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The secret life of a librarian: What have I found in books? Streaky bacon and used condoms

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Unlike the majority of librarians who joined the profession after years of planning and education, I stumbled across it by accident. After my university degree in humanities was deemed over-qualified for the job of a gas meter reader, I became a library assistant instead.

 

It was the 1970s and backed by education and an emphatic social conscience; I embarked upon a career revolutionizing the stratosphere of public libraries. Nearly four decades on I have made the tiniest of impact through my endeavours, but along the way, I met some marvellous people.

 

My bosses were primarily the status-quo type of individuals, while colleagues ranged from shy introverts to enigmatic activists who shared my fervour for social change. Of course, the customers are integral to our survival, and naturally, come every walk of life.

 

There is never a dull or dour moment in the life of a public library. It is because from searching the library for bombs during a terror alert to accidentally discovering unusual objects (such as a streaky bacon, or even a condom), you can never tell what lies ahead.

 

I may add that the only regret of my long career is that I was unable to persuade more librarians to emphasize less on the books and more on the people who read them. The focus should not exclusively be on the excellence of the books, but also on the community they serve.

 

The basics of the job have not altered much since I started out, except for the natural modernization to keep up with the times.  Also, we are still massively underpaid, but we are not in this profession for money. It gives us satisfaction to help the less fortunate ones.

 

More than money, in fact, what we really desire is an acknowledgement from politicians that we indeed are the 4th emergency service.

 

Foodie, Performer, Lip Dubber, Empire Builder, Twitteratti. I am superb at parallel parking.

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