Does anyone work in a library?

Our local library is hiring a clerk. Does anyone work in a library? What are the plus/minuses? I’ve been a mom/part time school district employee for 15 years and ready for a change.

13 Answers

  • Try to get a copy of the job description. That will help you know whether or not it’s for you.

  • I work at a library and LOVE it! Started 27 years ago on the check-out desk and now do PR. We have a great staff (I think most libraries do), and I love knowing the readers in our community. Go for it!! You’ll probably have to be a bit flexible and fill in for others once in awhile, but if you’re part time, it’s not a big deal.

  • I worked in a library for 6 years. It’s very rewarding, but…the hours are retail hours (nights and weekends possible) plus some patrons are very challenging. They can have mental health issues, housing issues, English as a second language, etc. It truly can test all your social work skills. If you are working with a good group of people, though, you can team up and fill in the gaps to help your patrons. And if your community has a strong network of social service groups, then you can tap into their programs for back up. Good luck!

  • Yes, I guess it depends on whether it’s a city library or small town library. Our community is 20,000 and we don’t have much trouble. Libraries are doing more now. I have started a knitting group, a watercolor group, and a “Tail Waggin’ Tutors” program with kids reading to therapy dogs.

  • I retired four years ago after working at a small library for 27 years. I worked in Technical Services, so I was not involved with the patrons, only with the books and my co-workers. I loved it. Book people are good people.

  • Technical Services would be right up my alley. Maybe something to work towards. 😍

  • Working in a library was my first job! As a senior in high school (1968-1969), I had study hall first period, and I worked during that period at the county library across the street. I also worked 8-12 on Saturdays. My job during the week was to type the cards for the card catalog, and on Saturdays I worked the desk, checking out books and putting them away when there were no customers. I made $0.50/hr.!! I absolutely loved it and wanted to go to college to become a librarian. Somehow my life took a different turn.

  • I am close to retirement for the second time from our local public library. It has been a good gig. Your schedule is likely to include nights and weekends. You will not see the best side of all the patrons, but most people are nice. You can’t judge people’s reading. You are not a parent to the kids that come in – they and their parents get to decide what the right books are. Bottom line, this is a job where you work with people, the books are secondary.

  • I worked in Technical Services at a college library. I loved working there and with the students. My schedule was regular, good benefits, but low pay. That’s the drawback. In my place there was little room for advancement, just lateral moves. College libs are different than publics, though I think I would like that too. However, do not romanticize working in a library. It is not always unicorns and rainbows, but a place of work, and as in other places, a cast of characters.

    • Really appreciate your comments. Can’t tell you how many people thought I read books all day long.

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