Why Be a 21st Century Librarian?

July 30, 2007 at 2:23 am | Posted in awards, librarian, websites | Leave a comment

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animation1.jpgFind out why being a librarian is one of the top 10 career choices today. Librarians are not only smart and tech savvy. They know all about social networking and can be very  funny ..really.

Please visit my interactive website at http://www.eden.rutgers.edu/~hauckmah/MMProd/exercise2/home.html

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What is your reading history?

January 21, 2007 at 10:00 am | Posted in genre fiction, librarian, non-fiction, reading history | Leave a comment

girl-reading.jpgMy family swears that my head was perpetually in a book from ages 4 to 14. My two earliest memories are of Golden Book bedtime stories with my dad, and of receiving my first mail: monthly books from Dr. Seuss’s book club. The prized possession of my childhood book collection was an illustrated encyclopedia set from A&P supermarket. I suspect my current preference for non-fiction traces back to hours spent pouring over the garish color drawings and text in those spare volumes.  

I discovered the Little House on the Prairie books in third grade( age 8). These books were a portal to an alternative universe for a city kid whose artsy parents thought a field trip was only a visit to the Met. I’d bike to the park, sit under a tree, and be transported, captivated by the challenges of frontier life.I raced through the series in about a year, and remember being dejected when I ran out of books to read. I think I switched to Nancy Drew  mysteries then, which propelled me through elementary school.

Next came an obsession with comic books, particularly Mad magazine and the Archie series. I never got interested in superhero or science fiction comics, but I did turn to science fiction stories and novellas during the early high school years. I gravitated toward Harlan Ellison, Philip Jose Farmer and Isaac Asimov. I recall that I didn’t care much for LeGuin-style fantasy/sci fi works.

In middle school, I enjoyed the Austen and Bronte classics, but this interest in historical romance led only to a dalliance with Georgette Heyer novels in 8-9th grade. In 9th grade, I read Gone with the Wind, after which other romances paled by comparison, so I gave them up. As a high school junior, I read a lot of existential and absurdist works by authors such as Kafka, Ionesco, Brecht and Beckett.  Starting in college, I stopped reading fiction altogether for over two decades, though this wasn’t a conscious decision at the time. Instead, I watched a lot of movies, some TV, listened to music and read the occasional essay, magazine, short story or non-fiction best seller. My husband wasn’t a pleasure reader in those days, so it seemed anti-social to read during a precious hour or two of free time.  

Even today, as a librarian-in-training, I feel guilty “reading for pleasure” unless I’m on vacation, killing time or required to read for a class. For a free read, I’ll peruse a magazine or seek a  best-selling non-fiction book of travel, psychology, popular culture, technology or science. I confess to enjoying a good “chick lit” or “cozy mystery” as a way to unwind after a grueling day.

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