One of the things I love the most about my job is interacting with all of the kids that come in after school. One of the things I dread most about my job, is interacting with all of the kids that come in after school.
When I first started in my system, I worked in a branch that had a Children’s Room where the door shut, a designated programming space, a designated teen space, AND a security guard. Fast forward two years. I’m at different branch, which is smaller when it comes to square-footage – not use or people. With two schools in walking distance, we’re a major after school hub for all ages. On Tuesdays we host the Community Chess Club, and Wednesdays it’s Daisies and Brownies.
Aside from the physical size, the other major difference is we do not have a security guard. This means when it gets loud, or people start running or goofing off, I’m the individual that speaks with kids about behavior Please don’t misunderstand me, I am very used to having the discussion about behavior and know it comes with the job, but lately I’ve been feeling like all I am is the Library Police.
I’m lucky that I am surrounded by an aide staff and a supervisor that support me, and that we are all on the same page when it comes to behavior in the building, but I still can’t shake that feeling that I’m spending most of my time after school politely asking people not to run or play hide and seek in the stacks, to please use inside voices, not to film videos for Snapchat, and not to eat. I try to offer alternatives instead, but I’m not always able to, whether it be because I’m helping a patron or whatnot. Plus, we have a whole spectrum of passive activities for kids to do in our little space.
I want to know if anyone else has felt like or does feel like the Library Police. How did you combat the feeling that you are the library bad guy, and the sense of dread that comes with it? Is there a happy medium, between being security and the nice librarian? Please share your insight in the comments!