Blogger Kary Henry

A Few Things I Didn’t Know

I came to the world of public libraries as a career later in life. I had always, ALWAYS, loved and used libraries, but it wasn’t until 17 years ago that I started working in this field that I love so much. Even after all this time, I’m still amazed at what I didn’t know about working in libraries.

Five Random Things I Didn’t Know

  • Every day is unpredictable.
    • It’s sunny, so we’re busy. It’s rainy, so we’re busy. It’s sunny, so we’re “the q word” (don’t say it, or you’ll undo it). It’s rainy, so no one is here. This program is full with a waiting list; we had to cancel this other program, even though we thought it was going to be a home run.
  • You’ll overhear amazing things in the play area.
    • “Everybody, get on your unicorns!” might be the best ever (full credit to a former colleague for sharing that one).
  • Searching in the catalog can yield humorous results.
    • Entering “I’m a Duck” brought me to “A Walk in London.”
  • We are privy to the highs and lows of life.
    • Because I grew up using libraries and was somewhat reticent to ask for help, as a child, I rarely approached the librarians behind the desk. I am grateful and humbled that I’m on the other side now and have helped people navigate searches for books on difficult topics and joyful ones as well. For that brief moment, I’m walking alongside them in their pain or elation.
  • We have to advocate for free reading, even with well-meaning adults.
    • Whether it’s “audiobooks count as reading” or “comic books are real reading” or any variation thereof, I’m still shocked at how many adults feel the need to dictate their child’s free reading. I address this in multiple ways, including wearing a homemade badge that states “I believe that reading is reading, so read what you want” and pointing out that if said grown-up were to pick up a magazine in a waiting room, literally no one would ask them if it was on their level. I will fight this good fight every day.

What Didn’t Surprise Me…

  • How amazing the work is, even when it’s hard.
  • That this field is filled with phenomenal and passionately devoted people.
  • That I feel fortunate to do what I do, day in and day out.

What would make your Random Things You Didn’t Know list? Share in the comments below!


This post addresses the ALSC Core Competency: I. Commitment to Client Group

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