Posted by lpearle on 2 February 2007
All the while, I was thinking about the final paper in my first class as a graduate student. This was the obligatory Introduction to Librarianship course, so it was a basic overview of the profession. And it was over 10 years ago (just to give some context!). The teacher asked us to, in 8-10 pages, respond to a similar question: with all the new databases and the internet on the rise and e-books on the horizon, why would anyone want to become a librarian?
Somewhat facetiously, I thought of handing in eight pages in 90pt type W H Y N O T ?, and then a bibliography of all the things I’d read that inspired me. I didn’t actually do that, but that’s the response I give when the question gets asked of me by students and colleagues, as well as strangers.
So, why? Because it’s not boring (If you’re in a school library and you’re bored – get out. Now.) Yes, I love to read but even more I love to talk to people about books and hearing a student raving about a book I suggested makes my day. Even better are the times when a student comes to me and says that there’s a book that I must read now so they can talk to me about it. Today I had three periods with more than one class doing research – the variety of topics and questions and needs kept me on my toes. I learned as much from them as they learned from me. And that’s just the start.
Why are librarians important? Because we’re generalists. We can help students make connections between subjects, between media, between Old Technologies and New. We can help teachers find new resources for their classes and their personal needs. Because of the reasons that Joyce and Doug and Diane and Alice and Chris and many, many others have given over the years.
Because, really, why not?