Benbrook Library / Musings

The Wackier Side of the Shelf Life

Just another day at the office.

One of the main things I aim to accomplish in this space is to give my gentle readers a glimpse into what exactly it is I do here in library land. The response I most often get when I tell someone I’m a librarian is “What do you do all day?”, which narrowly edges out “They still have those?” Usually, I tick off a list of the “normal” things, the stuff you’d expect: select and order books, evaluate collections, help people with anything and everything, run a book club, etc. What I usually fail to mention are the atypical, sometimes kooky, often insanely fun odd jobs I have the pleasure of doing. During summer, when children’s Summer Reading dominates the lives of all associated with public libraries, the frequency of these wacky side tasks increases dramatically. Today, which is officially the second-to-last day of Summer Reading 2013, I’ve been reflecting on the not-so-everyday things that have occupied my day-to-day existence here lately. Here’s a list of some of the highlights:

-Constructed a laser obstacle course out of red yarn (pictured above)

-Wrote questions for and hosted a teen trivia competition

-Used gravity and my facial muscles to move a cookie from my forehead to my mouth

-Showed kids how to bounce a tennis ball off a Frisbee while walking in a straight line

-Sat in on a magic class taught by one of my personal heroes

-Covered my hand in red paint and made “bloody” smears on a banner for Zombie Prom

-Provided “quality assurance” for a variety of sweet treats covered in chocolate by a chocolate fountain

-Gave multiple high fives and fist bumps to a bipedal cow mascot

Sounds like some pretty fun days at the office, huh? I owe many thanks to our uber-creative and all-around awesome children’s librarian Miranda, who comes up with all of this great stuff and is cool enough to include me in executing some of it. These unusual duties are some of the many reasons the shelf life (hey, he said the name of the blog!) is so sweet. When my wife asks me “What did you do at work today?”, it feels pretty good to be able to say things like, “Not much, just crowned a zombie king and queen.”

Here’s hoping those of you reading have a bit of wackiness in your jobs. If you don’t, I recommend providing your own.

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