Joe's Job: Librarian for Books at the Beach

Joe's Job: Beach librarian

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Now this was a cool job, being part of a brand new program from Virginia Beach Public Library, initiated by librarian Kellye Carter, called Books at the Beach.

On this day another librarian with 33 years experience was helping us out, Denise Barnhart. I was worried that offering free books to Oceanfront visitors may be a challenge because I didn't have any librarian skills.

"We can teach that. We can't teach compassion. We can't teach caring. But we can teach anybody how to do the day-to-day things," said Kellye Carter, manager of the Oceanfront Area Library.

We cycled the seven blocks to the beach loaded with about 100 books. Honor books they call them, donated by all sorts of friends of the Virginia Beach Library.

"In all the library branches we have honor books and people can take a book. They can swap books. But they're not books you have to return," Carter said.

We arrived and proceeded to set up our little stand with a good visual announcing that we are librarians from the Virginia Beach Library. And then I jumped right in.

"Hey, books on the beach," I yelled, holding up a couple paperbacks by Danielle Steel.

"And they're free," I exclaimed.

It didn't take long before beachgoers showed up. And they were interested.

"This is a great idea. I've never seen anything like this on the beach," said Pittsburgh visitor Stephanie Bazan.

We worked from 10 a.m. until noon on 17th, 20th and 24th streets.

"I love this. Well the best thing you can do at the ocean is read, in my mind. So I told my family grab some books because there's nothing better than sitting at the ocean listening to the waves and reading," said another PIttsburgh visitor Devina Romeo.

If this is being a librarian I'll take it. They hope this new program takes off and if our brief tour is any indication, it just might.

How would I do working here?

"Joe Flanagan would be outstanding either in the library or on the beach because he is a people person," said Carter.


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