A post from yesterday on Library 2.0 got a comment from Suelibrarian, she re-phrased something I was trying to say for the better (that’s the thing about blogging sometimes, it’s so quick to publish you don’t really go over things much, as there is something to publish round the corner).
Anyway Sue put it “…being a librarian didn’t shape us that way- we become librarians because we are shaped that way”.
Now this got me thinking, why did I become a librarian?
Even though I don’t currently work in a library, I’m still a librarian through and through.
NOTE: Since I no longer follow the biblioblogosphere I’m not sure if this meme has done the rounds…
When I was changing career from the film/music industry and I wanted to work somewhere that reminded me of the open space and and peacefulness of the cinema, the library came to mind.
Ever since a kid I’ve always been a researcher (as is my brother), whatever topic we were exploring we had to read old and new books on the topic, actually we were bibliography hoppers, we had to explore authenticity by reading everything in the bibliography of every book (checking sources like a detective)…how did a writer come to their conclusions-who were they heavily influenced by, etc…
I think our interest in reading and researching mostly came about because we had the whole Britannica encyclopedia in our bedroom, as it didn’t fit anywhere else in the house…so we’d research all night on existential philosophers like Swedenbourg, Nietzsche, Sartre, Huxley…or plant medicines…Atlantis…etc…
Anyway, when we are interested in something we have this addictive nature to know everything about it, and become quite emersed…it’s quite a burden.
I’ve always organised my music, video’s (even clothes at one stage) into categories…this is the sure sign of a librarian…I think being a Virgo helps as well.
Lastly, I have a nature to update people about the latest about stuff.
As I mentioned when I’m into a topic I’m emersed, so when I was into the Melbourne music/film scene I worked in a eclectic video shop, played in a band and went to underground shops. I’d let my friends know what was happening most nights (there is so much art/media culture in Melbourne).
So when it comes to the web, I’m the same, I come across so much information, that if I see a blog post on real estate, I can’t let it slip, so I send it to a friend.
I haven’t mentioned anything selfless here, like helping people…yikes!
And I am not a typical introvert or extrovert (actually I’m kind of in the middle), I’m quite vocal in the company of people I know.
It astounds me that the librarian archetype of the stern older lady with her glasses hanging from her chest shhhhhing people, is still in the general psyche. And that people who don’t frequent libraries think they are stale, boring and for bookworms or geeks. Libraries are essential as too many people are being entertained these days instead of entertaining themselves. Our society has more than ever before got this fetish with celebrity and entertainment culture, this illusion of intimacy, and just being the passive spectator (viewer).
This is not a good thing, people can become bored easily, are not as creative, cannot entertain themselves, leading to frustration, etc…
Anyway, they are the basic qualities:
- perpetual organising and categorising
- open space and sanctuary
- information consumer
Coming full circle this comment rings true, “…being a librarian didn’t shape us that way- we become librarians because we are shaped that way”.
Why did you become a librarian, or how did it come to be?