It was my job…

Until a few weeks ago, it was my job to help anyone who walked up to this desk.

circulation desk with view of "Enduring Prairie" by Dale Merrill

“Enduring Prairie” (Dale Merrill)

It was my job to put new books on top of this shelf if someone checked out one of the display books and left an empty space…

picture books displayed on top of shelves…to put together these puzzles every Tuesday night during my closing shift…

wooden puzzles…to keep a close eye on tweens who thought this was for parkour when really it’s for preschoolers…

pre-k playscape…to lead them to this room when they wanted materials we didn’t keep in the children’s room…

teen room…and to run to these stacks to find books that were still checked out to patrons even though they’d returned them. (Check-in staff, get with the program!)

mystery, fiction, nonfiction stacksIt was my job to be in this gorgeous building early in the day, before the throng of students, authors, genealogists, job hunters, researchers, and leisure readers burst through the door the second it automatically unlocked.

view from circ to referenceIt was my job to contribute to the causes of early literacy, lifelong learning, and equal access to information for all our patrons. It was not my job to love it, but I did anyway. This was the only job I’ve ever had that I never dreaded. They paid me to do this…

2011 Make a Splash--READ

water pump with brick well & water drops for “Make a Splash–READ” 2011

…and this…

6.17.12 Dream Big READ

“night” scene (we had blue but not black) for “Dream Big–READ” 2012

…and this. The scene will be “filled in” over the course of the summer; see notes below.

garden scene

garden scene for “Dig Into Reading” 2013

For now it’s populated only with a bunny, a garden gnome, and some critters sleeping in burrows in honor of this year’s theme: Dig Into Reading.sleeping foxThose days are over for me now. Even though I sometimes felt like this I know I will miss even my most mundane duties in the library.


*The parkour video gives you a sort-of tour of where we’ve been living the past few years. All of the shots are on and around the University of Iowa campus.

*For the last three summers, I’ve created a paper mural for each Summer Reading Program. When kids in grades K-6 complete half of their reading activities for the summer, they get to put their name on a theme-appropriate shape (e.g. bricks & water drops for Make a Splash), then tape it into the scene anywhere they want. It was our way of reinforcing their work by rewarding them with “their name in lights” halfway through, and also a chance to check in, ask what they’re reading, and possibly get them excited about something new if they’re losing steam. SRP completion has been an issue in recent years.

*Librarian Problems is a website to which I’m sure all library staff can relate, but its sense of humor is hostile sometimes so I chose a safe one to show you. If you really want to know how be a good patron, though, explore some more to learn how to annoy librarians–so you can avoid annoying them, obviously.

Leave a comment


  1. You were a wonderful addition to this library too. I’m sure they were sad to see you go.


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