Sunday, February 13, 2011

Social Self

I have debated back and forth with myself how personal to be with this blog.  I am not by nature a social networking kind of gal.  I don’t use Twitter, I use Facebook rarely, and my few online friends know they’ll only hear from me every once and a while.  This does not stem from my desire for privacy, or (I hope) a lack of social skills, but instead from a lack of enthusiasm about sharing or recording my daily life.  I have never steadily kept a diary, nor do I feel the need to do so.  I have a journal that I keep near my bed to record absolutely necessary thoughts, recollections or dreams, but it is rarely used.

Why then, did I start a blog?  The desire to blog came mostly from a need to practice writing.  I intend to go back to school this fall, and having been out of school for six years, I am out of the habit of writing and need to sharpen up.  I figured that writing a book review blog would give me the practice I need, both in writing skills and in simple dedication to a semi-daily task.  But I also know that to be a successful blogger, I need to be forthcoming and inviting, so I have decided to try.  I can’t promise much, but I will try.

Being a librarian hasn’t been my dream for very long, but once it came about, it took hold and became a very powerful dream.  Now that I am a librarian (even though I lack the masters degree), I still find myself settling in to the role.  Parts of it are as natural as can be.  Those would mainly be the children parts.  Storytime is the most fun I can have at work.  I love picking out books, planning crafts, and I love reading to children, even when they’re not all paying attention.  It’s a performance thing.  I used to be terrible at speaking in public.  My college presentations were disastrous at times.  But once I started reading to children, all that fear and uncertainty starting washing away.  I still get nervous from time to time, but I love it more and more each time.  I love helping a child find a book.  Yesterday, I helped a young patron track down a Star Wars book, and when I handed it to him, the look on his face would have made the Grinch’s too-small heart melt.  He literally hugged the book.  I wanted to hug him too, but his mother was standing behind him, and I thought better of it.  I’ve been helping another young man with a homework assignment this week (he got lucky with a few snow days, or I don’t think he would have finished in time), and it’s been great interacting with him, teaching him how to use the computer to search for what he needs, and getting him to tell me all about his story for school.  These things I honestly love doing.

What I don’t love doing so much generally involves the parents, or other adult patrons.  I’m still timid when I have to tell someone they can’t do something, which generally involves a computer, and I can rarely pluck up the courage to interrupt patrons on their cell phone and tell them to take it outside, that cell phones aren’t allowed in the library.  One day, perhaps, but I think I’ll always be a little bit meek in that department.  It’s partly the way I was raised, respect your elders, don’t interrupt, etc.  Already angry patrons I can deal with better, thanks to years of retail experience dealing with angry customers.  The key is to keep smiling and apologize, even when nothing is remotely your fault, which is a little disheartening if you think about it too much, but I try not to.

One of these days I’ll get my spine in better shape to stick up for myself and library rules, but for now, I’ll content myself that if the kids like me, I’m doing my job.  And I can honestly say I love my job.

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