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Mr. Mustache, another librarian blog

I am a reference librarian with experience in both the public and state government fields. I am doing this on a whim, sort of like the mustache I grew when I was 19 and still have in my 50's.

Location: New Jersey, United States

I am a state worker and a librarian.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The summer reading list

Libraries are seasonal places. There is tax season, Black History Month, DAR assignment month, look up your birthday on the microfilm month. As the lawn mowers are whirring in the distance, the librarian becomes aware that we are entering summer reading list season.

One day you notice kids coming into the library at odd times. It must me exam time. Then you see those green lists in one of the students hands.
Booway the librarian says, a summer reading list. The student is in possession of a list of books supposedly to keep his/her reading skills up over the long doldrums of summer. The astute librarian runs over to the copy machine to copy this list which will be as much a part of the coming months as iced tea and air conditioning malfunctions.

There it is, a seemingly random list of books, some good, some bad, and with a few of the authors names badly misspelled. The student goes to the librarian with the list. Some of the books will be in the library, some will be in the non-catalogued paperback collection, some will be in nearby libraries, and some of the books will be nowhere to be found.

The parent has a problem with this situation. To the parent, the school and the library are one and the same. Both fall under the category the government. The parent assumes the library has fifty copies of each book on the reading list, arranged by teacher's name. That the library does not have the summer reading books in such a format or may not have the books at all is often one of the unpleasant surprises of summer.

Sometimes the librarian gingerly suggests that some of the books might be in paperback at the local book store. This annoys the parent. The parent feels If the gument wants him to read the book, the gument should supply him with the book.


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