Playing Librarian

I spent Friday afternoon playing librarian at the Assisted Living / Home for the Aged where I volunteer.    It is such fun!

One of the local town libraries donates their discarded large print books to us and that means that someone gets to cull the stock already there and place the new books onto the shelves.

And that volunteer is me.    🙂

It is tough to choose the books to remove.    It is also hard not to look at each and every one but who has time for that?   I wish we had an inkling which books were most ‘checked out’ but we don’t – it’s an honor system.    Just borrow and enjoy and return it when you can.    So we don’t have a system to know if romances are what the residents enjoy most?   or biographies?   or who are the favorite authors?

The first step yesterday was to find any books that are not large print.    I was actually shocked that we found so many!     I piled these into boxes and moved them to the basement.  Eventually I will put this in my truck and donate them.

Some of these books come home with me, too.    I chose a Nadine Gordimer (A Sport of Nature), The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks, a bio of Catherine the Great, and Fingersmith by Sarah Waters.

I still have a lot of hours to donate to get them all into alphabetical order, but I’m really enjoying my work and sharing my love of books with the residents.


13 thoughts on “Playing Librarian

  1. Care this sounds like such fun! I need some volunteer hours for my portfolio and I wanted to find a place that is more in need of help than the public or academics – following your lead I am going to look into the local seniors or assisted living homes 🙂

    Not sure if this helps at all, but I know a good way to get an idea of circulation in a smaller collection without any cataloguing software – put small strips of paper between pages of books (choose a page number you will remember.) Then monthly or bi-monthly check if they’ve been moved. It’s very Nancy Drew-ish, and can take an entire day – but knowing what people look at is so important for smaller collections! This method has been useful in penitentiary libraries, group homes, and others with little to no budget for check out software, or full-time staff.

  2. bookgazing

    That sounds like a great way to give back. How about knocking up a quick survey with a couple of tick box questions and asking people to indicate what they like best?

  3. That’s cool you volunteer like this. A couple years ago, the girls and I “adopted” a couple grandmas and grandpas from an assisted living facility for Christmas. We made some cookies and a picked out some little things for them, then spent a little time with each, visiting and enjoying their company. The girls really enjoyed it, as did the residents.

    The library sale had about 3 tables of Large print books, and I thought about buying a few just to put on BookMooch and PBS, but decided to leave them for others who might need them.

  4. You’ve culled the perfect, PERFECT job – a volunteer librarian – that’s sheer bliss. And of course, they’re lucky to have YOU, too!

    Delighted you’ve snatched a Nadine Gordimer from the pile – hope to hear which one it is and what you think of it!

    Happy New Year – I’ve been a sporadic blogger and commenter at best. Thing is, once I get here, on the laptop, I get stuck here forever. And yet, I cannot give up blogworld!

    more later–

  5. great idea!!! i used to volunteer at an assisted living facility–i played poker with the residents! it was a hoot and i did it for two years. now i’m over at my local library teaching ESL one night a week.

    i’ll have to suggest donating the large print books to the seniors next time i go in! thanks for the idea.

  6. I have always thought that if I hadn´t been a teacher, I would love to be a librarian. Being among so many books and recommending them to readers! That is a match-making process I would enjoy 😀

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