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Postby BarbaraSher » Sun Apr 20, 2003 11:28 am

Want to move the wonderful posts about libraries to this topic? Just cut and paste from original topic.
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Postby Shakey » Wed Apr 30, 2003 9:16 pm

I've loved libraries, ever since the bookmobile first visited my rural elementary school! I used to think I'd like to live in a library, but lately I've decided that I'd settle for just working in one. I even applied for a position (driving the bookmobile, shelving books, etc...don't remember the exact job title) that opened at our county library, but didn't get the job...they hired someone with prior experience. I'm waiting for another opening and trying to determine what I can do to better my chances in the meantime.
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Postby cyrano » Wed Apr 30, 2003 10:50 pm

I love a librarian, does that count? She and I are bibliophiles of the first water. We live across the street from a very good public library and a half mile away from the library of the Big State University (where she works). If anything, libraries lure me into all manner of tributaries that, if I'm not careful, can distract me, but then I'm easily distractible.
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Postby tui » Wed Nov 24, 2004 2:41 am

If you want to know what the town's like - visit the public library... The book stock. The users. The staff. The other services - especially noticeboards. The quiet places for seniors and corners for kids to do homework in company. The health of the pot plants. Access for wheeled vehicles such as prams and mobility scooters. The opening hours... An open book, really.
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Libraries and Scanners: Some things you should know

Postby Jami Duvall » Wed May 31, 2006 11:05 am

I work in a library. That is good, but . . . it is my good enough job, and I'm looking for something else, what Barbara calls the Smart Boss. I just don't feel they are getting the best out of me here. Let me tell you what I have learnt, so far . . . Most people don't get the best out of libraries. Until I started working here I didn't realize everything that is available -- though, of course what is available varies by library, and especially by system. What most people don't realize is that most libraries are responsive to their needs and suggestions. We order books, movies, tapes, videos, CDs, (is there anything else) that people ask for. If we decide not to purchase them we can often get them on Interlibrary Loan (ILL). This is a wonderful system that allows you to borrow items from libraries all of the world. Now you can really get what you need to study almost anything you get interested in. Most people call everyone who works in a library a librarian, but it is a job title. To be called one you must have one of two degrees, either a MLS (Master of Library Science) or an MSLS (Master of Science in Library Science). I have two masters degrees, but not in library science. I am called a reference associate, though the public rarely knows the difference between me and my colleagues. So I work on the reference desk, and often get referred questions outside the knowledge of others, while making a third to half what the other person makes, just because of the degree. It doesn't seem quite fair, but that's the way it is. Be aware of this if you want to work in a library but do not have a degree. The people that work at the reference desk are there to help you find the information you need. Some people are quite surprised at the level of service we offer and how willingly we do it. It is not like that everywhere, unfortunately, but you would be surprised to know how much help you can get from reference services anywhere. A few hints: You never need divulge personal information about what you need and why, but do not try to hide the actual information you are after. Unless you are after a specific book, article, etc. ask for the subject you are looking for. Example: A woman came in and wanted an article in a newspaper about two years old. After an exhausting and unsuccessful search she said it had recommended some local programs she was interested in. We have lots of other stuff about that, why waste time on a two year old article? Don't ask for stuff about health when you really want a book on how to build septic tanks. Be specific about the question you want to answer, give the librarian the choice of the best way to get the information. Do not expect the librarian to do your home work for you. The library offers programs from financial, children's stories, poetry workshops, musical concerts, etc., etc. They accept volunteers to work on projects: I have used volunteers to type articles from old papers, to catalogue and sort local history files, to dust and straighten shelves (a great way to browse and find new subjects you like), and to pick up trash from the grounds; and a volunteer helps the community, for the library belongs to all. Older people come in and tell me this is the only agency in the community they feel gives them their tax money's worth. (As I say just be glad you don't get all the government you pay for.) What else can you get? Save money on all the most recent books. Find books you would never think of on your own. Ask a reference librarian for the next book in your series, or a recommendation on some entirely new subject -- we do a good bit of that. Browse magazines or journals. Use our computers. Before I worked here I always thought you had to pay to use them, so I never did -- they're free! You have your own computer. Well we have paid databases you probably don't have at home, like paid subscriptions to ancestory databases, and a database of all the businesses in the U. S. searchable by name, address, location, zip, SIC code, value, employee size, company headquarters, affiliates, etc. Try that sometime if you want to know where to send that special resume for the niche job you know must exist somewhere within an industry. I am running out of time -- another perk -- you can get involved in projects that need only snippets of time. E. g. I taught myself HTML out of a book as I was on the desk, and have started about 50 free websites that are in all stages of completion, a dozen or so of them very nice. I can post to things like this, as long as I jump up instantly to help customers -- it has happened four times since I started this post. There is much more I could say. I will add to this if anyone is interested. I too am a big fan of libraries. The work is not for everyone, but there is something here for everyone. As the old bookseller's sign said in Christopher Morley's Haunted Bookshop (1919): "We have what you need, though you may not know you need it." All the best.
Nec ossa solum, sed etiam sanguinem.
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