Engaging with the Community: A Lewisham Library Example

So Christmas is around the corner (or right in front of us) and so ’tis the season to be jolly and merry and spread the joy. With this in mind, the library must not be an exception and must actively promote the spirit of the season in order to keep chrisanta2attracting patrons.

Thus it was great to witness my boss dressed up as Santa Claus giving presents to all the little boys and girls (although the little girl didn’t seem all that happy).

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I also took part in spreading the Christmas spirit by helping to decorate the front window. I decorated this white Christmas tree and made some paper snowflakes which were used as ballerina skirts.

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My colleagues have also put out displays that showcase books that directly relate to Christmas. In this way, patrons can have the opportunity to fully enjoy the Christmas season through literature.

As well as the library being available to the public to access the computers and use the materials, the library must fully engage with these individuals in order to continue to attract customers. Putting on events and creating displays allow people and staff to engage with their community, whilst discovering something new and different.

Was I born to be a librarian, or not?

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Ever since I began pursuing a career in librarianship, I started to notice that there were certain habits I had acquired that make being an information professional a job that completely fits my personality.

For example, I use Microsoft Access to record the different shows I’ve watched as well the number of episodes, dates I finished watching them and some other details. I even have different databases detailing what type of show is in which database. (Now thinking about it, I kind of want to indicate what genre each show is from).

I primarily use social media to keep track of useful information. For example, Google + has been like a miracle in technology to me as I get to create different collections. This means that if I’m looking for a certain piece of information I found months ago, I know exactly where I saved it.

However, although these things come naturally to me and kind of indicates that I like cataloguing and classifying things, I have sometimes wondered whether being a librarian is really what I want to be.

Looking at a lot of the job descriptions and having attended a few interviews, I have often thought: ‘This job seems boring.’ ‘Would I really enjoy working here?’ ‘Is this all that’s out there?’

I know that I like helping people find the materials they need, format their documents, use the internet and familiarise themselves with their technological devices. But the closet job I could think of was either being an ICT teacher or being a digital librarian.

A digital librarian requires you to have in-depth knowledge on how to use technology and the practical skills to go with it. This includes coding and familiarity with information systems that allows you to manipulate it so you can make it do what you want. In addition, it most likely requires more time working on the computer then helping people.

I don’t want to be a teacher, so being an ICT teacher is immediately a big fat no.

So what do I do?

For now, I’ve decided to just get as much experience as I can in libraries, taking an interest in the different facets of librarianship. I don’t have an answer as to whether I will stay in librarianship or if I will someday pursue some other career path. I just hope that one day soon, I will have an answer.