If Librarians Were Honest

If Librarians Were Honest by Joseph Mills

“…a book indeed sometimes debauched me from my work…” – Benjamin Franklin

If librarians were honest,
they wouldn’t smile, or act
welcoming. They would say,
You need to be careful. Here
be monsters. They would say,
These rooms house heathens
and heretics, murderers and
maniacs, the deluded, desperate,
and dissolute.
 They would say,
These books contain knowledge
of death, desire, and decay,
betrayal, blood, and more blood;
each is a Pandora’s box, so why
would you want to open one.

They would post danger
signs warning that contact
might result in mood swings,
severe changes in vision,
and mind-altering effects.

If librarians were honest
they would admit the stacks
can be more seductive and
shocking than porn. After all,
once you’ve seen a few
breasts, vaginas, and penises,
more is simply more,
a comforting banality,
but the shelves of a library
contain sensational novelties,
a scandalous, permissive mingling
of Malcolm X, Marx, Melville,
Merwin, Millay, Milton, Morrison,
and anyone can check them out,
taking them home or to some corner
where they can be debauched
and impregnated with ideas.

If librarians were honest,
they would say, No one
spends time here without being
changed. Maybe you should
go home. While you still can.

Source: 5 Poems About Libraries

My First Memory (Of Librarians) by Nikki Giovanni

My First Memory (Of Librarians) by Nikki Giovanni

“The Librarian” by Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1566)

This is my first memory:
A big room with heavy wooden tables that sat on a creaky wood floor
A line of green shades—bankers’ lights—down the center
Heavy oak chairs that were too low or maybe I was simply too short
For me to sit in and read
So my first book was always big

In the foyer up four steps a semi-circle desk presided
To the left side the card catalogue
On the right newspapers draped over what looked like a quilt rack
Magazines face out from the wall

The welcoming smile of my librarian
The anticipation in my heart
All those books — another world — just waiting
At my fingertips.

Source: 5 poems about libraries

Talk to Us! Ask Us!

“I don’t know how to use the library.” Question

Not to worry! Librarians are your information guides and we are here to help.

We like questions and we like showing you how to find things and how to use information resources.

Our reference & instructional librarians offer instructional sessions for class groups as well as individuals. Click for more info.

Talk to us! Ask us! It’s what we do.

Talk to the Librarians

“It is an awfully sad misconception that librarians simply check books in and out. The library is the heart of a school, and without a librarian, it is but an empty shell.”Jarrett J. Krosoczka

We chose this profession because we like to answer questions and enjoy helping people. Talk to the librarians!


Want to know some of the many characteristics and values that librarians and library workers share?  Check out this list from LibraryCareers.org.

The Hollywood Librarian

At the NDLA Conference in Grand Forks last week, I got to see the documentary film, The Hollywood Librarian.  It was terrific!  It made me laugh, it made me cry, and mostly, it made me feel proud to be a librarian.

We’re ordering a copy for our library.  Libraries are WAY cool.

— Posted by Marlene Anderson, Director of Library Services