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Be a Librarian For a Day!

February 18, 2004

An interesting Woman’s Day competition rewards the best essay with a day as a Librarian. Interesing PR for libraries I guess, though somehow it makes me feel like the profession is being devalued a little, as though any person can just waltz in and start doing reference. But, perhaps I’m just being defensive after having to come up with a reply for the thousandth time to the inevitable random-relative question: “So, you’re a librarian? Why do you have to have a degree to do that? All you do is read stories to kids and stamp books.” *sigh* My canned response so far is to state that I am an information broker, just like a stock broker, except I deal in information, and my services are free. Does anyone have any other good responses to that oh-so-fun question?

“Be a Librarian For a Day!”

  1. Meg Says:

    I usually say, “Actually, I can’t remember when I had time to read for fun on the job. Usually if you see me reading, I’m reading reviews or professional articles. You know all the books and inventions and tapes and cds and software programs that come out each year? I’m supposed to keep up-to-date on them, choose the best for the library, and know what we have and how to get to it. So when I’m not running and finding information for people or teaching them how to use a reference source or how to use a computer or the library catalog, I’m reading up on what’s new and what we should get.” It’s long, but they usually shut up.

    Actually, since I work specifically with computers, I usually get, “How can I get your job? It must be fun to play games on the computer all day long.” Trust me, I’d have finished Neverwinter Nights by now if that were the case.

  2. Jenica Says:

    I generally go with, “Well, I’m not what you’re thinking of when you think ‘librarian’. I’m more of an academic administrator.” And that either shuts them up, or gets them to ask more useful questions, at which point I can explain what Collection Development is and means, and why it’s important, etc.

  3. Amy Says:

    I am a student library at the university I attend to and I feel that there is another angle that should be looked at. Often when you step into another persons working shoes, you find out that there profession is a lot more than what you thought it was and you end they day having a greater understanding of their job, and a lot more respect for what they do.

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