Shy Girl Blogs

We’re so misunderstood

Posted on: 09/07/2011

I was just linked to a fabulous article on Facebook, from The Atlantic: “What People Don’t Get About Working In A Library.” (Apparently this is part of a larger article or series pointing out things about many careers that people don’t know or don’t understand. I only read the part Relevant To My Interests.)

At orientation last month, we got to hear from a panel of practitioners in the information science field. What impressed upon me the most were some words from a school librarian; she said that the most important thing for us to do is advocate for ourselves, our field and our jobs. As most people probably know, government funding for public libraries is in danger and in this age of Google, people are often questioning whether libraries and, by default, librarians are even relevant and necessary anymore. I can promise you, they are! People have no idea what is really available to them at the library, and our job is to get that information out there.

You can read the whole article here, but these are my favorite bits (especially the last quote!):

“We are not mere cart pushers, let me assure you. This job requires a Masters degree for a reason.”

“I am an aggregator, a citation machine, a curator, a specialist in whatever it is you want to know about.”

“I use Google, and I like Google, but no, not everything is available on the Web for free.”

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