You may have noticed a few of our librarians' shining faces around town lately on buses, billboards, subway placards, and more, as part of our ad campaign in partnership with ADLOOP. We thought you may want to get to know a little more about these awesome information gurus who smile back at you every day on your commute home. You've met Adam, K-Fai, and Tiffany. It's now Karin's turn in the spotlight!
Your favorite thing about your job:
I imagine that some form of the answer “because I like helping people” will show up at some point, so ditto that sentiment. My personal addition would be finding amazingly neat things almost every day. For instance, I opened up a box I thought held spare tissue paper only to discover a rhinestone-encrusted headdress that was worn by actress and dancer Gilda Gray in the 1922 Ziegfeld Follies. And no, though I was very tempted, I didn’t try it on.
Your librarian superpower:
I ever so lovingly joke that I am a fount of useless knowledge. Now, in reality, I don’t consider any knowledge to be useless, so I suppose I should say that my librarian superpower is the ability to remember weird and esoteric facts, though not always at the moment that I need them. When it’s working, I’m a great person to have on your pub quiz team. When it’s not, well, that’s just frustrating for everyone.
Most pervasive (and incorrect) librarian stereotype:
There are a lot of them out there, but I think the one I hear most (besides “you don’t look like a librarian”) is people saying how lucky I am because I get to read all day. There are days that I wish that were the case. But in reality, being a librarian is about people. Yes, it’s also about the materials we work with, but what I do, what we do, is match patrons up with those materials and give them the tools to find items they need in the future. Reading is something I do both because I love it and to support my work, but it’s something I only rarely get to do as a part of my job during my work hours. Besides, it’s far more comfortable to read curled up on my couch than sitting at the reference desk.
Most pervasive (and, okay, maybe a *little* correct) librarian stereotype:
Be they paperback, hardback, audio, electronic, or some other format, we like books. We also really like talking about books and sharing them with everyone.
Insider tip about the Theatre Collection:
This is only an insider tip because so few people know about the Collection (unfortunately). The Theatre Collection deals with a lot more than just theatre. We also have reference books and archival material on film, especially early American film, television, radio, vaudeville, burlesque, circus, puppetry, and other kinds of popular entertainment.
As for something a little more particular, I’d say for people to keep in mind that a lot of the non-book material in the Collection isn’t searchable via our online catalog and as of right now we only have a few finding aids up, though we’re working on that as best we can. So if you’re doing research in the subjects we cover, don’t hesitate to send me an email or call to find out what we have available. You never know what I might find, and there’s nothing I like more than sharing the treasures in the Collection. But no, I’m sorry, you can’t try on the headdress, either.