Friends of the Boca Raton Public Library
Social media coordinator/Board secretary
A little about Tracy’s job:
I started volunteering for the Friends of the Boca Raton Public Library as their social media coordinator in May 2014 after graduating with an MLIS. I run their FB and Twitter accounts and also started the Library Friends interview series that showcases our volunteers (http://www.bocalibraryfriends.org/libraryfriends.htm). I was recently elected to serve as Board secretary.
1) What are some things you like about your job or about working in libraries in general?
I love to introduce people to new things! Recently, the Boca Raton Public Library started offering online education courses through Universal Class, Inc. courtesy of the funding of our Friends organization, and it was so exciting to post about that on social media and get people interested! I signed up for a couple of classes myself. Also, the Friends events draw a lot of people – our kick off party for the Summer Reading program featuring a DJ, carnival food, and activities attracted close to 600 people. We also host Sunday matinees, a foreign film series, a speaker series, and book clubs, in addition to other special programs and exhibits featuring local artists and authors. These events are all opportunities to connect to people who live in the area and learn something new!
2) Whatâ€™s a project or committee youâ€™re working on right now that youâ€™re excited about?
I started a Library Friends interview series, which highlights members of our volunteer organization one by one. These volunteers are fascinating people who bring a wealth of experience, talent and knowledge to our organization, and I love to write about them! It’s wonderful to get someone to talk about his or her past experience in libraries and write about it to hopefully motivate others to join our organization or just come into our bookstore to see our wonderful collection of used books of every kind!
3) What got you interested in libraries?
I wrote a high school career paper about being a librarian and the research I did hooked me! After earning my B.A., however, I took a detour for about 25 years (marriage, raising a family, and working as a legal secretary in south Florida) before going back to school to earn an MLIS online from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. I love how libraries have progressed and kept abreast of the technology boom from back in the 1980s when I took some library science classes as an undergrad.
Â 4) Do you have any advice for other new librarians?
If you can afford it, don’t be afraid to volunteer your time at a library. I work 40 hours a week as legal secretary, but I started volunteering while I was earning my MLIS on Sunday afternoons as a patron greeter and circulation assistant, where I met the Friends volunteers who offered me the opportunity to work as their social media coordinator – they didn’t have anyone to keep their Facebook account current. I have started a Twitter account now as well, and have many ideas in addition to the interview series. I am looking into updating their website, as well as possibly moving their two popular book clubs online so we can get discussions from people who can’t attend the live event at the library. Although all the work I do is unpaid, I feel blessed to be in the company of such dedicated library folk (who are all volunteers as well). They motivate me every day.
I also volunteer for INALJ.com, a library job curating site. I write articles and find library related jobs in Florida to post to the Florida page. For new librarians, INALJ is a wonderful resource, full of networking and other professional development information and advice, as well as, of course, a one-shop source of library jobs anywhere in the U.S. and Canada, and some international and virtual work jobs as well!
Someday I’ll look for a paying job in the library world and make the jump from my current job (it will be hard – I have been working for the same law firm for over 25 years), but right now, I am enjoying my experiences as a behind the scenes library friend!