Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Librarians interviewed in TodayOnline - "Hands on the Pulse of the Reading Public"

My librarian colleagues Kim Lock and Lee Ping talk about what their job entails:
Kim Lock: Sourcing for books is interesting but also laborious. Selectors — we have a team of 15 — rely largely on book vendors, publishers' guides and reviews, international library journals and readers' feedback.

Lee Ping: We deal with counter enquiries, customer relations, book reviews, among other duties. I find reference counter enquiry interesting work because readers' questions are all different.

Read the TODAYonline article here ("Hands on the pulse of the reading public". Voices, Tuesday, July 4, 2006).

Kim Lock works as a selector while Lee Ping is librarian with the public library services. In NLB, we have a division doing the selection, acquisitions and cataloguing. Librarians in the public libraries do not handle this function.

Lee Ping is one of the editors of High Browse Online. Don't get the impression that she and the rest of the team only review six books a year only. They left out the words "at least"!

A friend sent me an SMS after he read the article: "That's what I want to do for a job" (he meant the book reviews). Well friend, read between the lines -- especially the "among other duties" portion! : )

Incidentally, I was IMing with someone (a non-librarian) and we talked about work and career-related matters. At one point I wrote: "It's the 20% of what we do that makes us want to continue with the remaining 80%" (following the Pareto Principle).

Someone asked me recently, "What do you like about your job?" I happened to have this picture in my camera (I was covering a READ! Singapore 2006 event):

And I said, "imagine the boy is also a teenager or an adult. A library user."

That's my "20%".

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