The more things change…


Many people believe libraries to be antiquated and, with the invention of the internet and e-readers, to serve little purpose. That couldn’t be further from the truth. When I decided that I wanted to be a librarian, quite a few people were perplexed as to why. Why did I want to do that? Is that even still a job? What was the point? If you’re reading this post, chances are you know the value of libraries, as does former Princeton Junction resident and actor Ethan Hawke, who just recently wrote a guest post for another library blog. The question is, why wouldn’t I want to be a librarian?

The cornerstone of any library is the collection of materials. Of course, the vast majority are books, however, that has evolved into audiobook CDs, DVDs, and BluRays, as well as laptops and other gadgets for in-house use. Today, libraries also have a vast online collection consisting of eBooks and downloadable audiobooks, movies and music, as well as magazines and language learning tools. That being said, some things never change…

As librarians, a love of books is still at the heart of everything we do and, just like professionals in other fields, we have conferences and events where we can meet our fellow librarians and bookworms. At these events and conferences, there are collection development sessions, author and publisher “book buzz” events, ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy) and galley giveaways and so much more. Here, librarians connect with each other and share tips, experiences and ideas with the goal of making our libraries the best they can be for our patrons.

In just a few shorts days, there is not one but TWO major events in the tri-state area. One is BookExpo at the Javits Center in New York City. The other is the annual New Jersey Library Association (NJLA) Conference in Atlantic City. Princeton Public Library librarians have been attending the NJLA for decades. According to an article from the Local Express, dated March 24th 1938 and titled “Librarians to Attend Annual Conference,” Adeline Agar (Head Librarian at the Princeton Public Library, 1936-1944) and her fellow librarians attended the 42nd Annual NJLA Conference in, you guessed it, Atlantic City. Because, according to Ms. Agar, library workers are very self-critical, we look for every opportunity to learn and better ourselves in our profession. And, annual conferences such as these, are just one of the fun ways we get to do so.

So, next time you are at the library, stop at the Information Desk and ask one of us about the latest library and literary news from NJLA or BookExpo! We’re positive Adeline would be proud to hear that the tradition lives on.

Featured image courtesy of the article, “Public Library,” Local Express, Volume 2, Number 46, 2 September 1937


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