Thank you so much for visiting my blog, I’m so glad you stumbled across it!
Whilst the purpose of this blog is to document my adventures in becoming a Librarian, whilst I await the start of my new job and course I am hugely grateful to Liz McGlyn for her inspiring post on the Hack Library School blog which will give me something to post about in the meantime, and hopefully also a way to introduce myself!
Liz asks……’What draws you to librarianship? What is it about this field that makes you excited, energized, purposeful? There’s something, right? Something that makes up the beating heart of your answer every time someone asks you, “Why do you need a master’s degree to do that?” It’s maybe the most difficult thing to articulate to the outsider, but at the same time the most crucial to your identity as a librarian. What is it? Why is it?’ http://hacklibraryschool.com/2015/08/10/theory-matters-constructing-a-personal-philosophy-of-librarianship/
When I took on a part-time job as a Library Assistant in order to help me scrape by whilst studying, I never expected to find myself totally re-evaluating my future! Just stepping foot in a library has always felt pretty magical and inspiring to me, but finding out what goes on behind the scenes and discovering the issues and values at the heart of librarianship and just how far removed from the stereotype librarians really are, made me feel like I’d discovered one of life’s best kept secrets! Many of the working environments I had experienced previously were driven by ego, and it was incredibly refreshing to find a working environent where personal development was privileged and people cared passionately about their work, sharing knowledge and supporting one another. The librarians I met didn’t tell people to shhhh!- they were compassionate, engaging and open minded, and they were anything but boring- with an incredible range of secret skills, interests and talents, protesting about issues that mattered, driven by freedom of speech and breaking down barriers- pretty damn rock n roll! Having always been committed to working in education and research and in a role that felt meaningful, I felt like I had finally found my place!
Reading the words of Edgardo Civallero (Córdoba, Argentina, June 2006), I know this is something I can truly get behind and aspire to:
‘Over the centuries, the library role has adapted itself quickly to the new demands of its users: from merely storing documents to being a nest of controversial intellectuals, a refuge for works of classical literature in dark times, a showcase for priceless treasures, a basic knowledge source, a provider of both development and memory support. Many librarians have worked as accomplices to the powerful. But many others have fought for literacy teaching and knowledge diffusion, campaigned for free expression, struggled for free access to information, and promoted equality and solidarity. The librarian has not always been conscious of all the power resting in his/her hands, nor of the huge responsibility for making fair use of it. Immersed in the traditional activities of preservation and organisation, maybe confused with the vertiginous changes that have recently taken place, the librarian does not seem to notice the important part they might play in the present society.
They should guarantee liberties and human rights such as education, information access, free expression, identity and work. They should provide practical tools so users can solve for themselves health problems, prevent violence, addictions and nutritional deficiencies. The librarian should wipe out illiteracy, revitalise oral traditions, spread ancient and almost forgotten knowledge, and recover endangered languages. They should fight against racism and discrimination, teach tolerance and respect, and facilitate integration in multicultural societies. The librarian should give voice to ever-silent peoples, encourage those who failed to reach their goal, and extend their hand towards the weakest ones. They should demonstrate age, gender, religion, and race equality among all peoples. The librarian should spread solidarity and brotherhood, tell the story of those who were defeated, express admiration for every little example of our wonderful human diversity and bring back seemingly insignificant memories that prove to be invaluable as time passes.
They should promote free democratic and socially egalitarian access to information by liberating us from any restraints on its flow due to commercial chains. The librarian should pursue the laudable aim of keeping power from the hands of the minority. They should be able to achieve some sort of equilibrium by demolishing certain walls and building new bridges. The librarian should help people to look in each other’s eyes on an equal footing. The librarian should do it not because it is a good idea but because this is the idea’.