By Kailee Crouch
Most people tell me that my job is so easy and that I hardly have to do any work. That I just have to watch the patrons grab their selections from our shelves and greet them “hello” and “goodbye.” I don’t blame the patrons or anyone coming to the library to look around for thinking like that; I mean, that’s what we thought most librarians did when we were kids! It is so much more, though.
I am a part-time Youth Services Technician Assistant and when I’m asked if I do less work because of being part-time, I simply giggle and say with a smile no. I do the same amount of work that most of my coworkers do, maybe a little less, because my hours are different.
I’m then asked, mostly by the kids and some curious parents, “Well, what is it that you do then?” The answer to that question is lots of things! My job consists mostly of helping the patrons, shelving books, pulling holds, and doing whatever my supervisor needs me to do/help with. Now, how exactly do I help the patrons? I will help them find items like DVDs, audiobooks, graphic novels, non-fiction and fiction books, etc. This can be physically finding them on the shelves in the library or in our catalog so they can place holds on the items that are not currently in our library and get them from other libraries in our system! I also help new patrons sign up for library cards.
When I’m not helping out our patrons, you can find me shelving or pulling holds. Shelving is when you take either books, DVDs, or audiobooks that have been checked in and place them in their proper place back on the shelves for others to come and check out. Shelving helps the librarians, me, and the patrons find what they are looking for more efficiently and effectively, and it keeps everything organized. This comes in handy when I have to pull holds for either patrons or for the other libraries when we have an item that they want!
Now, when all of that is finished, I’ll do tasks that my supervisor needs me to do. This could be going through our inventory to see what books are either missing or lost, working on a rotation so that the other branches in our system have new books to display, deleting books from our system, or simply cutting out hearts or bunnies for them to decorate the library with. I get many weird looks from the patrons when I have to delete books because “Why would you throw books away? It’s a library!” Well, we have to delete books because sometimes they aren’t useful anymore; they are either too damaged, out of date, or simply don’t circulate anymore, and yes, it does hurt me to get rid of the books!
These may seem like small, unimportant tasks, but this is what helps our library(libraries) to keep on going. In short, it does seem like I have quite an easy job while I am seated at the desk ready to help, but there is much more to my job, and I really wouldn’t have it any other way!
Kailee Crouch is the Gettysburg Library Children’s Assistant.