Life of a Librarian

As well as being wonderful places to visit, libraries are also fun places to work, I talked to some Librarians to find out more.

 Ryan, Librarian, Monash public Library service.

Why did you want to be a Librarian? I applied for a job at Kingston Library as I needed a job, plus I began the TAFE course in Library Studies. I didn’t initially want to become a librarian, I wanted to become a video editor but my portfolio wasn’t good enough.

How do you become a Librarian?You can study an Undergraduate and a Post Grad that focuses Information and Knowledge Management. However, transferable skills from other industries including customer service can assist you in becoming a librarian.

What do you do all day? Mainly work at the desk and assist customers with their account, shelve return items and respond to general enquiries.

What’s the best bit of your job? Directing people to the answers they are looking for.

A book you loved as a child and why? “Bimbo and Topsy” by Enid Blyton as my Nana gave it to me as a present and I read it many times. As an adult, I wouldn’t enjoy the book as much.

A book you’ve recently read and enjoyed and why you’d recommend it? I’m currently enjoying “The Boy from the Mish“ by Gary Lonesborough. I haven’t finished it yet but I still recommend it.

Have you ever shhhhh’ed anyone? Not exactly, if people are too loud I say kindly, “would you keep it down or could you use headphones?” I normally encourage loudness in the library to kill the stereotype!

The best thing about books is….How it can take you on a journey with its narrative.

The biggest myth about librarians is…. That we read books all day!

Clare, Casual Librarian, Monash Public Library Service.

Why did you want to be a Librarian? I love finding out information and working with people to meet their information needs.

How do you become a Librarian? Successfully complete an approved Library Information Services course. And /or equivalent approved work.

What do you do all day? It varies … the key outcomes from the library work I have done includes: information desk work, customer service, suggestions for purchase, selections, de-selection, acquisitions, e- resources, interlibrary loans. As part of a team, I help to set up and run activities and programs.

What’s the best bit of your job? Working with people to meet their information needs. This may be helping them with computer systems, setting them up with like-minded people in a conversation group, running a program, or finding a resource for the person.

A book you loved as a child and why? Anything by Robert Louis Stevenson, as his stories were well written and adventurous.

A book you’ve recently read and enjoyed and why you’d recommend it? “The Bluffs” by Kyle Perry – set in the Tasmanian wilderness. Because it was so atmospheric and kept you guessing about what was going to happen.

Have you ever shhhhh’ed anyone? I doubt it … because I am deaf, so am not often disturbed by noise. I would consider asking a customer to be quieter, if another customer said that they were too loud for other patrons’ enjoyment of the library space, and on balance that seemed to be the case.

The best thing about books is…. They expand your horizons. Plus, they help you to appreciate other people’s lives and stories.

The biggest myth about libraries is…. They only have books! Libraries now offer so much more!

Anything else to add…. I believe Libraries are an essential service. And without them, the community would be poorer in many ways.

Mooney. Library officer at Monash.

Why did you want to be a Librarian? It’s the most interesting job. You get to read lots of books, talk to different people, see cute babies coming to Story-time. How cool is that?

How do you become a Librarian? Go back to study…you can start with Cert 3, then Cert 4, Diploma, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Masters and then PHD… never stop learning! Even when you are qualified, you have to continue learning so you are aware of the latest library trends and issues, networking with other information professionals. It’s called Continuous Professional Development (CPD).

What do you do all day? My brain processes information every second I am in the library. I help people look for what they want. At the same time, I look for what I want to read and learn. It is a good learning environment. Go to a library and talk to the staff there.

What’s the best bit of your job? I get to read all the new books and am never short of books to read.

A book you loved as a child and why? I can’t remember the books I read as a child! Memory loss!

A book you’ve recently read and enjoyed and why you’d recommend it? I love “Thunder Dog”. It’s such an inspiration. It’s about a blind man (Michael Hingson) and his guide dog, the special relationship and the trust they have for each other. The man was working on the 76th floor of the Twin Towers on September 11th, 2001. The dog guided him and other people out safely. The other thing I like about the book is the man was brought up by his parents to believe that he can be anything despite his disability. He was the Sales Manager in charge of 40 Sales People at the time.

Have you ever shhhhh’ed anyone? Never – I want the library to be a vibrant place where people can just be themselves, relax, talk, laugh…be happy

The best thing about books is…. They make you into a smart person. It is a window to a world of opportunities. You can read about anything and everything in the library.

The biggest myth about libraries is…. They are no longer relevant. We can just Google!

Anything else to add…. I love our libraries. There are so many nice people here, it’s like a family.

My name is Bianca. I am a Children’s and Youth Librarian and I work in a public library.

Why did you want to be a Librarian? I love helping people learn and be the best person that they can be. I think that libraries are great place to learn something new. It doesn’t matter if you are a baby, going to school or old enough to be a grandma, libraries are for everyone!

How do you become a Librarian? I studied to be a librarian at university, but before that I worked as an artist. I made sculptures and had art exhibitions in galleries.

What do you do all day? Every day is different. Sometimes I tell stories and sing songs, other days I set up after school clubs for art and craft or robot coding. Most days I help people find the information they need or show them how to use computers, photocopiers and the internet – you would be surprised!

What’s the best bit of your job? I love hearing about the books you like to read and recommending new books to try. When you’re in the library you can always come and ask me a question, or just say hello!

A book you loved as a child and why? “The Girl with Silver Eyes” by Willo Davis Roberts because the girl in the story could move things with her mind and I always wanted to be able to do that.

A book you’ve recently read and enjoyed and why you’d recommend it? “The Dog Runner” by Bren MacDibble. It is set in Melbourne in the future, and there is a food shortage where everyone might starve. A brother and sister are trying to leave the city with their five trusty dogs and a dry-land dog sled. It is an exciting adventure/survival story. Bren has also written two other books; “How to Bee” and “Across the Risen Sea”  that are set in the future and explore challenges to the environment. Recommended for 8+ year olds.

Have you ever shhhhh’ed anyone? No, never. Not ever!

The best thing about books is….You can borrow as many as you like!

The biggest myth about libraries is….Some people say libraries are boring quiet places where there is nothing fun to do. But I would say “hang on a minute, that’s not true!” At my library you can learn to code, create, play PS4, hang out on the bean bags and chat, there is even a roof top garden – how about that?!

Anything else to add….Libraries are free. They are warm in winter and cool in summer. Anyone and everyone is welcome, always.

What would you like to learn about working in a library? Do you think you’d enjoy this job? Let me know!

Happy reading, Yvette