The Librarian’s Daughter: A Tale of Irony

Oh yes, this is a long tale about part of my life story that I haven’t felt obligated to share until now. If you don’t love books then bye. If you do, then here is my tale of being the Librarian’s Daughter.

Now that I am graduated and I have my life together (you can laugh now, that was a joke), I am substitute teaching as much as I can. I was lucky and blessed when I was offered the chance to be a long term sub for the librarian at the high school I graduated from.
Hold on. Wait for the irony here.

My mom is the librarian at the middle school next door. Literally. My high school and the middle school I went to as well, are connected to each other as a huge building.

Spending all of my childhood in a library could have possibly been the best but at the time, the worst thing to ever happen to me. I often go back and forward between the benefits and annoyances in my life as The Librarian’s Daughter.

Pros:
Books everywhere!
Comfy library furniture to nap on
Being the first one to check out new books
Books!
A cool movie selection
Free book marks
So many books to read!!!!!!!!!!

 

Cons:
Hours spent shelving books
Hours spent cataloging books
Hours spent cleaning dust off books and shelves
Hours spent cleaning library
Hours spent moving books
Hours spent organizing books
At the end of the day more hour spent around books and I was going to explode!!!
This was my high school dance team dressed up as “nerds.”
You can guess who the real nerd was though.

In hindsight I was really lucky to grow up in such an intelligent environment because before I went to college I could gobble up books in no time. As soon as my hands picked up a decent book, it rarely left them until finished. Libraries to me in my “old age” are like a second home, like your best friend’s house that as soon as you enter you open the fridge to see what’s for dinner. When I was young, however, it was the second home that you didn’t want to stay at, like a friend’s house that had everything you ever wanted, but it just wasn’t your’s.

Of course what is four hours every couple days during the summer (yes, that’s right, she worked in the summer) seemed like ages to a ten year old, so most of my dread towards being in the library was a little exaggerated. In fact I often chose going with Mom to work rather than going to a babysitter’s house.

I just didn’t exactly have a typical childhood. My chores’ list was shelve the non fiction books (WHICH TO THIS DAY ARE STILL MY LEAST FAVORITE!), make sure the each row had book ends, and dust the fiction section before going home. Ten year old me just thought my life was unfair and boring. Once a drama queen always a drama queen.

When I finally got to middle school I actually enjoyed the library a little more. It was a perfect place to store my snacks and practice clothes. Instead of staying after and working in the library, I had cheer or dance practices to go to. Other days I was even content to curl up in one of Mom’s comfy lounging chairs and read until she turned the lights off in the library and I bolted to the door. Dark libraries always freaked me out…yep you know when you’re a librarian’s daughter when that is a thing. When I stayed too long after school, like a whole hour and a half waiting for Mom to go home, I reverted to my old elementary ways of loathing the library, but for the most part the library kind of grew on me, during those dreaded pre-teen years. One of my favorite memories is how I was teased by my classmates when they found out that I, too, had overdue fines with books. “You’re the librarian’s daughter, how can you have anything overdue!?” Good question.

High school came around and all of the sudden I was too cool for the library. Instead I wanted to hang out with friends, go to dance practice, or spend every waking moment in the high school’s theater. The days of the library were in the past, since I could stay home alone by myself! It especially got worse when I could drive. I got used to going home whenever I wanted to, instead of shelving books or waiting for Mom to get finished. Then when I didn’t drive and was forced to stay there after school, I was so over it.

At this point I feel obligated to share that my mother is not the over committed, workaholic that didn’t make time for me. She just loved (and still loves) her job so much she was passionate about her library. In fact, I’m so glad she is, because she has taught me that you can love your career and should be on fire for what you do.

By the time I was a senior in high school I opted to “co-op” at my mom’s library for the last hour of the day, which consisted of me going in her office and sleeping. I would short hand a bunch of made up notes for my co-op teacher, who rarely checked this required journal. One of the days when I didn’t drive myself and had to wait for Mom to be finished, my journal entry read:

I just want to get all of these books shelved so I can go home. I just want to go home.

I guess the teacher (sorry Mrs. Evans) thought I was either crazy or maybe she just didn’t read these journals. Or maybe she couldn’t recognize a call of distress when one smacked her on the head.

This is when people started asking me if I was going to school to be a librarian. The polite answer I always responded with was, “Heck no! Are you crazy!?”

For all of my college years that was one of the leading questions I got…and still get. I suppose my mom is just so excellent and well loved at her job that everyone kind of just assumed I would be too.

The sad result of college was instead of reading for fun, my reading selections were limited to college textbooks and readings. It was really like losing a piece of my childhood when I found I had no interest in picking up a book anymore. I probably read 5 books for fun in my 4.5 years of college.

So fast forward to now. After all of those grueling years of my love hate relationship, my first semi-steady job is working in a library…and I hesitate to admit that I am actually enjoying it.

Mom if you’re reading this, now is the part where you can say, “I told you so!”

One day this week I picked up a book a student had returned and thought, ‘This looks interesting’…sure enough I read it in two days. At last perhaps my interest in books is returning, and it is all because of my work in the library. Now I’m looking forward to reading some more, and perhaps even starting a book club! I just rebooted my Goodreads account, www.goodreads.com/brandiamanda of which 15 of my recent books were textbooks. Now I will fill up that list with fun books I am passionate about…books I might not have been inspired to read if it weren’t for working in a library.

Perhaps graduate school will involve library media certification…who knows? Until then I’m going to enjoy the time left I have subbing in the library and getting back into reading books. A potential book club is on the horizon and maybe even a few book reviews on this blog to mix things up a little! In fact, I joined my best friend, Critley’s bandwagon and have already posted a book review, in the 50 States 52 Week Challenge. Check it out!

To follow my new journey please add me as a friend on Goodreads here. I would love it if you sent me some recommendations!

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