I have three library books out currently. One that rides around in my backpack to read during lunch and two more sitting at home, waiting to be read. Library books, especially hardcovers, make me think of my grandparents. They were big users and supporters of public libraries. Not just for books and movies, but I can remember Gram clipping coupons from some sort of coupon sharing file. I have no idea if that sort of thing still exists. I don't tend to spend any time in the library these days.
I go online to reserve books and wait for the email to let me know they are ready for pick-up. Then I stop on my way home from work, scoot across four lanes of traffic, go directly to the hold shelf, and zip through the self-check out. I don't speak to anyone and I get in and out in under two minutes usually.
During college I worked as a work-study library assistant. At the first university I attended for one semester I worked in the basement in the microforms department: microfiche, microfilm, and oddly enough, current periodicals. I didn't spend much time with the current periodicals; mostly I filed microfilm and assisted patrons with the machines. I did not feel welcomed by the other library staff at all.
At the college I transferred to and at which I spent the last three and half years of my undergrad studies, I found myself once again working in the library. This library was much smaller and the student library assistants did everything. We re-shelved books, bound periodicals, and current periodicals. We checked books in and out. We retrieved books from the hold shelf for in-library use. We answered the phones and we trouble-shot the copy machines. I developed an aching pain in my right thumb from shelving bound periodicals, which is still evident to this day some 15 years later.
Eventually another student let me in on the secret: as older students with more seniority we could chose to work the evening shifts after all the regular library staff went home. That meant we had to sit at the main desk to handle all check-outs and phone calls, etc. It meant no more re-shelving. And hours of time to read.
When I wasn't working at the library I went there to socialize (in other words: to flirt with boys). My boys had certain tables they would always occupy. If they weren't there I would go into the quiet study room and, more often than not, take a nap. Thankfully, no one ever yelled at me for snoring.
Are you a regular library user now or in the past? What do you like best about your library? I wish mine had a drive through window!