To Be (a Librarian) or Not To Be

1 May

In case you didn’t know there is a definite lack of library jobs. There is an even more lack of library jobs in my area. But I want to be a librarian. It is like the one thing I know I will rock at. I don’t care very much about retail. I honestly don’t really care for taking care of kids (even though I am currently a nanny). And I’m almost done with an undergraduate degree in History (and there isn’t much else to do with a degree in History).

Books make me excited. Just being in a library makes me feel peaceful. Even dealing with crazy pants patrons is rewarding to me. I am the ultimate library fangirl.

Last week my 16 (almost) year old step sister informed me she would like to start reading for enjoyment for THE VERY FIRST TIME! But she didn’t know what to read. OMG! If there is anything that makes me more excited than books, it is YA books! She has become an actual reader. I have no idea how many books she read last week, but it was way more than me and that makes me more excited than anything right now. Yesterday I picked up 4 more books for her. Right now I’m at the library about to pick up yet another one… It is stuff like this that makes me truly want to work in the public library sector.

So I guess you are wondering why do I even question my decision. Well for one I haven’t even finished my undergrad degree and have no idea when I will be able to. Secondly, I will then have to complete a MLIS degree before even being able to look into the field I want to pursue. Third, a very smart librarian friend of mine told me not to do it. No, I am not a follower or a lemming… I won’t jump off a bridge if all my friends do it. But I am willing to listen to reason. This friend of mine reminded me of all the problems other recent library school grads have had in pursuing their career choice. I know all of the reasons. Small income, lack of respect, lack of jobs… You get the picture.

Honestly, I kind of don’t care. I’ve been wanting to do this job for a whole decade now. I wanted to be a librarian when I was in high school. I would forego spending time with friends so that I could finish a good book. I even enjoyed my 3 years of being a library page/shelver because I thought it was fun and challenging. I know I’m kind of a weirdo for that last one, but I take a lot of pride in the work I did as a shelver and honestly wouldn’t mind doing it again (if the pay was better). I’ve never questioned my eventual career goal.

I’m sure I’ve somewhat romanticized being a librarian a bit, but at the same time I’ve worked alongside them for years and know what a pain in the butt patrons can be and how underappreciated their work generally is. Goodness! I was a flippin’ shelver for THREE YEARS! I completely understand underappreciated. Often times I think the only people who truly appreciated my work at the library were the librarians when they couldn’t find an item and I always could…

I will be a librarian one day. It might take me awhile to get there, but it is what I really desperately want to do with my life.

Now to just finish that undergrad degree. :)

2 Responses to “To Be (a Librarian) or Not To Be”

  1. peachybumble May 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    I totally understand the whole “underappreciated” thing, and I think most any job you do that serves the public is going to be like that. In my later teens I had considered being a librarian, but I just didn’t want to go to school for that long. I say if it’s something you’re very passionate about and the good parts outweigh the bad, it’s worth going for. There are so many people trying to get jobs in general (like me!) that I wouldn’t let that stop you. Hopefully it will all turn around soon!


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