I’ve recently seen the meme for different occupations that illustrate through pictures what different people think people do in those occupations (i.e. journalists, tech support) and decided to put one together for my own!
Back when I was going to library school, and I think many librarians can relate, I told people that I was going for my masters, and generally the first response was: “You need a masters to work in a library?!” Shelving books, checking out materials, shushing people…that’s probably the first thing that comes to mind when people think of librarians. But, as I’ve discovered, we can do so much more! What drew me to the library in the first place was the opportunity to share knowledge–to help people find the information they need to succeed. As a librarian I do this in a number of ways–helping people at the reference desk, teaching computer classes, showing people how to use their eReaders and other devices, leading book discussions and poetry socials, and sharing good books to read.
Especially now in a time of decreasing budgets, I think it’s important that librarians find ways to actively demonstrate that our roles are not expendable. That libraries aren’t expendable. For me it’s in the faces of my patrons–that frustrated older woman who doesn’t understand our computer reservation system and new software but comes in every day to apply for unemployment nevertheless, that gentleman who’s satisfied that we’re one of the only libraries he’s been to that carries the daily New York Times, or simply that patron who’s found a good book to read. I don’t think there’s a day that goes by that I’m not grateful for my job, the people I’ve met because of it, and the experience it has given me. I really look forward to the future and how the role of the librarian will change as technology advances and time progresses.