Care to tell us why you’re a librarian?


Take the short answer survey. It’s merely three questions.

Also, do you as new librarian, (or new information professional), care to say why you got into the profession when parts of the world see libraries and librarians as relics from an era-gone-by?

You probably have meme-fatigued. That “geez, this question is turning up everywhere!” It’s a good one though. We can strengthen our resolve on what we believe by answering questions like this. How so? 1) Sharpen our own minds about what is important to us. 2) Strengthen solid ideas about our chosen profession by sharing our best thoughts. Mr. Shaw said this quite succinctly.

“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.—George Bernard Shaw

If you can’t wait a few weeks for the responses to collect, feel free to comment here or put yours up on your blog. Jump to the survey now. We accept all forms of entry: Haiku, riddle, 140-character entry and so on…

TTW Contributor- Lee LeBlanc

5 thoughts on “Care to tell us why you’re a librarian?”

  1. When you say “Librarian” are you referring to someone with an MLS or equivalent? Seems so from the first question, but just wanted to know whether you were instead asking, why someone worked in a library

  2. I’m referring to someone who chooses to take on the persona, the role, the requirements, the archetype, a person who works in a library and defines their self this way, or feels they have the “librarynesss” of calling themselves a “Librarian.” I’m letting the individuals who answer define librarian. I’m sure I would upset a lot of people if I said what was or what wasn’t a librarian. In fact, I bet a lot people are upset that I’m choosing not to say who is and isn’t. Maybe not.

    So, you also could answer why you worked in a library if you interpreted yourself this way. Or you could offer a challenging definition of what it means to be a librarian? Hmmm…maybe we need to do that next?

    Thanks for the comment -very interesting.


  3. Just another thought:
    I’m not sure but I think we’re talking about the same idea. I would classify the people at your library and yourself, to be new information professionals in a new kind of information organization. I don’t think we’ve really come to understand who the new information professionals are. I would include the staff you speak of and say they could complete the survey as aptly as any other information professional: librarian, Information Maven, Intelligence Analyst, Network Administrator, Front-Line Circulation Staffer, Technical Services Processor, those great folks you’re sending to BookEXPO.

    There seems to be a new breed that chose/ or found library land through maybe less traditional paths. It’s great that you have a culture that embraces the abilities your staff has as opposed to the “perceived” roles they are assigned. The most innovate companies have cultures that allow their staff to not only define their role but engage in the work they are the best at.

  4. Is Marian a Librarian?

    I believe that Librarians are often people with specialized training and education – most usually holding an MLS (or equivalent degree or certification) but I agree that there are other folks who become librarians via experience. Many organizations value librarians who arrive by this route; for other institutions the terminal MLS continues to be critical. Whether you are a Librarian with or without an MLS only becomes critical at employment time.

    Just like at an accounting firm – many of its employees are certified public accountants, but there are other professionals that work there. They, too, have professional PR people, business consultants, professional records manageer, and maybe even a Librarian.

    As you note, while librarians are one kind of information professional, there are many information and other professionals that work in libraries. Examples of information professionals include Intelligence Analysts, Network Administrators, and many more including Public Relations Directors, Development Officers, Accountants, and all types of Circulation/ILL/Tech Svcs Leaders and Managers. I’d also add that Front-Line Circulation Staffers, Technical Services Processors and other support staff might also be considered professional, depending on their level of professionalism* displayed.

    So I hope, as you said, that folks share their reasons, no matter who they may be or how they catalog themselves!

    * PROFESSIONAL (The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.)

    ADJECTIVE: Of, relating to, engaged in, or suitable for a profession: lawyers, doctors, and other professional people. b. Conforming to the standards of a profession: professional behavior. 2. Engaging in a given activity as a source of livelihood or as a career: a professional writer. 3. Performed by persons receiving pay: professional football. 4. Having or showing great skill; expert: a professional repair job.

    NOUN: 1. A person following a profession, especially a learned profession. 2. One who earns a living in a given or implied occupation: hired a professional to decorate the house. 3. A skilled practitioner; an expert.

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