In my previous job, I never figured out how to suitably explain my duties. People understood the “reference librarian” part, but their eyes would narrow ever so slightly when I added that other responsibilities included “selecting adult DVDs”. See? Whatever you just thought, they did, too.
Portraying that task as “choosing non-children’s DVDs” was similarly unhelpful, but at least it didn’t conjure visions of me lounging in a back room scarfing down popcorn and viewing films of questionable taste/morals. (Of course, librarians don’t have time to watch the films we select; we rely on reviews.)
Lately, I’m working with Round Rock Public Library’s grownup version of the summer reading program. Yes, we encourage adult reading! No lurid intentions; we just hope to parallel what our children’s summer programs have so brilliantly achieved over the years by prompting patrons to capitalize on books from the library’s adult fiction and nonfiction collections. Naturally, we’re marketing our own no-cost-to-borrow wares, but we’re so serious about rewarding our adult readers that we even count books that didn’t come from the library. If you’re one of our cardholders and aren’t already submitting reading logs for the prize drawing, you still have until August 9 to join in.
This morning, I couldn’t resist peeking at the reading logs we’ve already collected. Along with the great actual prizes, I mentally bestowed some theoretical awards. “Most Dedicated Parent” honors would go to the sort of entry listing (out of five required titles) four devoted to teaching/disciplining/encouraging children and one on training the new puppy. “Most Varied Fiction Reading” distinction would reward a log beginning with Henry V and ending with Leave it to Cleavage.
As you’d expect–particularly for summer reading– many patrons indulge their preferences for a favorite author; they list three to five entries by the same writer (and I say to them, “Go for it!”) The usual suspects are well represented: Sandra Brown, Janet Evanovich, J. R. Ward, Piers Anthony, James Rollins, Brodie & Brock Thoene, Charlaine Harris, M. C. Beaton, Francine Rivers, Anne Rice, Greg Iles, Frank Peretti, and so forth.
A few names who aren’t as well known or who are relative newcomers to publishing also drew multiple- entry mention: Donna Andrews, Beth Kendrick, Carrie Bebris, Tori Spelling.
Library employees aren’t eligible to enter the prize drawing. Our reward will be the smiles on the winners’ faces. We’ll be content with that, because we’re mature (and by “mature”, I don’t mean R-rated…)