My experience as a librarian at a public library
I have done various jobs in my life and I am very proud of each one of them. I’ve worked in customer service in jobs like pizza delivery, supermarkets, even as a public librarian for a couple of years, which still remains my favorite job. I used to sign in one of the libraries that said that an employee was needed for a certain period of time that was about a year, to be in the position of an employee who was leaving for maternity leave.
At that point seemed like the perfect job for me, since I was planning to finish my studies and go to the army, which is obligatory in Greece, and was not seeking for a permanent job, but a job to cover my expenses until I finished with my studies. Furthermore, it was something I liked to do. For about 4 years I spent over 12 hours per week in a public library. I liked the quiet environment and I had almost discovered every inch and book of that particular library that needed the employee.
Since it was a public library, things were a bit complicated to apply for the job. At that time a lot of paperwork was really necessary but in a couple of days I had everything ready and was able to apply for the job. It turned out that not a lot of application were made and I was happy to hear that I was the one who got the job!
The job of a librarian
My new job involved a dusty building, filled with the silence of books, where in fact I could work and study at the same time in order to get my degree. At first I thought that I was very lucky because I thought that not a lot of people actually use the library, so I would have plenty of time to study or just relax a bit. Actually that was not the case. The thing is that if you don’t really work in a public library, then you don’t really understand public librarian experiences.
It was not exactly the cushiony job where you have to barely help people, not only helping them lose inches, but also while you read. In fact it was rather busy and I had to come into contact and try to assist many people that were just crazy… Of course all types of people were welcome and many of them were particularly weird.
Assisting people in libraries
I think I’ve met some of the strangest and weird people in the world, but also many interesting other people too. I have met artists, writers, poets and people of science many of whom were amusing and interesting having a good sense of humor and understanding. Indeed, these people helped me develop a huge tolerance for people that I thought that were born only to torture me… What I learnt from my experience at the library is that the majority of the public you meet are just fools or insane, once you get away from your friends and family. There are people I do not want to talk about, but I will certainly will not forget their attitude and behavior for the rest of my life.
The library I was working at was not that big, so I wasn’t expecting too much work. That was true in a way but what I had not taken into account was the fact that also the staff would be less. In fact, only two people were available during each shift, which meant that days were actually busier. Furthermore, it turned out that summer reading days at the library were in fact busier and more stressful than I was expecting.
Working in a public library for experiences can be tough simply because you are a human. There are days when your mood isn’t entirely there, and you need to be just removed from the public, but this is not possible unfortunately. Therefore, you really have to pretend and to fake your way through much pointless and superficial conversations you’ve heard in the past and do that many times per day. Believe me, it’s very tough.