All about Libraries with Annie!
Hello out there, everyone in the DC Public Library blogiverse.
I’m Annie Lyon, one of the children’s librarians here at the Northeast Library. I answer to Annie, Miss Annie, and my favorite, The Lego Lady. Whatever name you give me, I’m happy to be here, serving the neighborhood: finding books, answering questions, suggesting new reads, and helping to make our corner of Capitol Hill an interesting, safe and fun place to be.
The blog feature on the Library website has gone underused for too long, I think. So I’m going to jump into it and publish on a regular basis to give you, fair readers, a look into what library work, both before and behind the scenes, is all about.
But first, though, let’s get some stereotypes out of the way.
We’re not all cranky old women, wearing glasses and cardigans and our hair up in buns (although you’ll often find me with my hair up). We’re men and women - still mostly women - of all ages, cultures, colors, religions and creeds. Old? We skew quite young, too: the average age of library workers in the U.S. is 47.6. You’d be surprised who’s pushed book carts in the past: famous library workers have included former First Lady Laura Bush, Chinese statesman Mao Zedong, and notorious Venetian libertine Giacomo Casanova.
Librarians aren’t all prim, proper, bastians of no-fun. Children’s librarians, particularly, dress up in costume, play with Legos, make slime and other crafts, and sing songs about ladybugs, kitchen utensils, farm animals, and teapots on a regular basis. Adult services librarians, at our branch alone, host book clubs (of the fiction, nonfiction and cookbook varieties), Memory Lab events, writing classes, tech help and concerts out in our garden.
Think we’re not quirky? Librarians dress comfortably - remember those cardigans - and for lots of us, that means pants, fun tops and t-shirts, and even sneakers. Many of us aren’t above marking our bodies with our love of books. While I myself have yet to get a tattoo, I may be the only one who hasn’t. From Dewey Decimal numbers to book quotes to illustrations, librarians are inked far and wide.
We don’t, sadly, get to read all day, as much as I bet a lot of us wish we could. When I’m planning a storytime - more on that in a future blog - I could read picture books all day, looking for the right one to capture the young ones’ imaginations. Yet there’s so much to keep the staff busy, aside from our public-facing duties: discussing future book sales with our Friends of the Northeast Library group; committee meetings-both in and out of the branch; visiting local schools, hospitals, or communities; checking books out and in; processing fresh, new materials; leading programs for customers of all ages; sorting and shelving returned books; and behind-the-scenes planning for upcoming events. Sometimes, an eight-hour day doesn’t seem long enough.
What is long enough, however, is this first blog post. I hope you’ve enjoyed these words thrown out into the void. Come into the Northeast Neighborhood Library and say hello sometime, or I’ll see you here in the virtual neighborhood for another installment.