what’s going down at the library

As you all are probably aware by now, I am a librarian at a big, urban library in the US. I’ve been in this job for about 8 months, and have been learning a lot throughout my days here. One of the reasons I started this blog was to have an outlet for myself to write about my experiences in librarianship, but that has not been much of a focus on this blog in reality. Still, I like to post the occasional library update, so here’s another one!

  • Fewer problems with teens. For a couple months at the end of summer, we started having a couple groups of teens come in who were a huge problem, and often got kicked out for cussing constantly and generally being disrespectful of us and the teen space in the library. Kicking teens out of the library is my least favorite part of my job. I don’t like feeling like a bad guy, and I’d way rather the kids be in the library than out in the neighborhood, because we are in a very rough area of the city. However, it was getting to the point where we were having conflicts with teens basically every day. It escalated to the point where one day, they dropped one of our huge chairs and I got super pissed and yelled at them (though I can’t really yell so my version is just being extremely stern), and since then they have either not come back or been slightly better.
  • Working on Ceasefire programs. The city does an event called Ceasefire, which is essentially encouraging people not to commit any murders for a 48-hour period. The library is hosting a variety of events to encourage it throughout the city. The one I am most excited about happened last Friday, and was a live jazz event featuring one of my best friends from college, who very generously (although to be fair he was paid) agreed to come play at the library! I was very excited to hear him play again and people seemed to enjoy it.
  • Planning November displays. Displays are one of my favorite things to do at my job because it involves collection development, which is my main library passion, to some extent. I am doing a display about National Novel Writing Month.
  • People really like to grab things off the desk. That are ours and not for patron use. Without asking us. People are getting way too cozy and acting like the library is their house. And staying here all day every day. Probably because they are unemployed, which is not great, but if you stay here all day every day then you will get annoyed by things we do and we will get annoyed by things you do because you’re here all the freaking time. End rant.
  • All teens want to do is play the same game. Survive IO, I think? Every. Single. Day. For hours. And it’s nearly impossible to get them to get off the computers to do something else.


That is basically it. Overall things are going better, and I am getting less sensitive when people are assholes to me and yell at me or cuss at me or are generally rude, which happens more often some weeks than others. But that is about it for library happenings since my last update.

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  1. I remember being super sensitive & timid around patrons. Still am, but getting better! Glad to hear that some of the Teen problems have quieted down for y’all. c: Now if we can get our teens to stop their yelling and hanging out in the women’s restroom. 😐

    (I wish our library did the ceasefire programming. Stupid construction.)

    1. I am glad to hear I am not the only one who has had issues with being sensitive and timid around patrons. I think part of my own issue is that I worry people won’t take me seriously or see me as an authority in the library because I’m so young (I’m 25). Plus I had really bad anxiety when I started, which didn’t help.

        1. I haven’t noticed too much ageism, as long as people have a degree (which isn’t great to be snobby about either obviously, since plenty of amazing librarians don’t have a degree, but some people at my library system are VERY snobby about people’s titles), but I just *feel* young because people don’t take me seriously as an authority figure.

  2. Haha, this made me smile 🙂 Being a librarian is funny because often you love what you do, but at the same time being a librarian is one of the most annoying jobs! You have to deal with people every day which is wonderful and terrible 😀

    I know they’re annoying you, but I’m glad you get young adults in your library. We get basically no teenagers whatsoever, which isn’t a surprise because our YA section is dismal and it’s literally ON THE STAIRS so you can’t even really browse it or anything.

    I love hearing about how other librarians are doing 🙂

    1. I’m glad we get actual teens, too (and that they seem to be calming down a bit, lol). I was a YA librarian at a rural library before I came to this one and there was basically no teen section or teens who even came in because they all went to the bigger (and frankly, better) library in the next town. So this is for sure preferable!

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