Behind the scenes at St. Paul Public Library

Library work is interesting!

We love to see stories about libraries in the news, especially when it highlights the important work librarians are doing! This article from the Pioneer Press is about the process at the St. Paul Public Library regarding ordering new materials for their library.

They interviewed librarian Katy Schulz and described her challenging work: “It’s her job to make sure the books are there, before people even know they want them.”

Shulz describes her system for deciding what to order. She draws from many factors, like the time of year (January for health/diet books, summertime for beach reads, fall for back-to-school books) to hundreds of book reviews. She even keeps tabs on the types of books that “disappear” (are stolen) from the library.

And of course, it’s necessary to know the population you serve. Shulz shares that her patrons don’t always necessarily go for the best-sellers. That preference rings true in the other materials the library orders too, like music and movies, where what may be in the Top 40 or a big theater blockbuster may not be what the library’s patrons are choosing to borrow.

The article goes on to describe trends that sometimes mystify library workers – the popularity of Garfield with young kids, and the Danish “Hygge” concept of “coziness” which had a streak of popularity.

Library work can be both fun and challenging, and it’s great to see that work being shared in the news!

CMLE would love to come visit your library to share excitement about the great work you are doing! Fill out our visit form and let us know a date/time that would work for you.