Jinny Williams, Library Assistant

Jinny Williams, Library AssistantDear Reader,

Guest blogging here is a daunting task! I love this blog, each and every piece is charming, well thought out and humorous — just like its author! OK, OK, I know… I am Jessica’s MOTHER, a not very objective guest blogger, so… onto the book review.

Backstory: I have been in the field of public librarianship since 1979. My mom, Marilyn Jawitz, was also a public librarian from 1967 to 1990, both of us Children’s Librarians. Jessica is of course an Academic/ Special Collections Librarian, and I geek… third generation Librarians!

Jinny Williams, Library Assistant by Sara Temkin and Lucy A. Hovell was written in 1962. It is a career romance novel for pre-teen girls. It was so much fun to read! It reminded me of books I read when I was growing up and it depicts a much more “innocent” world than the one we live in today. And yet it was ALL there, from a robbery at the Library ( which is of course solved) to wedding plans… Life and all of its grit and glory!

Jinny graduates from high school and her part-time shelver job at the library and is promoted into a full-time Library Assistant position, in suburban New Jersey, just blocks from home. Her job duties include checking in magazines, writing postcard overdue notices, flagging reserves with red paper clips, filing circulation cards related to books checked-out, doing statistical reports, processing books, filing catalog cards, checking out books and shelving when the shelvers fall behind. Some of these tasks are totally obsolete due to the computer age, but many are still done in public libraries today! For me, it was a trip down memory lane to Mom’s beloved Babylon Public Library and my sweet first gig at the Port Jefferson Free Library. We were not “clerical” assistants, so many of these tasks were/are not our jobs. With Masters Degrees in Library Science we build collections, run programs and are the true professionals, a fine line in the public’s eye, but one that is important and was a main thread of plot conflict, discussion, definition and education in this career novel.

The novel includes lots of staff politics and arguing, town centered political power struggles about funding, “unusual” library patrons with some wild ideas, misbehaving teenaged patrons, and of course, ROMANCE — read the book ASAP for details!

Jess and I each own a reading copy and I will be glad to lend mine to colleagues and friends in the field, as long as you promise to take good care of it and return it to me within the agreed upon due date timeframe.

Happy Reading, Everyone! …and LOTS of LOVE and GOOD WISHES to my beautiful daughter, Jess.

~ Miss Jane, Children’s Librarian at the Wixom Public Library

P.S. This blog post is dedicated to the memory of Rachel, Jessica’s amazing older sister. Rachel passed away on April 27, 2012 at the age of twenty-six, after a very difficult one year battle with Cancer. We miss her terribly, and will NEVER forget her.

This entry was posted in 1960s, Julian Messner Inc., Lucy A. Hovell, Sara A. Temkin. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Jinny Williams, Library Assistant

  1. Nancy Medbery says:

    Fashion tip of the hat to all librarians who wear perky shirtwaist dresses to work! Oh those sassy gals! I remember the time that Mom, aka Jessica’s grandmother, told me that an employee was sent home from the Library (in 1968) for wearing pants to work. The adult woman was told to change to more appropriate attire by her library director. Really!

    Loved the job description. Guess those Jersey girls can do it all no matter what the task, it just takes the right wardrobe! Thanks to both Miss Jane and our blogging host, Jessica, for continuing to feature these fabulous books from long ago. I always enjoy these reviews.

    As for spunky gals, Rachel was the best and will always be a shining example of good energy and enthusiasm for all of us.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Fabulous review Miss Jane! Sure sounds like a great book…visions of card catalogs and encyclopedias are swirling around in my head at this very moment…I guess I am that old! Thanks for sharing! E. in IN

  3. kathleen395 says:

    Nope. Good libraries and great collections do not magically appear out of thin air. Although like many skilled accomplishments, it can seem effortless to those of us merely greedy for that book we want! Thanks for the good guest blog, Jane. Those of us fortunate enough to have known Rachel, even just a little, certainly remember her, and miss her.

  4. Pingback: Books on Wheels: Opportunities in Library Work | thegoodbadbook

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