Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Talking to the People (or People Helping People)

Tip of the Day, Librarian Edition: Thinking of a career in public librarianship? Go to your local library and ask the reference librarian on duty some questions. We love to talk about our careers, and will take your inquiries as reference stats. Bonus!
On Saturday, I was a panelist with four other public librarians who spoke to a group of Masters in Library Science graduate students at the University at Buffalo. It was a great experience and I was honored to be asked.

I got a lot out of the Q&A format, and I hope the students did as well. My perspective of my career broadened by listening to the students' questions/concerns, and the responses from the other librarians around western NY.

For example:
--one panelist has been a librarian on four continents
--one had to stand between an angry husband with a gun and the man's wife who worked at the library until the police arrived
--one talked about the need for librarians to listen to what the public wanted, not just to tell the public what we will provide
--one discussed the library's role in being useful to refugees
--one had a cool local history program, where historians talked about old objects and collections important to the region
--one talked about loving the creativity allowed in her job
--and I, of course, talked about needing passion for your job, a forward-thinking apporach, and the idea that one must always try to keep oneself relevent in librarianship as books and access to information continues to change.

What questions would you have for a public librarian about her field?

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing

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