Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Please, Ask Me What I Do

I get this question often: "So what exactly do you do all day?" One of the women in my Bible study group recently asked me this, with a very puzzled look on her face. I don't take offense, or ever tire of hearing this question.

After all, I'm just as puzzled as to what rocket scientists do all day.

It gives me a chance to plug the 30-second "why it's great to be a librarian" schpiel. I get to tell people that part of my job is implementing cool new technology - MP3 players for people to check out, blogs for readers' services, subject guides for the Internet - and this inevitably starts a very enlightening conversation. "Oh, I had no idea the library offered stuff like that! Is it free?!?"

We should all be prepared to answer questions like this - and in a pretty spunky manner. Don't just list the reality of what you, as a librarian, do all day - order books, help people find things, surf the Internet, bleh bleh bleh. Think of something immediately attention-getting, "Oh, I change people's lives on a daily basis. Let me tell you how..." "I'm fighting for freedom of speech and privacy. Let me tell you how..." "I enrich the community you live in by..." I guarantee you'll be able to tell them something they didn't know before.


Blogger Angel, librarian and educator said...

I like that. I will have to give this some thought, maybe write a little and reflect on it. I do know I fall under the fight for intellectual freedom band. I tend to see myself as an educator, but I also see myself as having the mission to "offend" someone, as in "if there is not something in this library to offend you, I have not done my job." After all, we are all about bringing diverse points of view together, so something will offend someone. This is where we try to also get others to see other points of view. Anyhow, thanks for a nice reminder of the wonderful things librarians do.

11:46 AM  

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