Giving Back

I became a librarian for all kinds of reasons, some of which I detailed here, but the reason I continue to revel in being a public librarian is that I enjoy giving back to my community.  I feel like I’m helping people who genuinely need help, providing answers to people whose lives may be changed by what I tell them.  I feel like I’m fulfilling that vague sense of purpose that I think all librarians have burning in their hearts when they’re imagining what the profession is like.

So, needless to say, it drives me bonkers to see librarians who don’t enjoy their jobs, who constantly complain and whine about their patrons and their work.  There are plenty of fresh, young library school graduates looking for work who would love to have their jobs.

The worst part, of course, is that they’re doing harm to the profession in a time when we need all hands on deck to support and promote libraries.  We need people who are enthusiastic about being librarians, who love the work, to help us rise up, not dreary folks who post on their tweets and blogs (almost always anonymously) to drag us down.

If you’re not willing to invest yourself in your community, if you’re not willing to celebrate all that’s good about our profession and share that love with your patrons, please quit and make room for those of us who do want that.


Andy Woodworth has posted The Almighty Antithesis to Narcissism wiki, as a sane alternative to the madness that is Charlie Sheen, and Bobbi Newman has written about the same issue here. Please visit both of their sites and consider giving to counteract the negativity.


One response to “Giving Back

  1. Madigan April 8, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    I love this post! Bravo! I am devastated when I see long-time librarians who are phoning it in, whilst brilliant i-school students I’ve mentored go unemployed.

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