Saturday, October 16, 2021

What Makes Librarians Smile?

 There are all kinds of librarians in this world. Research librarians, digital librarians, music, science, archival. For any kind of information out there, there's a librarian for that. There are probably all different kinds of things that make those librarians smile; a perfectly organized shelf, a beautifully crafted MARC record, weeding egregiously outdated tomes. Myself, I am a children's librarian, and what makes me smile the most is when kids love books. 

I want to tell you all about one of my favorite students. I'll call her Joy (not her real name) for the happiness she brings to this librarian's heart every Monday. Joy is in sixth grade this year. She started at my school in second grade, and I had her again for third and much of fourth grade. Then . . . . Covid happened, and her family opted to homeschool her and her twin sister (who is also a peach!) for all of fifth grade. She is back this year, and I am so glad I get to have one more year with these girls before they move on to middle school. 

The specific reason that Joy is such a delight, is that every week, after the lesson, she comes up to me and asks me for recommendations. And, with only a very rare exception, she reads every single book I push into her hands. I can't tell you how thrilling it is to a librarian to have a child consistently take your suggestions. By now, I know just the type of book she likes, although I do try to push her into other genres just a bit. I find myself pondering before her class comes in, 'which books will I recommend to Joy this week?' The only difficulty for me now, is that she has read so many books that it's hard to find things she hasn't read. More and more, I can only recommend my newest titles. After we wander around the library and I hand her books, we walk over to check them out, and she has a nice pile of about five or six. Usually, she is done with all of them by the next week.

I work with 400+ children every week. For the most part, it's fun, but it can be complicated, busy and stressful, and not every child is completely lovable, well-behaved or fun to be around. It's kids like Joy and her sister that make every bit of difficulty worth it.

For this elementary school librarian, smiles abound whenever those girls come into the library, and whenever a child truly loves a book.


  1. Thanks Kristen for this great peek at what makes librarians smile. Happy kids reading good books makes me smile too. I hope your kids enjoy some of the books from the Smack Dab authors!