Friday, April 15, 2011

Library Stuff I've Learned

Didn't get anything read because I was at the school track meet running the high jump. New skills are always good. Instead, here are some things I have learned.
(Vintage library newspaper rack picture from

  1. Never buy a gallon jug of book glue. By the time the 8 ounce bottle is empty, you will have to remove the lid with pliers. Every time you open it.
  2. If you use 4" acid-free book tape on both sides, taping the cover back on the book can work as well as having it rebound. Get someone to help hold the book while you tape the inside.
  3. There is always another layer of junk. Sometimes, this junk is amusing and should be kept for entertainment purposes. Yesterday, in the mylar cover cabinet, I found two dowels for the old newspaper rack, which disappeared a dozen years ago. It was fun to wave them at younger staff and have them guess what they were, or at older staff who exclaimed "Oh! Newspaper hangers!"
  4. Books go in and out of style. In fifteen years, the 8 copies of The Red Pyramid will fall apart. Already, three have been lost. It was still worth it to have that many.
  5. I am still working if the library is not jam-packed full of students. I don't believe this and fear for my job unless I have two classes at a time, but if I want to work for 40 more years, I need to remember it's a marathon and not a sprint. If it's quiet today, I can crawl around on the floor and hoist armfuls of fiction around to different shelves because..
  6. The fiction books will NEVER be in an ideal place.

What are the most important (or randomly amusing) things that YOU have learned as a librarian? Opine.


  1. There's never enough space.

    Don't blindly accept a student's recommendation for a book. Before buying it, check reviews (like the wonderful ones Ms. Yingling provides). Amazing how often you'll realize the book is too sexy, too violent, or too something to be a good acquisition for your particular collection.

    Out of the hundred books you painfully managed to weed, at least one will be requested as soon as you've gotten it out of your library.

  2. I'm with you on the layers of junk! I'm getting ready to move and leave my job and trying to clean up for the person to replace me - boy is there a lot of junk. :)

  3. Great question.

    So, what have I learned in seven years?

    No matter how many Taking Care of Books lessons I do, I still have many, many lost books and many, many ruined books.

    Just because you like a character on tv does not mean that a book about him/her will be a good book.

    Librarians are teachers, too. Let me say this one more time: Librarians are teachers, too.