Librarianship Isn't About What We Have, It's About What We Do

Vancouver Public Library Info Staff
photo by Maria Hernandez

Librarianship isn’t about what we have; it’s about what we do. It’s taken us a while to realize that our full shelves (or loaded databases) aren’t our greatest value. It’s human interaction: over the reference desk, through informal one-on-one instruction, in teaching a workshop or facilitating a program, and by enabling conversations, bringing people together, and building communitywide experiences.

An excellent quote from Brian Kenney’s “So You Think you Want to Be a Librarian“. It dovetails nicely with a presentation Kay Cahill and I are giving at the Beyond Hope Library Conference on Monday on Designing for Humans: User Experience and the 21st Century Librarian.

Ours is a customer service profession. We’re a high-touch profession that works best when we nurture, teach, coach and motivate others to learn, explore and grow. We exist to serve others. While we’re in one of the few professions that is named after a building, the true “rockstar” librarians remember to put people first in everything that they do.