As I started this school year I set myself some goals (Full disclosure: It was required, there was a form to fill out, I am not a motivational goddess.) I picked some attainable goals and patted myself on the back. But then I also decided to set myself a difficult goal.  Get comfortable reading at work. To up the difficulty factor, my goal is not just to read at work, but to be seen reading at work. Aack.  

To non-librarians, this goal seems absurdly simple. After all, isn’t reading our job? And yet, when I read in the library I often feel like I’m indulging. If someone sees me reading, I frequently blather on about how funny it is that I never usually read, even though, hahaha, I’m the librarian. There’s something so overwhelming, so outrageous about our culture’s notion of what busyness looks like. In order to be busy I’m supposed to always be on a computer, looking somewhat stressed, and commenting frequently about how busy I am. Fie upon that. I am librarian, hear me roar. I will read! I will be seen reading! And I will enjoy it!

So, guilt somewhat in check, I grabbed One of Us is Lying, sat down in the comfy chair, and started reading. And guess what? The next time I looked up, 3 tween-age students were sitting with me, all reading quietly together. Bliss.

I’ve snatched minutes here and there to grab a book and visibly read since then. It makes my heart full. I haven’t done it enough but I’m trying. And I’m inviting you to try with me. Let’s read at work, people. Let go of those laptops and give yourself permission to indulge in our jobs. To those of you who already do this, you’re amazing. I aspire to be you. But if you’re like me, if you pressure yourself to always be “doing”, let’s do this together. Let’s read.

-Karen Grenke

2 thoughts on “GOOOAAALLL!”

  1. How wonderful to read this exhortation to librarians not only to read, but to be seen reading! I always used to say a librarian who doesn’t read is like a lifeguard who doesn’t swim laps. It is our life work. And what joy to have students follow your example. — Patricia Markert Aakre

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