Confessions of a Bad Librarian – Part One


I often find myself using the #badlibrarian hashtag on Twitter for some of the things I do which others might find, well, a bit shit in terms of being a ‘good’ librarian. I thought I would confess to some of my sins here:

1) My library is very noisy

Sometimes at work a new member of staff may come into the library at, say, break time and it’s insane. There are students everywhere making a massive racket, I’m preoccupied helping a year 7 student find a book that they saw once that was green but they know nothing else about it, and the careers advisor has a queue of year 11 students out the door wanting help with UCAS applications. Then, said new member of staff will remark something along the lines of ‘Isn’t a library meant to be quiet!?’ and, yes, they are probably right. However, in a school with a large majority of boys where they’d rather put their fingers in a pencil sharpener than read a book, sometimes you have to choose your battles. I’d love it if every student came in, sat down and read for their whole break time, but I’m a realist. It ain’t gonna happen. It’s noisy. Let’s be happy they have found somewhere they enjoy being, and if I can get some of them to change their minds about reading I’m happy with that.

2) I’ve not read all of the Harry Potter books

OK, this is a big deal for some, they literally cannot believe that I haven’t read them all. Or seen the films. Or know exactly what happens at the end. I’ll explain.

I’ve never liked things that are overhyped. If one of my friends became obsessed with a book, film or a band I’d instantly take a dislike to it. If half of the school liked it then I was definitely not gonna be interested. Those people were idiots (this is past me speaking now, the girls I went to school with weren’t so bad).

I just never got it with Harry Potter. I like Terry Pratchett books, Douglas Adams, Robert Rankin…so I am not adverse to some fantasy but magic…nah. Whilst people were out late at night at ASDA waiting for the latest book to be launched I’d be at home listening to Radiohead and being miserable. All around me people were reading about it, talking about it, seeing it at the cinema and I just phased it all out.

Roll forward to 2011 and I’m working in the public library. We’ve just had  a full set of Potter books delivered with sexy new covers. It got me thinking about how I’d often missed out on being part of the gossip of a TV show, book, whatever because I’d been too arrogant to admit I may like something as much as my peers did. So I gave it a go.

I don’t know why I avoided them all this time. They are well written, funny, full of suspense and took me back to a time when I was more innocent.

But, to go back to the title of this section, I’ve still not read them all. Why? I’m saving them for a rainy day. I’ve managed to avoid knowing the full story for so long it’s become a bit of a game for me. I see articles about ‘Which character are you?’ on Buzzfeed and I am so, so tempted to have a look, but I know I’d just ruin it for myself. This summer may be the time I finally let go.

Thats enough confessions for the time being. Stay tuned for more!


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