For whatever reason, I've been asked to do a bunch of interviewy-type stuff lately (you can read two of them here and here), and it's been a lot of fun talking about my job and trying to raise awareness for public libraries. A common question I seem to get (even if my response doesn't end up in the published interview) is if I have advice for future and/or current librarians.
Now, I don't consider myself an expert, but I've learned a few things during my relatively short time as a librarian so far - nothing groundbreaking, nothing mandatory, but things that might possibly be helpful. There's a ton of advice for librarians out there. These are just MY views (feel free to add your own in the comments!) They might change in the future, and I will most certainly discover more. The most important thing I've learned is that you have to be flexible.
Screwy Decimal's Top 10 Tips for Librarians:
1) Even though you can't read every book in the world, try to have a general idea of what's going on out there. Glance at the New York Times Bestseller list. Talk to other librarians and friends in publishing or education. Scour bookstores and book-related websites. Find out what movies-based-on-books are coming out. And, as much as it may pain you, learn the names of the most recent James Patterson and Jackie Collins books (trust me on this one, especially if you ever work on the adult reference desk).
2) Don't be a hero. Take your lunch break and any other breaks to which you are entitled. When you're on a busy reference desk and doing programs for most of the day, you need those precious few minutes of escape.
3) Related: do NOT wear your library identification if you leave the library for your break. You WILL get asked reference questions in public.
4) If someone flirts with you at the reference desk, don't flirt back. The only exception is if the person is Robert Downey Jr. - or your celebrity crush equivalent. You might think you're being nice and that it's harmless, but it will come back to haunt you. Just be polite, yet clear that you are not interested.
5) BOOZE. ('Nuff said.)
6) Form bonds and respect the kids and teens who come to your library, but don't let them run amok. You can be a positive and fun adult figure in their lives without letting them be disruptive or allowing them to take advantage of your good nature.
7) On that note, don't let adult library patrons bully the kids JUST for being kids. The library is for all ages (this should be obvious, but sometimes people need a reminder).
8) Don't be afraid to stand your ground.
9) Don't be afraid to bend the rules.
10) And for the holy sweet sake of Pete, wear comfortable shoes.
That's all I've got for now. Have fun out there, kids.