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Hey, FGL. Thanks for this post. I think that in the midst of "virtual libraries!!" and "downloadable audiobooks!!!" and "searchable OPACs!!!!" some folks do forget that there's a very human reason on both sides for libraries and librarians. I like people (especially people under 19) and I like helping them. I even like the wackos. You're right, it's definitely not the pay!

(BTW, the URL is my blog entry about my time at the ALA conference.)


Excellent post, Mo. The enthusiasts are out there! And in here. Go us!


T Scott

You're a breath of fresh air (not just today, but this one was particularly good). I've been in the profession for nearly 25 years, and the scared librarians were in evidence when I was in library school, too, so don't let their discouragement rub off. I believe firmly that we live in the greatest age to be a librarian in at least 500 years. The explosion of information tools and resources makes our expertise more essential to society than ever, and gives us more opportunities to do what we love in more creative and effective ways than ever before. I'm the director of a large health sciences library at a major research university and yes, the challenges can be daunting and by the end of most days I am damned tired out. But I wake up (nearly) every morning not quite believing my good fortune at being a librarian in this day and age. You said it very well: "One piece of information has the power to change someone's life, and we get to do it every day. Every day!"


Yes! Yes! Yes! Being a librarian rocks--thanks for putting it so eloquently.


Amen! Thanks so much for writing this post. I'm graduating with my MLIS next month, and slowly realizing the picture isn't anywhere near as gloomy as I'd been led to believe.


"Shake ya tail feather" ~ P. Diddy



Excellent post. For me, it took leaving library school (not necessarily quitting, because I didn't leave the field entirely and I plan to make another run at it in a few years) for me to truly want to be in the profession. It took me going to library school in the first place to get me into the field. I'm actually happier now about being in libraries than I was when I was in library school, and certainly way happier than I would have been had I finished and become a librarian (on paper). I'm certainly not saying that everyone in library school who is a bit unhappy or discouraged should just leave; everyone has to make decisions that feel right.

(An aside. I've never been a library page, and I've never even worked at a circ desk. I have never worked in a public library, or even a small academic library. My first library job was almost two years ago. Maybe I've been a bit spoiled by working in libraries that are among the biggest and best of their kind. Maybe I need to get some experience with those areas of libraries in order to have a full appreciation of what it takes to keep libraries running.)

Librarians will always have a place. There's never a shortage of things that need to get done. They cannot be replaced by machines. The key, though, will be having an edge that the world cannot live without.

I believe that user education will become the main role for librarians. After all, the users come first, right?


Well Said!


Thank you so much. I'm in the process of job hunting (just got my first nibble out of more than 100 applications), which is rapidly becoming soul-sucking. It's refreshing to hear some good news for a change that *isn't* telling me there is no job shortage.


but where are the library schools? there's in fact very little knowledge in societies of the complete role a librarian plays, or how much qualification is involved. for instance, while i had some ambitions of being a librarian, i never imagined it to be any thing as complete as what you've written about. nor has it ever crossed my mind that there are specific qualifications involved.okay, enough with the ranting but... will you tell me what are some places that have library school/courses? is that the term? thanks!

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