Since Jim works every Saturday, and since he had a gig last Saturday night, I spent this past Saturday doing a LOT of book ordering at home. Hours and hours and hours of book ordering, interrupted only by moving the laundry along and occasional chocolate breaks. (Nipping the perpetual question in the bud – this was on my own time, not on the clock…)
At this point in my career, I am looking at what I spend most of my working hours doing, and comparing it to the reasons for choosing this career. I love the library’s patrons, young and old, I love running storytimes, and I love things like the summer reading program. They’re all good things, and happy things. But the reason that I took this job, the reason that this career makes me HAPPY, is what librarians call “collection development.” Not being one for buzz words, I prefer to call this part of that process simply “ordering books” (and I do also love the other parts of the process, including weeding).
There’s a reason that I got my master’s degree in children’s literature, and that reason is that I am and always have been a passionate fan of children’s books. And there is nothing more exciting than reading reviews of newly published children’s books (and, sometimes, republished older books), ordering the best of the best which fit into my budget, and then seeing those books come in on the UPS truck a day or two later. This afternoon I went down to tech services and gathered up a very full book cart of gorgeous brand new books to bring back to my office for sorting tomorrow. (Sorting, for those of you who are interested, involves labelling the fiction books as JJ, JE, J, AR, and YA – and putting genre stickers on the spine where appropriate, and also labelling the nonfiction books as J+correct call number or JJ+correct call number.)
Without a doubt, picking up that cartful of brand new books was the highlight of my week. All that lovely new book smell, all those crisp pages, all those enticing covers. One book in particular got my attention, probably because it looks like a great summer read, is Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst; definitely one I’ll be indulging in soon – a little guiltily, but that’s ok. Also exciting for me to see is a book from one of my Simmons College gal pals, Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby. It’s been too many years since I’ve seen Hannah (twelve years since we all graduated from the children’s lit program!), and it will be so cool to read her book. Maybe it will be even appropriate for one of my book groups to read…hmmmmmm…
So tomorrow at work will be heaven for me, handling all those lovely new books and getting them ready to go down to tech services for their final processing before they get into the hands of some eager young readers. Books, really, are what it’s all about.