Being an introvert means that I do not have many friends. I have a lot of time to myself and spend that time at home with a good book.
Imagine my frustration when I see that my local public library does not have a book that I’m looking for. Imagine, then, the horror that fills my gut at the thought of not being able to read that book.
Being a lover of books also means that I’m friends with a lot of the librarians at my local library. The way to solve my problem is to approach them and ask them to order the book.
Being shy presents a problem, though. Being shy presents the problem of having thoughts like “I don’t want to bother them” or something like that.
These thoughts can create irritation in us all, I’m sure. Having an anxiety disorder along with my book-hoarding doesn’t help the matter either.
You want the relationship with your librarian that urges you to come up with suggestions. You don’t want to deal with anxiety at the thought of going through with voicing the suggestions.
I know you can relate to the idea of not knowing what to say when you go to the librarian. I know what it’s like to have a “brain fart” when it comes to talking to someone.
If you want to learn how to talk to the librarians about book suggestions, the following tips are for you. I’m sure you want to see more of the books you want to read, after all.
Step #1: Develop a comfortable relationship.
These kinds of things take time. You are at a place where you don’t feel like you can walk up to the librarian without warning. You feel like that’s an invasion of privacy.
Instead, walk up to the librarian and start a conversation. You could use small talk or even talk about the freaking weather! Don’t be afraid to try things you’ve never done before.
You may be shaking at the thought of even doing small talk but you sometimes can’t get anywhere without it. There are times when this kind of situation is all but inevitable.
If you aren’t comfortable with small talk, approach the librarian and ask a question. You could ask about a certain book or where you could find the restroom.
You might already know the answer to that question but consider it a victory if you complete this task. If you’re as shy as I am, doing this can be a challenge at times without a hard push.
Creating a relationship with a librarian is going to take more than one conversation. You may lead yourself out of your comfort zone for the sake of new books.
Decide if leaving that comfort zone is worth it to you. How badly do you want those books? Let me answer that question for you: I am certain you want them pretty badly, #amiright?
Step #2: Ask for the librarian’s opinion on books you’ve both read.
This step is another way to build a relationship with your local librarian. Ask the librarian what he or she thought about certain books you’ve read recently.
If you notice a book sitting on their desk, ask them about it in a way that shows interest. Even if you’ve never read it before, the fact that you’re interested can go a long way.
Don’t ever be afraid that others might see you as a nerd. You are who you are, no matter what others believe. There is a level of self-confidence you this belief will give you as you move forward.
Sometimes there will be situations where there is no easy way to go about a solution. This is one of those situations so don’t be afraid to blurt the question out if you need to do it that way.
I’ve blurted out random things to the young adult librarian at my local library more than once. I’ve known her for years and she knows to expect that part of me to come out on occasion.
Asking for the librarian’s opinion about a book he or she has read can start a vital conversation. This conversation can last a while and will lead to suggestions from them about books you might like.
If you do not see evidence of a book on the librarian’s desk, ask them about the last book they read. The two of you might have that information in common once the answer comes.
Step #3: Don’t be afraid to suggest new books in a blunt way.
This step will scare the crap out of you if you’re as shy as I am on a normal basis. On a serious note, don’t be afraid to be blunt about your suggestions.
Don’t be afraid to walk up to the librarian and blurt out your suggestions to them. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be doing that before you psyche yourself out of the act.
If you’re like me, you’ll suggest a book or two before you lose your nerve. Trust me, I know all about that fear since I’m on medication for generalized anxiety disorder.
That’s why not having a filter over one’s mouth can end up helping us in the end. If we think too much about what we want to say, we’ll scare ourselves out of saying it.
The ideas or suggestions remain in our minds, locked away for no one else to hear them. This is why it’s okay to blurt it out for the world to hear it. How else would the world hear it otherwise?
You have as much of a right to your opinion as the next person does. That is why librarians value our book suggestions so much these days. They want to know what we want to read.
They won’t know what you want to see on the shelf if you don’t tell them. But then…encouragement always helps, right? Think about it this way: you can help yourself by helping the library.
You might be shy but don’t let that stop you from introducing new titles to your local library. Don’t let it stop you from making new friends out of the librarians.
I count the young adult librarian at my local public library as one of my closest friends. You can get to that point too by reaching out with a single sentence.
Do you have other suggestions for your fellow readers? Put them in the comments below so I can read them!