12 Things This Librarian Loves About Library Patrons (Happy Valentine’s Day!)

12 Things This Librarian Loves About Library Patrons (Happy Valentine’s Day!)

It’s Valentine’s Day, the day when lovers proclaim their affection for each other. Since I am a librarian, a job I love, I’d like to share with you some of the things I adore about my work — namely, those relating to you, the library patrons!

sign the pledge to vote for libraries

I love how you wait by the door for us to open

There are few things more endearing then to see a crowd of you waiting patiently for us to let you in. It symbolizes the demand there is for libraries, and the value you place on our services. Even if it’s just that the library is a clean and comfortable place to spend the day. When the hour strikes, I enjoy being the one who lets you in. Just be careful! I don’t want you to hurt yourself or anyone else as you rush in.

I love when you can’t pull your adult into the library fast enough

You come to the library every week and you’re so enthusiastic about the toys and books that you literally pull your adult to the kids section like a towboat towing a freighter! When you get a little older, you’ll just go ahead and dive into the stacks all by yourself, but for now the security of having your adult with you is important. I find that absolutely charming!

I love how you came alive in our library writers group

You just moved into town and happened to come to the library at the moment when the writers group was meeting. How lucky for you, and for me! I got to see you explore your creative side and make lasting friends while you were at it. Facilitating these experiences is one of the highlights of being a librarian.

I love when you ask juicy reference questions (and keep me updated on your subsequent research)

Good librarians are curious, and you fulfill that part of me in spades! When you ask me questions about topics with which I am unfamiliar, it’s a twofer — I get to help you out and learning something new at the same time! Better yet, because you keep me involved in your research process, I’m able to keep learning in addition to watching you succeed in your projects. The best was when you came back after being gone for a while to tell me that you finished that thesis and got your master’s degree!

I love seeing you grow from baby storytime to toddler storytime to preschool storytime

You were tiny when I was first filling in to do storytime. You lay on your blanket and looked up at me as I sang (badly) and read simple books. It’s amazing how quickly you grew, though. Soon you were helping out at toddler storytime by answering the questions I asked about the books. Now you’re at preschool storytime, having become a little human with a winning personality! There’s so much life ahead of you!

I love when you bring me your ideas

Part of being a librarian is responding to community needs, and you make that easy. While some privately complain about what they don’t see at the library, you take the initiative to come to my office with interesting proposals. Thanks to your efforts, everyone wins: You get to see the programs you want while other library patrons and I get to participate in something worthwhile. Collaborating with you is a true pleasure!

I love when your face lights up as you rediscover the library

You’re one of the many who dropped out of library use after their teenage years and returned in your 30s because you “used to love the library.” Turns out, you still do! But now, you have even more reason since the library has more resources then you ever thought. Downloadable audiobooks, streaming movies and music, language learning software, online classes and tutorials, and all of your favorite novels? Time to book a hotel and take a reading vacation!

I love when you tell me about your new favorite book

You’re retired and finally have time to read everything you want, and boy are you taking advantage of the library’s liberal loan limits. Sometimes I’m at the front desk when you return your books and am privy to your in-depth reviews. For an engineer, you sure delve into books like an zealous English major, and I can think of few things I enjoy more! It’s the best when you tell me about a book you really really liked — your excitement is contagious! People recommend books to me all the time, but I rarely have time or desire to read all of the suggestions. Lucky for me, I’ve read a few of yours.

I love how went from being a nervous, gangly teen to a self-possessed, well-rounded young adult

You were pretty shy and nervous when your mom brought you to the library as a tween. Over the years, though, I’ve noticed you really come into your own! You read widely, participate in library activities, and are well into being one of our brightest volunteers. You say you’re not sure what you want to be when you grow up, but I’m thinking we may make a librarian out of you yet.

I love how you come to computer class every week because you are so determined to “…learn how to use this thing!”

I’ve taught computers to older folks for years and you wouldn’t believe how many take the attitude directly opposite to yours; they make every excuse for why they can’t learn to use the computer. Yet, despite your poor vision, and hands that shake a bit, you have mastered the basics of email and just got onto Facebook. Your progress is slow, but your attitude is mighty! Your vim shows me that the world is full of possibilities. Thank you for the inspiration!

I love how you are interested in everything

Dinosaurs, trucks, volcanoes, skyscrapers, snowboarding, weather, and Ninjago are just a few of the topics holding your attention this week. You’re a library maven who has been in nearly every century of the Dewey Decimal system, and you’re not even eight years old! I don’t know what knowledge you’ll be seeking next week, but whatever it is, I’ll be happy to guide you to it.

I love that you let me be of service

Certainly, if the library wasn’t well-used, I’d be out of a job. Yet, that isn’t why I relish a busy day — in truth, I am happy to be a public servant in the simplest sense of the term; it is the satisfaction of serving the public that gives me my raison d’être. I’m a waiter for the mind, a facilitator of learning, a community collaborator, a weaver of people and ideas, and much more, all because of you. You are the reason that I am a librarian! Thank you!