Saturday, 14 June 2014

Do you really love books?

I often find Seth Godin's blog to be a source of inspiration, and a recent blog post of his struck a chord indeed;
"The people who started Staples didn't do it because they love office supplies...
You shouldn't become a middle school math teacher because you love math. You should do it because you love teaching."
This reminds me of pretty much every time somebody has said, "Oh, you're a librarian? You must really love books, right?"

Of course, it does help to like books if you work in a public or school library, since one of the main reasons to work there is to spend time connecting people with books and nurturing their love of literature. Which is why much of information management courses are about understanding the information seeking behaviour of people, and empowering them with information literacy skills and knowledge. And not so much about books and reading.

Whilst this is obvious for anybody who has worked as a librarian, it's not so obvious to everybody else. Especially the ones who think that librarian roles can be easily replaced by somebody with a lesser qualification, and lower pay, who can happily process and catalogue books, and issue them to patrons.

In which case, they may as well just get somebody who really likes books.