Friday, May 26, 2006

Be a Librarian and Do Cool Things.

"Put simply: Instead of trying to make your library seem cool, be a librarian and do cool things."
--Mr. Brian Matthews, The Ubiquituous Librarian

Those are probably amongst the most liberating words I have read in a while. At times, I cannot help but wonder about what seems to me some kind of confidence crisis in the profession and in libraries. We often see articles and pundits envision the demise of the library, and a bunch of librarians rush to assure their audience that it is not going to happen. This is a radical idea, well, to some at least. I have always been comfortable with leaving the library and exploring other spaces. Mr. Matthews defines the concept of the ubiquituous librarian as one who seeks out opportunities, finds new ways to bring service to others, be at the points of need. For academic librarians, this should be crucial since we should be participating in the academic community that we live and serve in. But I find those words liberating because they say, "I can be me." Instead of having to worry about the library as the building, I can go out and make things happen. No one said it is an easy path. It takes work; there may be a stumble here or there, but the idea is to go out. It's outreach at its best with a blend of just being cool. So, we can just wait, or we can go out and be librarians. I know what I will be doing. I am going to be a librarian.

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