As a librarian, I was anxious to read a fellow colleague’s take on public libraries, however, it turns out she only worked in a public library for nine months and I came away disappointed. A bulk of her time was spent in school libraries in DC, and I felt for her, for I myself had a brief stint as an elementary school librarian and I know too well all the limitations and extra work that administrators pile on school library staff.
As for her short public library experience, I know the neighborhood, as my family traveled to DC a few years ago, and we stayed at a townhouse in the gentrifying neighborhood of NoMa, so I saw the homelessness that is part of the city. Even in the two rural libraries I have worked at, there is homelessness and mental health issues among patrons, but what the branch she worked at deals with is on the extreme side. But despite that, how can she be the voice of librarians with her limited experience?
I enjoy my job as a teen librarian, but I know there is a lot of dissatisfaction among library workers, as I see a lot of raw feelings shared on Facebook on Twitter, and the pandemic has just magnified those issues. The author highlighted some very real problems in libraries, I just wish she had more experiences to draw on or had co-written it with another librarian, as to pull together a larger picture of libraries today.