Library Science and How to Become a Librarian
Someone who enjoys sharing knowledge with others may like the idea of working in a library, since that is a place where visitors often seek answers to questions.
In those scenarios, librarians become sleuths, using their investigative skills to find whatever is sought after whether a particular fact or an amalgamation of all the credible scholarship on a specific topic.
There are also situations where librarians help people locate one-of-a-kind items such as authenticated historical manuscripts or genuine legal documents. Though it may not be possible to gain direct access to the original versions of rare objects, reliable copies are often available via digital archives. Librarians are skilled at discovering valuable resources in places where others might not think to look.
These information professionals often have a significant amount of authority, since they frequently choose which items are included and excluded within a particular library. Making that decision in an informed and thoughtful way requires encyclopedic knowledge about old and new publications.
Perceptiveness about people is helpful because librarians who understand the needs and wants of their patrons are more likely to provide helpful recommendations.
“Although the common perception is that people choose to become librarians because they love books, in reality what we see in our students – who often do love books – is the desire to become a librarian because of a passionate commitment to service, learning and community engagement,” wrote Maria Bonn, an associate professor at University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign’s School of Information Sciences.
“Librarianship is both a service and a leadership profession, offering many opportunities to both assist the community and its members by meeting information needs and to shape and guide that community,” adds Bonn, the program director of her school’s Master of Science program in library and information science.
An inquisitive mindset is a beneficial character trait for a future librarian, since the mission of libraries is to encourage intellectual exploration.
“People who are innately curious about the world find this field deeply satisfying, as they spend their time helping others explore their questions and find answers,” Brian W. Sturm, associate dean for academic affairs with the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science, wrote in an email. “Students are also attracted to our field from a desire to preserve information for future generations.”
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