Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Professional question-answerers a la carte...

Here's a good article about a librarian who's a "wiz" at answering questions and all about the telephone reference service that she works in: News - Reference librarian: Where to turn when you need an answer -

Reading this article brings me back to my previous job where I occasionally had to march down to the basement and sit at the telephone reference desk myself. This pics in the article make their space seem a little nicer than ours was but not much different other than that.

I don't know if I'd describe myself in a favourable a light as Ms. Owens in the article but wouldn't it be great if all librarians were seen as such problem solvers, such "know-it-alls" as they say in the article? Especially in public libraries... this is really the reputation that librarians should try to cultivate. But there are too many librarians that don't think that librarianship is really about that, to who I say, "What else do we really do then?!?" And LIS masters programs don't really push this image. Come to think of it, I don't remember having any image pushed at me in library school! That's a shame. Just like any university program, and the professional programs in particular, an important part of the curriculum should be pointing the graduates in the direction of bettering the profession. They don't seem to do this... at least not enough. LIS programs are not typically very long so time is certainly a factor but I would expect some time devoted to what makes a great contributor and example for the profession... what our goals should (or at least could) be.

(Here's another of those librarians-we-all-want-to-be: David Smith from NYPL)

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