Everyday Carry of a Librarian

Amanda Mae
3 min readAug 30, 2022

A musician friend of mine wrote a song called “Curses on Purses” that she said was inspired from the days when she lived in New York City and was a busking musician. When she left for the day, she left for the day and had to have her instrument, her purse, maybe a pack lunch, and even a change of clothes. And on the subway and about town she’d see women who only needed a small purse for their essentials and didn’t need to lug around bags of supplies.

I think of that song and that song’s story often when I get ready for the day. Can I get away with just a small purse or a few things tucked into pockets? Or do I need a bigger bag? But generally for my workday, I have a set bag and items that I have on me.

Photo by author

Manhattan Portage shoulder bag. I got a larger version of this bag in college that held my notebooks and folders for class, but years later I got this smaller one when I took a trip to England. It’s been the perfect size for me! It has a main compartment, a smaller front compartment for pens, keys, and other small items, and a sleeve in the back of the main compartment that fits my iPad. It closes with two buckles, and normally I keep one side buckled so I can more easily access what’s inside on the side close to me.

Small zipper pouch. I found this at the O’Hare Airport some years ago. My parents are in Chicago and I was born there, so I have some affinity for the place. I use this to carry lightning and micro-USB charge cords for my various devices, a cleaning cloth for my eyeglasses, a pair of nail clippers, spare hair ties, ear plugs, and a small pill case with my Purse Ibuprofen (TM). It’s a great compact size for all the little things I end up needing.

Earbuds. I am currently using Skullcandy Sesh earbuds that I got on a Black Friday sale and I have enjoyed them a lot. (But as I’m an Apple ecosystem person, whenever these give out I will likely end up replacing them with AirPods.) I walk to work and enjoy listening to podcasts during that time, and I use these when going to the gym as well. I got a case with a carabiner on it so…

Amanda Mae

Amanda Mae is a librarian who has lived in too many states and enjoys anything involving books, history, and productivity.