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Day 187: Libraries = like methadone for shopaholics

So, as you may or  may not know, I am a librarian by trade.

"I... am a librarian!"
Unlike Rachel Weicz in The Mummy, this is not a job that I dreamed of since I was a little girl. I mean, everybody puts cards in the back of their books and loans them out to their friends for pre-determined periods of time, right?

OK, the library was a huge part of my childhood, due in no small part to the fact that both of my parents were also librarians.

And so I always knew that the library had free books, and I never really thought about that. The library was also a great place right downtown if I needed to use the bathroom, and later became a place to go and check my email (pre-smartphones). But again, I never really thought about why the library had all this free stuff (CDs! DVDs! TV on DVDs!), when other places sold the same things (i.e. books, internet access).

Like, why do libraries have free books and DVDs (and now, free ebooks?), but not free clothes, or free jewellery or free food?

And also: I need to know what the librarian did.
And also: do all librarians really have sexy secrets? 
Or just the girl on this cover, and me?

Anyway, I kind of stumbled into library school by accident, and I think I mainly made the cut due to the novelty of both of my parents having been librarians. I anticipated learning about the whole Dewey Decimal thing, but was perplexed and slightly overwhelmed when I discovered that the curriculum was all about intellectual freedom, learning about new computer trends, and the history of thought, essentially.

Melvil Dewey, creator of the Dewey Decimal System.
"Dewey Decimal = surprisingly handsome," I wrote in my notebook first year.

So anyway. It turns out that libraries are all about providing information to people. Books, obviously. And now, internet access and also programs and, anyway, what does this have to do with frugality?

Free books! Free DVDs! Free magazines! Free ebooks! Free audiobooks!

Attractive, bookish people!

In some places, you have to pay for a library card, but even then it's not that much per year. And most places, library cards are free. You need not ever buy another book ever again (except maybe for gift-giving purposes, it would be weird to give someone a library book for a gift). And even if you return something late, the late fees are much more reasonable than buying something outright.
So anyway. I work at a library, which is a very safe environment for me and my shopaholicism. Dangerous place for me to work = clothes store. Surprisingly dangerous place for me to work = souvenir shop (I wound up buying a lot of souvenir fudge, as well as a weird amount of pens). Being surrounded with stuff that doesn't cost money? Perfect environment for me.

I totally did not pursue this career just so I could wear retro outfits and read books all day.
No, really. OK, not entirely. OK, I totally did.

OK, I do tend to get carried away and borrow too many books, but it's a good place to indulge shopaholic tendencies without any danger (unless you consider late fees dangerous).

Ergo libraries = methadone for shopaholics! Just like shopping, but without the nasty side-effects (i.e. debt, guilt)


inmintcondition said...

And as a librarian, don't you get to call dibs on the brand new books, new DVDs, magazines before they go out to circulation? That's like working at a bookstore but without the temptation! Brilliant!

NIki said...

Ooo, you have a super sexy secret.

I love our library and our librarians!

Frugal(er) said...

YES! When I was a bookseller, I was massively in debt for buying a ton of books I'd only read once; now, as a librarian, I'm almost offended when I have to buy a book. I hemmed and hawed over buying a $3 copy of Just Listen by Sarah Dessen at ALA so I could have her sign it. Librarianship is perfect shopaholic methadone, I couldn't have said it better myself.

The library rules!

~Carla~ said...

I lve our local library! The girls consider it a special trip every week! :) Without the library our "entertainment" fund wouldn't keep us happy for long! ;)

Annabelle said...

Word, you guys. So much word!

And how could I forget to mention that part of my job is spending the budget at the end of the year? They're like, "Annabelle, please, go to the bookstore and the DVD store and spend all of this money that is not yours. Spend as much as possible, please, we beg of you!"

Dream job FOR REALS!

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