in General, Libraries/Info Sci


Nick sent me this interview with a librarian about his job.

The answer to #6, “What’s the worst part about your job?” is what I’m going to focus on. It’s long, so I’ll reproduce portions only:

When the internet and databases became mainstream, “Information” suddenly got capitalized and became sexy…

The traditional emphasis on serving the information needs of people was jettisoned outright; technology become the only means instead of one of many means to an end.

Maybe my experience has been atypical so far, but most of my classes have really not focused on technology (I’ve wished for more that did). Or if they do, the content emphasizes the importance of avoiding technolust and overuse of technology. Or perhaps the interviewer’s perception is the attitude I can expect once I have a ‘real’ job. It’ll be interesting to find out.

If we Librarians spent more time honing the services we provide than obsessing over how others perceive us, we’d all be much better off.

I only partially agree with this statement. Yes the services need to be honed, but public perception is what brings in the budget money. In public libraries, public perception plays an undeniable role.

And a quote from later in the interview:

We are mostly politically liberal, but there are some closeted conservatives as well.

I’m one of those closeted conservatives. I’m not a hardcore gun toting nut, but in general the right is where my opinions fall. It’s been awkward at points. I’ve had multiple class sessions and group meetings turn into ‘bash the conservatives’ sessions, where my lack of participation sticks out like a sore thumb. It probably explains why I haven’t connected socially with very many other LIS students.