If you don't know by now, I love books. I did NOT, however, go into librarianship so that I could sit around and read books all day. But, once in a lucky while reading can actually be PART of the job. Say for instance, if a position involves RA (readers advisory) where recommendations are part of what the librarian does, or as is the case at Towson's Cook Library, when you are part of the book club!
Our Book Club is promoted and attended by those all over campus and usually runs in tandem with a community event. So, in October, we read "Song Yet Sung" to accompany the Maryland Art's Council's activities with One Maryland One Book. I lead the discussion following Dr. Ali's enlightening contextualization of James McBride's novel and feel it was a great learning experience for myself and all those that attended. (See previous post.)
Yesterday Book Club met for the second time after our reading of Sonia Nazario's "Enrique's Journey." There were even more people in attendance at our discussion and Dr. Lea Ramsdell also gave an enlightening contextualization of the true story of how a child makes the deadly trip from Honduras to the United States to find his mother. Development librarian, Joyce Garzynski, did a great job of leading the subsequent discussion. This story broke my heart and I feel makes crucial points in the examination of immigration to the U.S. The book was chosen in tandem with Sonia's arrival to Towson University to discuss; the dangerous job of writing this story, Enrique, the focus of her book, and how we can help. I'm sure it will be highly attended.
So, while most of the time I am stuck in meetings and then writing follow-up emails, or doing the technical service work of my current rotation (original cataloging is hard!), it is a wonderful change to read, research and attend events related to our greater outside world. It not only allows me to meet more people in the University community, I think it helps keep us all grounded.