook less of a literary experience than reading the text? It isn’t! The argument, in the grand scheme of things, is more about feelings of superiority than literacy.
500s? 800s? Which Dewey Decimal Category do you fall under?
Now this is an internet quiz I can get behind. My absurd wanderlust puts me squarely in the 900s.
I got 900’s too!
900s too … what’s up with that?! :)
I got the 900’s. I guess that history degree wasn’t such a waste…
I took my current job with the plan that I would get the necessary experience to move on to a larger library back in suburbia in a few years. But an unexpected thing happened to me in rural library land. Small town life is growing on me. I love running a small library, with the constant hustle and bustle and truly being the hub of my small community. As the locals get to know me, they trust me more and are now reaching out to me to help with literacy and technology issues outside of the library. I’m still a private person compared to these small town folk. I don’t think a lifetime of living in the relative anonymity of a larger population will ever go away. But I’m finally starting to see what people see in small town life. Funny how this kind of realization can sneak up on you. By the way, those flowers were my birthday present from my small town. Hw often does that happen in a bigger library?
An older gentleman sauntered into the library with 2 small vases behind his back. He looked behind the circulation desk and said, “Oh good! You’re both here! Pick a hand!” He then proceeded to reveal the single carnations he had brought in for his librarians.
"I stole them!" He said. "My daughter’s boyfriend bought her a big bouquet of flowers and I stole a few for you ladies when they weren’t looking!"
Without batting an eye, my coworker winked and replied, “Stolen flowers are the best!”
Today those flowers are on the circulation desk for everyone’s enjoyment.
I mean like
How could it not be
every single moment is pure gold
and finally, one of my favorites
Before you check IMDB, yes, that is Dave Chapelle
One of my all time favorite movies!