Welcome to The Librarian OT

Who is The Librarian OT?

Hi everyone! My name is Tara Watts and I am an occupational therapist currently studying to become a children’s librarian.

The Librarian OT is who I am and who I aim to be.

Why create The Librarian OT?

I have always been reflective in practice and passionate about sharing knowledge and experiences with others. In the past I have written blogs and articles about social justice, occupational therapy, and general life.

Now I want to write about my journey as The Librarian (in training) OT.

I hope that through my writings I am able to create a space for reflection, sharing stories, and connecting with others.

Please remember though that this is a personal blog and the opinions I express are my own. Where I intentionally cite the opinions of others, this is referenced to the best of my knowledge. The Librarian OT does not and will not reflect any opinions of my employer, university or other organisations. 

So please join me as I embark on the journey that is The Librarian OT!

Thank You Librarian

Hi all, this blog post is going to be a little different. For UNESCO’s World Poetry Day, I will be handing over the reins to poet Chris Van Ingen so he may share his words with us today.

On this World Poetry Day, I would like to take this opportunity to share my poetic journey.

I remember being at school and having to write a poem by the end of the week and having nothing to say and absolutely starting to freak. This was in the beginning of 2002.

Now fast forward to winter 2002 and I am trapped in my high school library because of wet weather. I begin to write my first poem Reflections of a Disability.

Once I found that poetry helps me get out my feelings about disability, I went on to write fifteen poems in a week. I have been writing poetry ever since.

Poetry is beautiful. Poetry is emotion on a page. Poetry can be old school like Keats or new school spoken word like Sarah Kay or it can be a rap song like Will Smith or Eminem. There is poetry all around us.

So in honour of World Poetry Day and the Librarian OT, I leave you with this poem:

Thank You Librarian

Living with a disability can be like feeling stuck in an aquarium.
So I thank God for poetry and for you the librarian. 

Thank you for reaching that novel on the too high shelf
So I could read the truth that helps me find myself.

Thank you for helping me turn the page 
So I could write the poetry of my age. 

Thank you for helping me search for that book on audio
So I could forget my disability, get lost in the story, 
and just let it take me wherever I go.

Thank you for helping me send that email
So I will not fail.

Thank you for helping me read the book
Where I can be the hero no matter how disabled I look. 

I love fiction because it helps me with the friction
Of my disability, a painful non-fiction.

Thank you for teaching me affection for the historical collection. 
I wouldn't know the definition of agrarian 
if it wasn't for you, the librarian. 

Written by Chris Van Ingen

If you’re interested in reading more of Chris’ work, you can find him at The Humanity Platform or you can connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.

Library love and early memories

While many of my friends had date nights planned for this Valentine’s Day, I had my regular Friday evening shift at the library. Surrounded by one of my loves … books.

Did you know that February 14 is more than just the feast day for St Valentine but also Library Lovers’ Day?

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) describes Library Lovers’ Day as “an opportunity for library and information professionals to show off their libraries and for people across Australia to show their love for libraries.”

At our libraries we shared favourite reads with patrons and learned of their favourites, wrapped up books for “blind dates”, and created some wonderful displays to celebrate our shared love of books.

On social media the Geelong Regional Library shared the following image to celebrate Library Lovers’ Day and get conversations going about our love and memories of libraries.

This made me stop and think, what was my earliest library memory?

To be honest, it’s hard to come up with your earliest library memory when you feel like you practically grew up at the library.

My mum and I were constantly at the library and I cannot remember a time where we didn’t have library books somewhere in our house.

While at school I remember going to the library every morning to share with the librarian a random fact or tricky riddle I had just found. Every morning. They must have just loved me.

Then after school my mum and I would walk to our small local library where we would spend ages choosing more books than we could possibly carry.

I remember the old laminated Geelong Library cards. I felt so grown up with my library card and held on to that card until the laminated edges began to truly fall apart.

It’s not just books that I remember though. Countless conversations with librarians, adventures with my mum to different branches, and workshops with authors just to name a few.

I have so many happy and love filled memories of spending time at libraries. What’s your earliest library memory?