Tell me about yourself (as much as you are comfortable with)
My name is Jo, and I’m from South Carolina. I’m 33 years old and have been a professional librarian since 2014.
What type of library do you work in?
I work in a public library. My library is part of a county-wide system, making it a county department.
What made you go into the library world? What made you decide the type of library you work at?
I changed majors a few times as an undergrad. I started as an English major, switched to education, and then decided to go back to English and go into library science down the road. However, I had volunteered in libraries since middle school.
The question of “what kind of library do you want to work in?” always baffled me in grad school. My answer was generally “wherever I can get hired.” I wish that there was some sort of “Introduction to Librarianship” library school course explaining the differences between types of libraries and the different training they require. I thought I understood because I did my work study in my college library, but I had no clue the differences between public and academic librarian.
What do you do day to day?
I’m going to answer this reflecting pre-COVID life.
I’m a Reference Librarian, though my “official” title is Information Services Librarian. I basically take care of anything that isn’t basic circulation or youth services. This includes collection development for our adult collection (fiction and non-fiction), adult programming, and help with technology. On any given day I may be putting together selection lists for items to order, weeding shelves, or doing one-on-one tech help.
What’s do you like & dislike about your job?
I like the challenge and the fact that it is never boring. There is always plenty of work to do. I work well with the other librarian in my department, and the days go by fast. Our patrons are generally pleasant and easy to deal with.
There’s never enough time to get everything done. Our adult collection has not been well maintained, so a lot of my collection development feels like trying to cut a path through overgrown jungle. I sometimes have difficulties with my manager.
Do you see yourself going into the administrative end of librarianship one day?
I’m actually applying for a branch manager position right now! I would like to be a branch manager one day. I’m not sure if I want to go further into management than that.
Tell me about your blog. What made you start writing one?
My blog has been an on/off project for several years. I’m in the process of revamping it. It was originally just for reviews, but I’m branching out into writing articles on various topics.
I’m an aspiring writer, and I feel like the blog will be good practice for non-fiction articles. It will also be a place I could house some of my fiction writing if I wanted.
Do you read specific genres for the blog or whatever catches your fancy?
Whatever I’m reading at the time. I have a hard time making myself read regularly, so a lot of times it’s whatever I’m reading for book club or class.
What are you currently reading, or what was your most recent read?
I’m currently reading In the Bedroom by Andre Dubos, and just finished Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. Both of these are for a class I’m taking on short story collections.
I’m currently rereading Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire in my “for pleasure” reading.
What do you geek out about?
So many things (a benefit of ADHD!). I’m a big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Umbrella Academy, and other comic book/superhero stuff. Movies and TV shows are also things that I really enjoy and can get way into.
Do you have any hobbies? Tell me about them.
I’m a crafter. I knit, cross-stitch, and want to learn to sew. I also consider reading and writing a hobby.
Fave curse word?
Fun fact: I didn’t curse at all around other people until college. Now I’m really bad about it and have to remember to censor myself around certain audiences.
What is something you’ve always wanted to try but have been too scared to?
Acting. I’ve always been a behind-the-scenes theater nerd, but never had the guts to audition for a show.
What’s a hidden talent that you have?
I’m a good singer (I did choir as a teen) and I’m fairly musical (though I haven’t played an instrument in years).
I match my bookmark to my book cover. What’s your reader quirk if you have one?
I bounce between formats. I might start a physical book, pick it back up as a ebook, throw it on as an audiobook. The audiobook thing is pretty new (I wish I started it ages ago). But I don’t have a strong preference on how to read my books.
Do you have pets? Tell me about them.
I am currently sans pets. But not for lack of want! I’m just saving up until I can afford to cover all of the associated costs.