The book “This Is What a Librarian Looks Like” contains photo portraits of hundreds of librarians and their short explanations of what they do and why they do it. What they do, in 2017, is a far cry from the idea of shushing patrons and shelving books; librarians are advocates for books and readers and digital literacy and more. Author and photographer Kyle Cassidy traveled all over the country to compile these portraits. Here’s a sample of the book, published by Black Dog & Leventhal.
Mari Martinez SerranoSpanish services, St. Helena Public Library, St. Helena, Calif.
It inspires me when Spanish speakers and Latinos walk into the library and their eyes light up. It’s like they are discovering a new world. It still amazes me that for the amount of Latinos and Spanish speakers in the U.S., there is still a huge gap of services, literature, and LIS professionals in libraries to better serve them.
Sara Sunshine Holloway
Teen services librarian, Tacoma Public Library, Tacoma, Wash.
Libraries provide a community gathering place with resources, information, entertainment and socializing for no commercial payoff. Our payoff is a healthy, literate society.
Reference librarian, Dominican University of California, San Rafael
Librarians are the gateway to information. We want to inform those who surround us.
Youth services librarian, San Diego County Library, San Diego
In the morning I’m a rock star to a room full of preschoolers; midday, I’m a social worker, assisting a recently unemployed patron in finding resources; in the afternoon, I’m an educator leading kids through an after-school science workshop. Librarians serve so many purposes and wear so many hats, but all of them change lives.
Teen services librarian, Westport Library, Westport, Conn.
When I went into librarianship, my friends and family said, “Aren’t you a little loud for that?” But libraries need to have loud people. Growing up, I went to the library almost every day and nobody ever asked my name. I want to make that experience different for teens. I want them to feel that they’re important — that what they read or watch or play or geek out to matters.
Library media specialist and teacher-librarian, Franklin High School Media Center, Portland, Ore.
In my school library the most important thing that I do is connect students and teachers to as much of the big, beautiful world that I can, in as many was as I can, including through a visit from a graphic novelist, hosting a city-wide poetry slam, teaching kids to access databases, coaching kids on college essays, writing, talking up a memoir, demonstrating a cool app, promoting story through social media, leading a workshop on making a movie. Officially my job is to help kids locate, evaluate, use, create and share information. Unofficially I teach students to use and celebrate their voices and how to read the word and the world.