Charter’s Very Own Junior Librarian

Rebecca Lim, Editor-in-Chief

   Senior and Book Club President Miriam Ikner has forged strong ties to the Southwest Regional Library as their new employee. Working at the library is both peaceful and enjoyable, with the bonus of earning skills that will accompany her after high school. 


Can you tell us about how you got the job? Were you planning to get hired? Were you surprised? 

I was contacted by one of the Book Club sponsors at the beginning of the summer about an opening at the library. I applied pretty much immediately, and I was putting a lot of faith into getting hired — I was not enjoying my job at the time. It took a couple months for me to hear back from HR about my application at all, and I had pretty much given up and forgotten about it, so I was definitely surprised, and also very grateful, to finally have the opportunity for an interview. 


So what is your exact job title, and what does it entail? Can you take us through a typical day on the job? Or is every day different?

I am a “Student Worker”, and I do a little bit of everything. I work in Youth Services, and started working right before the Storybook Festival, so my first couple of weeks were pretty hectic and I was mostly helping with that: making decorations, individually cutting and gluing 1,200 autograph pages into booklets by hand, etcetera. When there’s no event, I’m usually just shelving and organizing books on weekdays, and on Saturdays I process, hold and take inventory of books that had been used the day before. I’ll eventually learn other things like repairing damaged books, but my first couple of weeks were so busy I still have a lot to learn and do. 


What’s something unexpected that the job has taught you? Any challenges?

My last job was a customer service one, but I wasn’t too great with customer service. Most of the time if someone was mad we typically treated them with a “get out and stay mad” attitude, but I can’t really do that working in a children’s section of a library. I definitely have to learn how to be nicer to guests with complaints. I also don’t really know how to talk to kids; I just need to be a little less awkward all-around. 


What’s the most valuable part of your job? What do you think has the biggest impact? 

It’s a simple job, but it’s very fulfilling; it may be tedious and take an hour or two to fix up every bookshelf but when you look down the aisle and see how much neater it is, it’s definitely worth it. The Storybook Festival was a similar thing; it was a lot of little things from everybody coming together to create a really magical experience for a lot of kids and families. I always really loved the library, and it’s heartwarming to see how other kids love it too. 


Interesting! So as a senior, you have a lot on your plate and a lot to think about going into the future. Do you see yourself holding a similar job in the future? How are you able to balance schoolwork and your job?

I’ve considered working in libraries before, and this has really helped me make up my mind about it; I plan to pursue a degree in Library Sciences and keep working in libraries, and will probably stay in Youth Services or go into Teen Services. It’s a very fun but relaxed job. 

I’ve never had the best work ethic when it comes to schoolwork, but having a job has definitely helped me a lot in developing a better one (though it still has much to be improved); it’s really just a lot of late nights and early mornings to keep my grades up.