Playing Librarian

How many students can say they’ve had the opportunity to hand-pick a pile of books they want to read, and then have their school library go out and purchase them? Not many. But I guess those are the perks of being an intern here at Roesch library. A few weeks back, I was given the assignment to create a collection development of fictional novels that were connected to my area of interest, cognitive psychology. At first, I thought to myself, “how in the world am I supposed to find interesting, fictional novels that have to do with cognition?” While I find Psychology and the brain to be fascinating, I know that others might disagree and have interests different from my own. It was difficult to step out of my own shoes for a moment, and think critically about whether anyone else would find what I was choosing, to be interesting. Fortunately, I quickly realized that I was thinking far too narrowly, and there were hundreds of topics I could have chosen that had intrigue value as well as a connection to cognitive psychology.

I decided that memory, and more specifically, memory loss was the topic for the collection development that I wanted to focus on. I’m a total CSI, crime and mystery buff, so my collection definitely has a theme of psychological thrillers. Many of the books such as ‘Nemesis’ by Jo Nesbo, and ‘The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes’ by Marcus Sakey, focus on characters who find themselves in the middle of a murder investigation as the prime suspect, but are completely befuddled as to how they got there. Others like ‘A Secret Kept’ by Tatiana de Rosnay, tell the story of characters whose brains have managed to keep certain memories repressed for years, and what happens when those memories finally come creeping back to the surface.

Today I got to see and touch those books that I ordered for the first time. It was exciting and satisfying, but also made me realize how long it’s been since I’ve felt the catharsis of getting lost in a good book. Between our 18 credit hour schedules, countless class projects and job searching wearies, it’s tough to find the time to sit down and read a book for leisure. However, this is not to say that it’s not completely worth doing. Seeing the beautiful illustrations of the paperback covers and feeling the graininess of the book pages also reminded me of why I haven’t jumped head first onto the Kindle bandwagon. Call me old-fashioned, but I think there is certainly something to say for the joy of reading a “real” book.

In all, having the opportunity as a student to facilitate collection development for our library was an extremely enjoyable experience. I hope that my enthusiasm for the books in this collection is evident, and the next time you need a break from the stresses of school, work, or life in general, you turn to our library and to this collection for an enjoyable release. 

- Lauren Pytel ‘14, Roesch Library Research & Instruction Intern

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