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The Secret Life of Librarians

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A young woman places a book at the very top of a bookshelf in a library. Black and white.

If your child visited the Mount Prospect Public Library recently, they might have learned about the secret lives of librarians. This VIP experience includes a tour of restricted zones in the library.  

There are a lot of myths about what it’s like to work in a public library: 

  • We get to read all day long. 
  • We save every book we can. 
  • We get upset about overdue materials. 
  • Everyone who works in the library is a librarian. 
  • Every librarian does basically the same thing. 

None of those statements come close to capturing what it’s like working in a library.  

This morning, we discussed the differences between different types of librarians such as adult & teen librarians, youth librarians, and collections librarians. We also talked about all of the careers you can have in a library if you aren’t a librarian. We have library directors, who are like our CEOs. We have circulation professionals to keep the books moving from check out, check in, shelving, and pulling holds. Our registration professionals help community members register for cards and library programs. And our library wouldn’t be complete without our marketing team, security, technology team, human resources, and building services professionals. 

Public libraries are just one of the many types of libraries. If you’re looking for ancient artifacts, papyrus scrolls, and stone carvings (known as petroglyphs), look no further than museums and archives. Many of the individuals who work there are trained librarians. Academic libraries help professors and university students conduct research and have a comfortable, quiet place to study. Medical libraries and law libraries are specialized libraries full of information pertaining specifically to the given profession. Are you curious about top secret files? You can work as a librarian at the CIA where they have teams of librarians to catalog all clandestine documents. 

We hope your child enjoyed their visit to the Mount Prospect Public Library, and we hope that they learned something new! We look forward to seeing you and your child at the library soon. 

Questions to Ask Your Child: 

What part about working at the library were you most surprised about? 

What was the most interesting thing you saw on your VIP tour? 

What happens to a book to get it from somewhere like Amazon all the way to the library shelf? 

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