Slate has posted a photography piece on librarians this week that portrays a wonderful profile of the diverse population. When the average person pictures a librarian, their mind might go directly to cat eyeglasses and a cardigan, but this article has done a phenomenal job at going against that stereotype. It not only shows the spectrum of ‘looks’ to a librarian, but it does a wonderful job at presenting all the roles a librarian takes on.
There is so much to delve into in the world of librarianship and they truly work in the front lines to make sure the leaders get the information they need in the best mode possible. But, because most of their work is behind-the-scenes, many people do not know about their duties.
As a school librarian, my favorite quote from the article was: “Libraries are important because students these days are not actually competent at navigating the digital world, but we as librarians help them not only navigate the digital sphere, but become better global citizens.” Although as adults we may think that kids, especially teenagers, are constantly starting at some type of screen–cell phones, tablets, computers, et cetera–that does not necessarily mean they are tech-savvy. Through my everyday work, I find that the high school students I work with have no idea how to use a database or navigate the internet to locate reliable sources. It is the job of a librarian, especially those in schools, to show them the correct way to use technology for information and educational growth.
But librarians do so much, whether they are archiving at the Met in New York City or researching at a medical library, they are leading the way for many communities. I believe the institution of libraries and the role of librarians is here to stay. It may change with time, but I think it’s a rather adaptive tool and field, and it will continue to prosper and prove its relevance.