Library Diva's Guide to Volunteering…

It’s refreshing to walk be in our lobby and have kids excited to be at the library. Nice, well behaved, quiet little kids. All in their little voices wanting books and not sure what to get. Like going to the ice scream store and not sure if you want a float, milk shake, or an ice scream cone. You want them all but know you can only get one, but here, you can get almost as many as you want and they are almost certain they’ll find something they like and can take home

Roald Dahl’s Matilda is one of my favorites little girls.

“Daddy,” she said, “do you think you could buy me a book?”
“A book?” he said. “What do you want a flaming book for?”
“To read, Daddy.”
“What’s wrong with the telly, for heaven’s sake? We’ve got a lovely telly with a twelve-inch screen and now you come asking for a book! You’re getting spoiled, my girl!”[…]
On the afternoon of the day when her father had refused to buy her the book, Matilda set out by herself to walk to the public library in the village. When she arrived, she introduced herself to the librarian, Mrs Phelps. She asked if she might sit a while and read a book.

After several months of Matilda coming to the library everyday, Mrs. Phelps told Matilda that public libraries allow people to borrow books and take them home. Matilda was thrilled.

We just never know what little “Matilda” we may have in our library but it sure is nice that we are here for her.


{November 27, 2009}   A New Generation of Librarians…

I got an email the other day from a high school senior who needed to do a job shadow for his career path. Seems he took a career test and although he wants to study one thing, the test told him that he will make an excellent librarian. Since career shadowing can fall onto the desk of the Volunteer Manager, I contacted the student to find out what the details were and then sent out an email to department heads to get their vibes (good and bad)…soon, the responses started to roll in.

Bring him on! Seems in the days of Cha Cha, KGB and Google, everyone thinks they can be a librarian. A little Wiki here…A little Cha Cha there…and everyone seems to have all the answers. What a great opportunity to grab a hold of one kid and show him what the job really is like. He’s going to go everywhere, History and Genealogy, Reference, Teen Zone, Circulation, he’s going to shift, he’s going to shelve, he’s going to help assist our Public Computer Instructors, he’s going to help deliver books through our Mobile Outreach, he’ll do some inventory and even process or tape and repair some of our books in Tech Services.

Job Shadowing and Career Exploration in the library are great volunteer opportunities for our young people to experience. The more comfortable they are in the library, the more they will want to be a part of it, even maybe as a career, if not…they will at least have a whole new respect for us!

Librarians  and those that work in the  library go beyond Shhh~shing. At our fingertips and within our sight are all the books and resources to entertain, to teach, and to inspire. How can you NOT feel that power when you walk into a library. Let Cha Cha have it’s one dance, to us, we have that one and all the others!

et cetera
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