I recently ran across an interview with the head librarian at a small college in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. I was taken back by his answer to the interviewer’s question of what it means to be a librarian.
A librarian is simply an administrative position. My role is see to the smooth functioning of the library so that students and professors have all the resources and the space they need to do their respective work. And to see that our library employees and our one volunteer are respected and find themselves fulfilled in their work.
Why does a librarian simply have to be an administrator? The librarians I have met are much more than administrators. They are researchers, community supporters, teachers, grant writers, computer gurus, photographers, linguists, problem solvers, and much more. There is still the perception among certain circles that all librarians do is make sure books get on a shelf. This perception ignores the myriad of services that libraries, whether academic, special, or public, have to offer their users. These services certainly entail aiding users to identify, find, select, and obtain a resource to use FRBR speak. But even more so, libraries are points of information and knowledge. More are flocking to libraries for the services offered which go well beyond the smooth operation of library functions.
What does it mean to be a librarian?
Take a look at the trailer for the Hollywood librarian. Even though it’s brief, it shows that being a librarian is more than just about administrative tasks: