What’s so Special About Librarians?

Happy National Library Week, April 8-14, 2012! Since beginning my journey to becoming  a  world-class librarian I have found myself in situations where I have had to become a librarian apologist of sorts; defending my profession against those that would say that librarians are becoming  outdated. Therefore, in my crusade to defend the profession I have compiled a list of why and what makes a librarian special above Google and other such information sources.

1. Google can’t understand your pain.

2. There is a lot of information out there and librarians carry a large portion of it in our brains.

3. Wikipedia can be wrong even when it is right.

4. We get “it”

5. Computers don’t smile unless programmed to do so.

6. We either know where to find the answer or know who does.

7. We do a heck of a lot more than check out books. We answer questions; serve as a sounding board for ideas; we develop programming; think of ways to make the information seeking process easier, etc…

8. We are curious; you might find that librarians are the only people who will be more excited about your research than you are.

9. We are persistent. We won’t stop searching until we find an answer and even then we will keep searching until we find a better one.

10. We really believe that there is no such thing as a stupid question; only some questions that could be asked better. 🙂

This list only begins to tap into what makes librarians special. What do you think makes librarians special?


Goals: Almost Halfway Check-in

In August I set a few  goals for the 2011-2012 academic year for myself.  Let’s see where I am so far:

  • Produce a game day at my main library on Nov 12, 2011  It turn out as big as I would have liked, but some students did show up and I think that the more often it is done the better turn out we will have. A great time was had by all participants.
  • A pre-program in honor of Malcolm Gladwell’s arrival 
  • A pre-program in honor of Sherry Turkle’s arrival for Faculty –> I really wanted to do a tech or social media blackout, but that didn’t pan out.
  • Instruct 10 classes for Information Literacy. (I already have 3 down) I picked ten because I think that it is a reachable goal. The nature of my position makes it challenging for me to be here when most courses would want to meet.  –> I am going to put this goal to bed. 🙂 I have already completed four classes this semester with three more to go. If all works out I might even surpass my original goal. 
  • Develop a blog for my library by Spring 2012 which is somewhat more challenging than one would think. The underlying goal for the blog is to help students, faculty, and staff get to know our libraries, librarians, and resources better. –>The HPU Libraries Ask US Blog has already begun. I can’t see the stats on it, but we are making regular posts and hopefully we will start some P.R. drives soon that will get students more interested. 
  • Present at the 2012 JCLC Conference. I would love to add the IFLA Conference in Helsinki, but I think that might be out of the question for now. Maybe next year.–> So JCLC looks like a no go, super competitive 😦 but I might try to attend ALA Annual if I can procure funding…So this might become an unaccomplished goal. But there is always hope. 🙂 
  • Get published by 2012. (Well, on my way to this goal. Therefore, I am claiming this one in advance! More to come on this.) –> Chapter has been submitted and now  waiting to hear back from editors, fingers crossed. 
  • Present at NCLA 2011.  –> Gave two interesting presentations and networked because of the work that I was able to accomplish via collaboration. 
  • Lose 40 pounds by July 2012. This is probably the hardest of all, but I’ve done it before so I know that I can do it again. :( –> Making slow and steady progress toward this one, old knee injuries making more vigorous exercise slow going, but I am getting there. Watching what I eat and making incremental sustainable changes.
  • Get at least five Oral History Interviews going. –> I have two that I am scheduling with 2  in the can. 
  • Develop a responsible printing plan for the library. –> I have some ideas, but this is in the hands of another department. I need to look into how to suggest this idea which I am sure I am not the first person to come up with the idea.
  • Learn more about developing online tutorials by developing my own.–> Practicing on my own, but nothing published yet. 
  • Regain some of the personal discipline that I have lost this past year. I have gotten rather lazy and a little unfocused. I am ready to get my mojo back. :) Maybe not as disciplined as I was before, but definitely move through my day with a greater sense of purpose than I have been. –> Since this is pretty much a lifestyle goal this will probably always be on my list. I will create a way for me to measure it. 
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