Why do I want to be a librarian?

It’s a hard question to answer. Last week the Annoyed Librarian asked readers to answer that question, which naturally received a variety of responses. Looking over them it makes me think that perhaps the AL readers aren’t the right people to ask such vague questions to, because none of them said, “I’m a librarian because it’s a calling.” In library school, that seems to be the most acceptable answer, with “I love reading and books” a close second. Of course, this means I’m out of the club because I would probably say something about making information accessible for people to use, but apparently that sounds forced.

This weekend was full of school work and midterms, which naturally made me ask what the point was. Why am I in library school? What does business administration and finance have to do with helping people find old tech reports about traffic lights? Nothing, and I’ll admit the business course is for the MSIS not the MLIS, but the end result will hopefully make me a librarian so I’ll lump it all together. I guess learning more about information systems and administration will be valuable later on in my career, but for the moment it makes me see how vulnerable libraries are and that the old model needs to change. That’s easier said than done and I have a feeling my education’s already out dated before I even graduate.

The other important question (since I’m not really a librarian) is what sort of job do I want when I graduate school? I’ve always seen myself in an academic library and I would still prefer that, but I know I’ll have to go wherever I can actually get a job. The big thing I’m afraid of, is not actually working in a library, but for one of those library support companies. I really hope that doesn’t happen though because it seems like people who become teachers only to go work for Kaplan or textbook companies. Would I even need an MLIS for that? Probably not, though for most library functions you don’t. Oh well. Nothing fun to think about the day after a three day weekend.

3 thoughts on “Why do I want to be a librarian?

  1. Very interesting. Thank you for not flaming my curious nature.

    You also post some very interesting thoughts on your blog which show you are clearly thinking about the future of our profession. I hope you continue to explore your thoughts on this.

    Cordially,
    Lee

  2. PS I’d like to include your responses when I highlight some from the survey if you do not mind being linked to and quoted.

  3. Lee, I think they’re good questions to ask. I find it encouraging that people are looking at the profession and trying to critically look at the future with a more moderate tone. Feel free to include anything from here that you find useful.

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