Orange County, New York, New Jersey and Atlanta have their housewives, but Snohomish County has its librarians.
Like many librarians, they were not always librarians, and bring to the profession a wealth of knowledge and interesting experiences.
And oh, the drama behind the scenes.
Let me introduce you to some of them...
Lucinda Lovabook, Library Manager
Lucinda didn’t always want to be a librarian. Educated at a well-respected liberal arts college, she discovered that though her education had provided her with the knowledge to converse on a wide range of topics, thus making her a sought after guest at cocktail parties for her scintillating conversational skills, she realized that she did not have enough depth to get a good job. After a brief stint as an actress on the short-lived vampire-inspired soap, “Marry me or I will Bite You,” where she was killed off early, she was hired by the Post Office as a postal clerk until a colleague actually did go postal.
Lucinda decided it was time to find a profession.
Many of her fellow liberal arts college graduates had found themselves in the same boat and had become librarians. She liked books, so why not? So off she went to library school where she discovered that libraries were not just about books, but about protecting people’s intellectual freedom and providing information and resources to help people make sense of their lives. Her organizational skills learned at the post office and the stage presence she honed on the soap opera (she was told her dying scene was one of the best they had had) held her in good stead for a life as a dynamic librarian. No shrinking violet she.
She embraced the tenets of public library service: intellectual freedom, equal access to all and advocacy for literacy and lifelong learning and never looked back. She spends her spare time in Community Theater and selling on EBay (she didn’t get into librarianship for the money).
Techs Andrews, Assistant Manager
It wasn’t easy for Techs to decide to enter the world of librarianship.
He believed all of the stereotypes: “women’s profession,” a quiet boring environment where nothing ever happened. But he had grown tired of his job as a rodeo clown – the clown makeup was wrecking havoc on his skin– and decided that the computer experience he had acquired at his off-season job as a telemarketer would be of use to libraries.
He was right about that and wrong about libraries being quiet boring places.
He spends most of his time helping the ever growing number of people coming to the library looking for work online, teaching the free basic computer classes he offers and answering all of the computer questions posed by the computer users. He is also kept on his toes by the many responsibilities he has: from scheduling the employees he supervises to purchasing library materials that reflect community needs to facilitating a book group. He never realized what it takes to run a community library and how varied the job would be. Never a dull moment. He also enjoys having lunch once in awhile with Novella, the Teen Librarian.
Ima Noitall, Reference Librarian
Ima often modestly says, “I don’t know everything. I just know where to find the answers.”
Along with her modesty, Ima is also the epitome of good customer service. Nordstrom’s could learn a thing or two from Ima. She not only cheerfully finds the information her customers need, but she goes that extra mile to make sure the question is answered completely. She does everything with a smile.
She not only has an excellent literary background and reads voraciously, she also keeps up with popular culture (she TIVO’s Oprah,) so that she instantly knows what her customers are talking about, thus representing librarians as the knowledgeable and with-it information specialists that they are.
Ima came to librarianship from a background in waste management. OK, she drove a garbage truck. She enjoyed that job, but decided she prefered the smell of books to other people’s garbage.
Novella Graphica, Teen Librarian
Even though Novella is well past her teens, she is a bit of a hipster and her open and playful personality appeals to young people. She has created a community place where teens feel welcomed and where they can actively participate in the planning of library programs, thus giving them a sense of contribution and ownership. Her programs help teens build relationships with library staff and make new friends, which in turn help the teens feel a part of their community and comfortable asking the librarians for help when needed. They may act like they are too cool to be appreciative of libraries, but she knows she is setting the stage for them to be successful adults.
Novella started her career writing fortunes for fortune cookies but decided she would much rather use her skills to blog and Twitter to local teens about the great programs she provides for them. She has been instrumental in getting the library involved with social media.
Suessie Story, Children’s Librarian
Suessie is just out of library school. She went from college to library school without a break, but that was fine with her, because she always wanted to be a children’s librarian. She only works part-time, so she has started her own small business as a knife sharpener to supplement her income. She also writes children’s books, but has yet to get one published.
She loves going out into the community and to the schools to talk about the library. She never tires of seeing the delight children have in her story times and puppet shows, and she is proud of all the work she does to get children ready for school (and what Seussie doesn’t yet realize is that she has already made a huge impact on these children’s lives. When she is older they will come back and tell her how meaningful her work was to them and how much they value libraries because of her).
The librarians of Snohomish County are a diverse and interesting bunch. These are just some of their stories.
Disclaimer: These stories are based on actual librarians, but in certain cases incidents, characters and timelines have been changed for dramatic purposes. The librarians depicted here are composites, or entirely fictitious. Any resemblance to real librarians, living or dead is on purpose because librarians are very cool people who bring a wealth of knowledge and life experiences to their jobs. They are dedicated to public service and are an asset to their communities.
Get to know them!