Saturday, January 26, 2008

Why am I flexible? And who am I?

And why should a librarian be flexible?

Hello! Where have you been? The world is changing, and librarians are (or should be) part of that world. Mass digitization, the internet, subscription databases, and both the digital and analog generations of patrons and students have changed what we do, who we do it for, and what we need to know. But more on those later.

As for who I am, I'm:
A librarian (always in beta)
An archivist (with a background in photographic archives)
A teacher (graduate and undergrad archives and library science online, and workshops in person)
A freelancer (on and off, there aren't a lot of rich librarians)
A preservation administrator (by training)
Curious (If you're not growing, you're dying)
Flexible (If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem)

I've been:
An elementary teacher
A rehab contractor
A theatrical designer
A business person
A bookseller
A burger slinger
A paralegal

I love libraries because it's the one place where every weird thing I've done over time is useful, either to me or someone else.

We are walking encyclopedias, always needing revision
We are human search engines
We are not the gatekeepers of information, but the doormen

As long as we're willing to be flexible, to be lifelong learners, to grow.

In upcoming weeks, look for things to read, things to think about, things to try, things that are new and exciting and some that aren't worth the effort. They're all out there. Some will come here.

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