1. If you were a young child who loved to read and dreamed of working in a quiet, organized and calm library: Get over it.
Libraries aren't what they used to be. Period. I think we all know that. So many amazing librarians around the world are doing wonderful things to change the perception of what a library is, and yet all I hear when kids are in the library is adults telling them, "Don't you know you're supposed to be quiet in a library?!" The adults then proceed to give me an incredulous look as though they can't believe these kids and that I am SO nice for tolerating them. It's not that kids should be unruly and of course, there is a time for quiet reading in the library, but step into any future-forward library and you'll see kids and adults collaborating, creating, researching, building, and learning. That requires talking. The library is a place of learning not just a place of reading and as technology advances and libraries evolve, our perception of the library needs to as well.
2. If you think you'd love to be a librarian because you like things neat and orderly: Stop thinking it
I'm not saying let the books slide all over the shelves and say "to heck with old Dewey!", but places of constant hands-on learning, are usually places that are slightly disheveled. There are so many resources to present to the kids now and if you are participating in makerspaces, and reading clubs, and regular lessons, and planning for book fair, and running spelling bee, then a controlled mess might be in store. It's okay to have a constant bucket of Legos on the table, it's okay if you didn't get to shelve those last ten books on the cart, and it's okay if there is tape all over the floor from the kids marking out a maze. The library should be organized, but giving kids access to learning sometimes looks a little messy.
3. If you think that you are removed from a lot of the germs because you're not in the classroom: Think again
The kids poke their nose, sneeze, cough, forget to wash their hands, and then handle every inch of that book. Yeah.... Gross.
4. If you believe that you will be able to instantly make a connection with every kid in the building: Go for it, but don't be disappointed
The biggest shock to me when I moved into the library was that I had such a hard time making the connections that came so easily in the classroom. It didn't cross my mind that I was going from seeing the same 150 kids every single day to seeing 600 kids only once every week or two. My dream was to make an impact on the entire school. I envisioned myself giving high fives to every kid that saw me in the hallway, knowing every name of every kid, getting hugs left and right, and really building meaningful relationships. I try my best, but even by the beginning of my second year, some kids were still too shy around me to even say hi on meet the teacher night. It gets better with every year that I am at the same school. However, it's a big change that no one ever told me about, and it's something I miss every day.
5. If you think it's going to be easy: You're not going to be a good librarian
And that's all I can really say about that. You can do the bare minimum and present lessons and check in an out, and your life will be breezy. But you'll be making a minimal impact on the school and on your kids. Our job is so much bigger than books and we have to actively search and present opportunities for the teachers and the students.