I have the best job in the world. I’m a librarian.
There’s a lot to love about being a librarian. People think you’re smart. You get to hang out with people who like books. You meet the best students. You help people do things that are either useful or important for them to do. You are always learning and you try to inspire other people to be always learning.
That’s just the getting started list. So, here’s the irony. I have never been so inspired and so enjoyed my work more than right now when everything the library has been assumed to be stands in question.
Right now, when the printed book starts to seem a little quaint beside eBooks and mobile eReaders.
Right now, when libraries everywhere, including my workplace, are incompletely funded.
Right now, when the presumed purposes and foundations of higher education are called into question and Open Source video lecturers like Salman Kahn are being hailed as the wholesale future of learning.
Right now, when long established models of library service and collection development are falling apart and being reinvented and nothing is entirely comfortable and we never entirely feel like we know what we are doing.
Here’s why. I am working with groups of people (librarians, faculty and students) who are passionately interested in teaching and learning.
We are building better ways of doing things. We are picking up new tools (cellphone, anyone?) and trying to figure out how to help students reach deeper involvement in their own learning.
We are improvising a bit and sharing what works.
And we are failing together. Failing in new and interesting ways and, hopefully, sharing these failures with each other to get beyond the 10,000 failures that don’t matter toward the one success that does.
Part of this enthusiasm is probably just personality. Maybe I’d be writing this very same blog post if I were a bus driver or a scuba instructor or a mechnical engineer. Maybe. Possibly. Hopefully.
One thing I know for sure: I am at my best when everything is in a little bit of flux and nothing is completely certain. Not your traditional job description for an academic librarian.
What’s not to love?