Posing in library stacks

Today’s post does not feature a new outfit (it’s the outfit you saw yesterday!). So why am I doing this post? Because for a librarian, I don’t have that many photos of me actually in a library on this blog! (Why not? Because natural light is so much better for photos, and lighting in libraries is generally pretty bad, at least for photo-taking.)

So for today, it’s like seeing an animal in their natural habitat in the wild — in this case, a librarian in a library! Plus, there are bonus outtakes! 🙂

And wasn’t it perfect that I happened to have my “banned books” pouch with me? Banned Books Week, an annual week-long event celebrating books and the freedom to read (by bringing attention to books that others attempt to ban or challenge), starts this year on Sept. 25 and runs through Oct. 1, 2016. This year, Banned Books Week celebrates diversity!

Librarian for Life + Style | Posing in library stacks

Librarian for Life + Style | Posing in library stacks

Background:  This is not MY library. This is the Evergreen State College library in Olympia, Washington. We visited the nearby Evergreen State College after we spent the morning and early afternoon at the state capital (see yesterday’s post), as we had heard it was a beautiful campus. And it is! It’s almost like visiting a state park. The library is in the heart of the campus — always a good thing! — and I always have to visit the library when we visit a new campus/town/country.

And look at the cool way their library is using their old card catalogs!

Librarian for Life + Style | Card catalog display at Evergreen State College Library

Now time for bonus outtakes!

Real life, AKA:

“It’s super hot, so I’m tying this cardigan around my waist.”

“Oh, we’re taking photos for real? Then I need to put my cardigan back on! We’re in a library, for goodness sake!”

Librarian for Life + Style | Posing in library stacks, outtake

“Ok, now let me pose in a funny, stereotypical way, like I just came across two people talking in the quiet zone.”

But I couldn’t quite keep the smile off my face!

Librarian for Life + Style | Posing in library stacks, outtake

“Oh, you caught me shelf-reading again? Yeah, it’s not my job anymore, but sometimes, I just like to keep my hand in.” 😉

(True story.)

Librarian for Life + Style | Posing in library stacks, outtake

Fun fact:  We started out in the American lit section and then moved to the British lit section (for Jane Austen). Sam then spied this title, Jane Austen in Style, and OF COURSE so I then had to pose with that book for the blog! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Posing in library stacks

Librarian for Life + Style | Posing in library stacks

And yes, after posing with the book, like a good library user, I did NOT reshelve it. Instead, I put it on one of the book carts, with other books to be reshelved.

Pro tip:  Please do NOT reshelve books you take off library shelves. A lot of users think they’re helping us by reshelving the books — and I totally understand that instinct! — but you actually help us by NOT reshelving books. Why? Because when library staff reshelve books or other library materials, we get stats about what items are actually looked at (versus checked out), so we can track usage of library materials in a different, but equally important, way. Plus, it gives shelvers (usually students, part-timers, classified staff, or volunteers) practice to shelve books and get more familiar with the classification system that that library uses (if it’s an academic library, that’s usually the Library of Congress classification system, or “LC” for short).

Ok, your library service message for the day is over! You’re welcome! 😉

Did you enjoy seeing me in a library? Please leave a comment and let me know. 🙂

Linkups:  Hello Monday, Monday MingleVisible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning Heads, A Good HUES-DayWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore WednesdayThrowback Thursday, Top of the World, What I Wore to Work/Summer StyleThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday Moda, On the Edge of the WeekFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayCharming Friday, Friday Favorites


13 thoughts on “Posing in library stacks

  1. Mike

    I love this post! You are so speaking my language when you start talking about libraries. 🙂 And I almost wanted to stand up and clap when I read your post about not re-shelving library materials. You are so right about that. We have signs posted in our libraries asking patrons not to re-shelve the books, for the very reasons that you gave. We keep daily stats or “in house use” data that we gather each day as well and we keep meticulous records of this, especially when we have our annual staff meeting to go over such stats for each year. We even have counting weeks (twice each year) that focus specifically on how many materials get used daily as well as circulation of the books by our patrons.

    And also like you said, when patrons think that they’re “helping” us by re-shelving the books, it messes up the order for shelvers (like myself) and we often have to shelf read a whole row of books before we can actually start shelving to make sure that they are in order. So it’s a lot of work. Good thing that I like it! 🙂

    But yes, definitely more library posts please! This was such a fun post for me to read because it focused on what I do, and love!

    Great post Jen!

      1. Mike

        Yes, they are. It also helps us get a nice idea as to the usage of our libraries and can help lead us to making them even better! Like you said, collection development!
        And I agree with Sam! Gentle reminders like this will help make our jobs easier as well as help keep everyone in “library land” informed and happy. Again, great post! 🙂

  2. Daenel Vaughn-Tucker (@DaenelT)

    I love this post! I also visit libraries when traveling. And yay for the Pro Tip. I tell people that all the time… And, yep, I’ve tried taking pictures in the stacks and oh my word is it hard. First of all, patrons. LOL They already think I’m silly, so setting up the timer and running, I mean walking swiftly, back and forth…

    1. Jen @ Librarian for Life and Style Post author

      Yes, I hate taking pictures in front of library patrons — or, really, in front of ANYONE who knows me! It’s weird that somehow it’s easier to take pics (and share pics!) in front of people who don’t actually know you.

      We should start a “Pay It Forward” campaign to get the word about NOT reshelving books in the library, like if everyone tells 5 more people… 😉

  3. Jessica

    I learned something new! Don’t re-shelve books?? I had no idea! So good to know, and I will pass this tip on!

    I love how the stripes in the carpeting coordinates with your own stripes, too! :o) Such a fun post. I love the “angry” librarian that just encountered talkers.

    1. Jen @ Librarian for Life and Style Post author

      Thanks, Jessica! And yes, PLEASE, do pass on the tip to others to not reshelve books in libraries! That would really help us out! 🙂

      And I only “shush” people when it’s in a designated quiet zone — otherwise, I’m all for people talking and working together in libraries. It’s nice when you can have both creative AND quiet spaces in a library, in order to serve a variety of needs and users.

  4. karenstrand

    I had no idea that I was doing it wrong all my life (re shelving books)! Thanks for the public service message! It was really fun to see you in a library. And your outfit? I’ll be attempting to copy it soon!

  5. rabbitstylenews

    I didn’t know about not re-shelving books either! For me it’s always been like at the grocery store: take a product/book off the shelf, read the ingredients/flip through it, and put it back it back on the shelf where I found it if I don’t want to take it with me. I’ll be sure to put books on the carts and not back on the shelf next time.

    1. Jen @ Librarian for Life and Style Post author

      I can totally understand the grocery story analogy (my husband cracked UP at this!), and I can see how it comes as a surprise to people when I let them know that they actually help librarians out by NOT reshelving. It sounds so counter-intuitive until you understand the reasons why — and then it makes sense, right? 🙂


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