4 Ways to Know You Were Meant to Be a Librarian
Being a librarian is more than a career. For many it’s a calling. People are drawn to library science from diverse backgrounds for a vareity of reasons. Almost all aspiring librarians share a love of reading, but not all avid readers are cut out to be librarians. A career in library science takes more than a recreational love of books, it requires a set of skills that qualifies you to deal with the daily responsibilities of the job. Here are four qualities that suggest you and the librarian’s life might be a good fit.
You’re a People Person
Image via Flickr by CCL Staff
Whether in a public library, an academic setting, or a research facility, librarians interact with people all day. In many ways, it’s essentially a customer service job. You may need to help someone sort through a vast collection of resources or data to find what’s relevant to them. You might be tasked with designing an organizational system that will be intuitive for specialized audiences. You may read aloud to a group of kids, or lead a workshop on the latest research technology. No matter what your specialty, librarians must be patient, approachable, and great communicators.
You Crave Variety
If you’re the kind of person who gets upset when your routine is disrupted, a library is most likely not the place for you. One of the things working librarians cite as a favorite aspect of the job is that every day is different. You never know who is going to walk in the door with a burning question that will lead you down a path you’ve never explored before. Also, libraries are constantly evolving to keep up with developing technologies. As a librarian, you will always be learning new things and shaking up the status quo.
You’re an Early Adopter
Speaking of new technologies, librarians are often among the first people to embrace what’s coming next. Libraries work hard to engage the community in a world in which more information is available with a few clicks of a smartphone. Even in rural areas, today’s libraries are bringing in advanced creative software and equipment like 3D printers to create “maker spaces,” where people can collaborate on innovative ideas and participate in hands-on learning. Gone are the days of microfiche and card catalogs; information has gone digital, and librarians are on the forefront of using technology to make it accessible.
You Love Organizing
Image via Flickr by sciondriver
As the amount of information available to us has exploded, so has the need for organizational systems to keep track of it all. Part of your training to be a librarian will involve information literacy, or the ability to “recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information,” as defined by the American Library Association. Every step of the way, the work of a librarian requires impeccable organizational skills.
If these are qualities you recognize in yourself, and if the work described here excites you, a career in library science may be the perfect professional path for you.