Being a Librarian in a Book Club

Readers, I’m going to let you in on a dirty little secret.  Today’s librarians cringe a little when you talk to us about books and reading.  Come on, guys: it’s the Information Age, and all of your librarians went to “Library and Information Schools.”  Maybe even just an “Information School.”  Many of us came into librarianship because we liked to read, but left “professionalized” with all these fancy ideas about how our core calling is to bring Information to the people.  That’s what happened to me.

These days, I am what I’m beginning to think of as a rehabilitated reader.  Sure, my heart still palpitates over social media, government docs, and information literacy.  But there’s one thing you just can’t shake when people find out you’re a librarian.  They really wanna talk about books.

A few months ago, my buddy Nog and I formed a little book club on a lark.  If you want to witness the saltier side of your friendly neighborhood Librarian in a Banana Suit, head on over to our PBR Book Club blog.  It’s a group for bookish hipsters, and we are actually mostly boys.  That’s what happens when you combine books with beer.  At our inaugural meeting there were only five of us, and we were discussing David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas.  We started by shotgunning a few PBRs to ease any tension, and then Nog — who teaches college English courses — cleared his throat.  “Umm, I don’t really know how to do a book group.”  And then he turned expectantly to me.

“Oh my god,” I realized, “they expect me to know what I’m doing because I’m the librarian.”

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