Librarians don’t get enough credit. They’re taking care of a whole library full of books, hunting down resources you need for a paper, fighting back against ridiculous book bans, chasing down people with way overdue books, etc. I mean, the list goes on and on, and I’m not even a librarian. Those are just the first librarian-headaches I can think of off the top of my head (did I get those right, librarian readers?).
Anyway, they deal with a lot, so the least we can do this National Librarian Day is show our appreciation for them. If they weren’t there, who knows, libraries would probably fall into complete and utter chaos. So, take this day to do something nice for your local or school librarian. Not sure what to do? Try one of the following five ways to show your appreciation for librarians!
1. Ask for Book Recommendations
Think about the moments where someone asks you for book recommendations. You get giddy with excitement. You start thinking, “Oh boy. This is it. I’ve got tons of favorites, so they’ll have plenty of options to choose from, and then we can talk about the book after they finished it. This’ll be awesome.”
It’s a great feeling, right? Now think about how a librarian would feel getting asked that question after spending all day just helping people find books or resources for papers. They’ll be thrilled! Even if you can’t put into exact words the kind of book your looking for, they’ll help you find something. Plus, asking them for recommendations means in the future they’ll let you know when books come in that may pique your interest!
2. Leave the Re-Shelving to Them
Okay, so this sounds terrible by itself, but hear me out. Yeah, we all want to be the good person and put books away ourselves rather than make a librarian or staff member do it, but you don’t know the library as well as they do. You may not put a book back in its proper place, so when a librarian goes looking for it and finds its not in its proper home, chaos may ensure. Anarchy. The end of days… or probably just some initial confusion before they find it. So, follow your library’s rules: if they have a designated spot for books being returned to shelves, neatly put your books there.
3. … But Keep Their Library Tidy
Just because you aren’t putting the books back doesn’t mean you should just put books wherever. Like I said earlier, follow their rules. Treat the library’s books like you would treat your own personal library. Handle the books with care so the next person to pick it up can enjoy it too. Clean up after yourself after a long study session, because more than likely you’ll have someone else taking your spot after you leave. If they don’t allow open-container drinks in the library, don’t bring them– no one wants a soggy book! Basically, treat the library and its contents with care.
4. Visit Often & Ask for Help
Use libraries to their fullest capacity. Besides entertaining reads, libraries are home to a plethora of knowledge. If you’re writing a paper and need to find some resources, ask your librarian to help you find them. Especially at schools, asking your librarian for help finding resources for project means they know what kinds of books, journals, magazines, etc. they should be keeping in stock for others to utilize. And visit often because libraries are amazing places where all bookworms can be themselves! Regularly visiting and checking things out means the library’s being used, so proper funding is available for years to come!
5. Talk To Them!
Librarians are people too. Be friendly with them! If you visit often, chat with them about whatever– how their day is going, the weather, their favorite book, anything! They get to know you through your book choices, so why not get to know them through conversation? It’ll make the library all the more enjoyable to visit.
When I was in middle school, I found out our librarian liked the same sports teams as me, and we immediately bonded over it. Every time I came into the library after that, it felt like visiting a friend. That librarian encouraged me to be the bookworm that I am and made the school library feel like home. Thanks Mrs. Hufschmidt!
Now, Go Thank A Librarian!
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite Neil Gaiman quotes that I think sums up National Librarian Day (and this article) perfectly: “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.“