Tuesday 29 May 2012

Glad I didn't listen

Was doing some research and came across a blog post titled "Librarians, Expertise, and the Social Transcript" by Lane Wilkinson which got me thinking about my role as a librarian.  I remember being told "Why are you studying librarianship when libraries will disappear in a few years time", "You won't have a job everything will be on computer and what will you do then". I'm glad that I didn't listen because while my job has changed somewhat - no longer do I type out the cards for a card catalogue, or stamp books with the due by date - I am just as busy and have a variety of tasks that all involve books, computers, catalogues and information.

These days not only do I loan books out, help someone find that information that they are searching for or find out what other author writes like Agatha Christie but I'm also helping the senior member of the public learn about "this thing called Facebook that my grandson/granddaughter keeps talking about" or helping someone download their first ebook so they can tell their son, daughter, grandchild that they can use an ereader.

We are the gatekeepers of information.  One thing that I keep telling people is that not everything is on the Internet and not everyone can get access to everthing on the internet.  So it was interesting to me to find a post titled "16 Reasons Librarians are still extremely important" which has as reason number 1 - Not everything is available on the internet. 

Reason I became a librarian is that I wanted to help people find what they were interested in - whether information about a topic, how to use a piece of technology or the next fiction book to read.  What the reason for the search wasn't important, it was the finding the information/item that was important because it meant someone got what they wanted. 

I now have more variety in my job than I have had previously.  On any given day I can go from issuing books/DVDs/CDs to teaching someone to use the catalogue/computer, to research an interesting topic, to reading a story to children and at times even fixing computers.  You become very adapt at changing hats at short notice.  So I do say I'm glad I didn't listen because I've definitely met interesting people, worked with some great people and learnt some very valuable skills along the way.  All because I love working in libraries.

Vesna Cosic AALIA
ALIA Sydney, Treasurer

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