At first I wanted to be a librarian because I love to be at the library. It doesn't matter which library, I walk in and something inside of me begins to unwind and relax. I am comfortable and at home there. But then, during my first semester of my Master's work, I was so excited to learn how much the library stood for equal access to information, promotion of the civil discourse and facilitating an informed citizenry. It made me certain that I was in the right place, doing the right thing.
I am a believer in the promotion of the underdog and in giving help to those that need it. I love discussions about deep philosophical and political matters that push the boundaries of one's critical thinking skills. It is fun to learn about a million different, unrelated topics, just because you can. The library is all of this and more. Librarians are the last of the great generalists and they have the potential to be the last radical profession in America.
Imagine my sadness to realize how undervalued librarianship has become in some quarters; they can be replaced by anyone because all they do is check out books, right? So, in pursuing my Master's in Library Science I have at once found my “home”, a profession that is nurturing for my mind and my soul and makes me happy every day just to think of it. And at the same time I have found my mission in the promotion (and in some cases, reformation) of this great profession. Things cannot be business as usual if librarians are to be recognized as a professionals and valued as such.
Everyone needs to know a librarian, and as librarians, we cannot wait for people to come to the library and find us. One of my favorite librarian/authors is R. David Lankes. I am in wholehearted agreement with his statement in The Atlas of New Librarianship:
The mission of librarians is to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation
in their communities. (p.7)
I waited a long time for my chance to become a librarian. I am dedicated to this field and the values that it represents, as outlined by the American Library Association. I think it is an exciting time for librarianship. Change is happening rapidly. Librarians have the potential to revolutionize this country, and the world. I am looking forward to contributing to the profession and to the communities that I will serve.
Lankes, R.D. (2011) . The atlas of new librarianship. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press