At the end of another shift, I sat in the manager’s office, closing out my checks for the day. Six weeks in, she inquired about my intentions: am I planning on sticking around, or am I actively seeking another job?
- I’m good at solving problems, and I dig it. As a librarian, I get to help other people solve their problems. Loving what I do and helping people = awesome.
- Libraries are not big, quiet vaults for storing ancient parchment and musty hardcovers. Sure, there’s probably a section of archives around the building somewhere, but modern libraries are technological workstations, social outposts, collaborative environments, gaming centers, and, of course, a resource for information that’s infinitely more reliable than big internet search engines.
- I’ve said this before, so I’ll say it again, verbatim:
I know about a hundred future librarians who are working every day to shatter your preconceived notions of what librarianship is. We’re not cardigan-wearing, pencil-in-the-hair, shushing types. We are activists, fun-loving teachers, and technological whizzes who just happen to have an insatiable thirst for information and want to share that thirst with everyone – even though I’ve been known to wear a cardigan and put writing utensils in my hair.
- No matter how radical I sound to you, I am not a pioneer of my field. I love librarianship because it’s filled with smart, forward-thinking people who are moving the earth, one library service at a time. Just today, in fact, I encountered several fabulous libraries/librarians who are doing delightfully cool things:
School libraries who encourage cell phone use (courtesy of Rebecca, my classmate/hero)
Libraries as cultural centers (thanks to James for this one)
Library day in the life (some of the interesting projects that my clasmate/hero Erin gets paid to work on)
- Unlimited access to free books! There, I said it. But being a librarian also grants me access to movies, new tech gadgets, social activities, cutting-edge computer programs, and a quiet study corner (should the need arise). Oh, wait. I don’t need to be a librarian to get all of that stuff for free. Anyone can take advantage of all that… imagine such a place!
I know that most of what I’ve just said is not new or original. Aside from the personal anecdotes – and no one is reading for those! – everything in this post is reiterating someone else. Who is paraphrasing someone else. Who read it somewhere else. It might sound like a game of telephone, but the message remains intact: if you’re one of the masses who assumes that I spent a semester honing my shushing, stop by a library and see what you’ve been missing.If you’re not sick of hearing me go on about this, here’s the link to my library school f.a.q., which I wrote last year. It has more about the MLIS program experience, and a little bit about librarianship as a career.