My last post was at the six-month mark, and I had passed the Age of Looking and Response, the Age of Attack and Purpose, and sat at the Threshold of Understanding. Now, as I enter the Age of Meaning, I can walk alone as a librarian, yet I still have a certain amount of anxiety about adding the skills I now see are missing from my resume. As I babble about, toddling barely steadily, my strength lies in my curiousity.
A natural interest in picture books, for both storytelling and for sharing, has somehow grabbed me. As I weed the picture books — reading them, repairing them, cleaning them — I get to know them. The process of compiling reading lists requires a high degree of familiarity with the selections. While it is easy to find lists, I aver that it is not always easy to find the books on the list. Libraries compile lists for grade levels, reading levels, interests, genres, and various other defining criteria. When analyzing the collection, I look at several lists, note similarities. These I make a beeline for, sometimes waiting on Holds lists until I can read them. The popularity of these oft-mentioned books means that they are sometimes not so easily obtained from the library, where a limited number of copies circulate. It is important to maintain adequate number of copies of listed books.
In this spirit I am ready to trade some hand-holding for some help now and then with my balance. I can feel confident in my ability to acquire, evaluate, and maintain a collection. I understand the use of reviews and recommendations. I am in the process of creating my own lists. The question of how people access lists is of interest to me, as I find so few people who are actually familiar with and consistently using the library website and online public access catalog. There is still a very old service model expected from librarians, and curiously, I am willing and able to help with that. My two feet take me into the stacks a hundred times a day. That is the true pleasure of librarianship.