What I do and Why I love it: The Life of a Librarian

On this National Libraries Day there are some important things you should read about why libraries are important and what exactly it is a librarian does. It’s hard to write an article that encapsulates everything a librarian does, not just because we do A LOT but also because it varies from library to library.

There are librarians that don’t work in libraries, there are people who work in libraries who don’t have ‘librarian’ as their job title, but we’re all bound together by a common purpose to provide a library service, and everything that entails.

When I tell people I’m a librarian they say, “of course, that makes sense, you love books”. This is true, I love books, I love reading books, I love writing words, I love talking about books, and talking about people who write books.

But books are not why I became a librarian.

I am surrounded by books everyday, students rush up to me and say ‘help, I need to find this book’, I handle books, I repair books, I open boxes that contain books, and put books on shelves.

But books are not why I became a librarian.

I became a librarian because of the people.

Everything I do, every day, in every way, is to help the students in our library to get their degrees. My whole reason for going into work everyday is the students who need books, information, help, and advice.

From issuing books, to teaching them how to find online resources; from teaching how to tell the difference between a dodgy website and a legitimate academic one, to repairing the books so they can read them and complete their assignments on time; from helping disabled get access to the library with the least faff possible, to helping distressed students realise we’re there to help them get the information they need in any way we can.

Everything I do at work, everyday, is to help these students get through their degrees with the least stress possible. But also with the maximum amount of skills to continue in their future careers, skills in how to not drown under the glut of information out there, and how to find, assess, and use information.

I became a librarian for these people, for our students. They may have no idea how much we care about them getting that essay printed on time, or finding that rare Old Norse saga, or getting hold of that article that 200 other students also need right now this second. They may have no idea, but it doesn’t matter, because this is why we do our job, this is why I’m a librarian.

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