I keep wanting to write about librarianship in meaningful ways, but every time I get a post started I either write myself into a circle of apathy or I get so mad I give up. I love being a librarian, and I love and admire other librarians, but man we have some problems. We are split on so many topics (to safety pin or no? to be required to have a master’s degree or is that harmful and limiting to the profession? to be a place of “neutrality” or take a stand? to become more like corporate bookstores or not? to give in to technology or fight it with our last gasping breath?!?!?!?!!?!!!), and we have a weird sense of self-importance that is not deserved, and we do nothing to further our own profession. In fact, I feel like we are driving our profession into the ground.
What aggravated me about grad school were all of my professors lamenting how there are no jobs and how the profession is changing into a bastardized monster of its former self. This is not what I saw. What I saw were more libraries opening, more states like Ohio and Maryland taking very good care of even their public librarians, and library and information professionals finding wonderful ways to communicate with patrons and academics about the critical nature of literacy, information ethics and equity, and advocacy for access to knowledge. I saw awesome things like the Library Freedom Project and incredible professionals like Dr. Carla Hayden, who once taught at my graduate school in library sciences and is now the Librarian of Congress. But my professors (and many working librarians I encountered) were so bitter, so reluctant to give us the tools to be innovative and competitive. COMPETITIVE!! We are so behind the information game, and all of our “innovations” are either empty and/or cumbersome gestures or outdated even in their conception. And yet, my professors were all too happy to grasp and ownership of Ada Lovelace and Paul Otlet, claiming that they were closer to us than to computer scientists. You know who should have been closer to computer scientists? LIBRARIANS!!