Being a librarian


The Annoyed Librarian writes about what she likes best about being a librarian, and this got me to thinking about what I like best about this job — and yes, I do like it.

I like helping people — this is what we’re here for; without patrons the library has no function whatsoever and we do have a function and we even seem to be getting better at it. (Link leads to my boss’ blog in Norwegian; it says that our number of visitors increased by 28% last year. Woo!)

I like my colleagues — they’re a source of inspiration (and we don’t even need to agree to get along). It’s unbelievably important to have colleagues you can rely on, and I really can (and do).

I like the students (our patrons) — they provide a constant reminder of why what we do has meaning…even the frustrated ones. I guess that Norwegian students are among the most well-mannered and polite you could hope to meet. I, on the other hand, am the most ill-behaved and impolite (sort-of) librarian.

I like the freedom I have to improve my work — my workplace actively encourages people to take action to improve their work, giving us the time to work with technology, customer service ideas, changes in the way we do things, and they take our suggestions seriously, etc. (I have worked a lot of places where this isn’t the case. Is this maybe why I don’t work at these places any more?)

I like being able to do my own thing — if I go home and can’t get to sleep because of work, it’s because I’m excited about what I’m doing, not because of some issue or other.

I like the rapidity of change that’s gong on in our field — you can say what you will, but the world of the library is changing apace, yes, maybe we’re not keeping up all the time, but we’re getting there (does this mean that we will be privatized like British Rail? Ah, yet another public->private success story.)

You can moan about a lot of things (IT services in particular, but let’s face it: they’re running scared; their time is over and they know it). Management maybe doesn’t always understand what’s going on at grass roots level, and working within the framework of a monolith like a university is a pain. But there’s a lot that is good, and what we do has meaning. That’s what’s best.


2 Responses to “Being a librarian”

  1. Woeful Says:

    I like helping people too… I only wish we had better funding to do our job!

  2. brinxmat Says:

    Money is like no issue, c’mon…libraries are well-stoked on the moolah front. And librarian pay…well, if you haven’t got a good base rate, then we know you’ve got stock options.

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