Welcome to Gainesville Reads

My name is Jamie Shapiro, and I’m a second year journalism student at the University of Florida. I love books and reading, and I have been involved in numerous literary organizations, from book clubs to honor societies since primary school.

One thing I have discovered since coming to college is the importance of a library in my everyday life. As a lover of books, I was no stranger to the public and school libraries in my youth; but now, much older and wiser, I’ve learned just how important these institutions are.

Upon making this discovery, some questions started to come up: Who actually maintains these places? Do you actually need an education to be a librarian, or can you just get by liking books a lot? Do they care that all I do in the campus libraries is sit on my laptop and work on MyMathLab assignments?

Well the answers to these questions are: Librarians; Yes, and it’s a lot more school than most students would care to wager; and no, they encourage it actually.

To get this information, and probably a lot more than that; I’ll have to talk to actual librarians, both on the collegiate level and others; as well as other library staff members and maybe even the average student or two.

Libraries are a lot more than just some untouched books on shelves and those cool tables with USB ports. They’ve gone totally digital, in an era where information is just a Google search away, they’ve found and organized the best sources and put them on display for us to find. They’ve found ways to take the resources we need most, from free and paid for platforms and give us access to them, as students and library card holders.

On Gainesville Reads you’ll find an assortment of librarian profiles, detailing the process of becoming and working as a librarian. You’ll find interviews with collegiate and public librarians, maybe with a few others thrown in for good measure. The importance of the library will go unnoticed no longer, and the complex and constantly shifting challenges that they face will finally be brought to our attention.

Check back to see the latest librarian profiles and get inside the minds of these literary warriors.

You can contact me at jamieashapiro@gmail.com or on twitter @jamie_A_shapiro

All books you can get from your local library! Photo taken by Jamie Shapiro.