The Sweetest Words to a Librarian’s Ears

Today, one of our students said, “You know, I think you guys might be the most underused and underappreciated resource on this campus.”

I thanked him and asked him to spread the word about our services.

Grinning, he said, “I think I want to keep you guys all to myself.”

It was a nice moment. But the truth is we enjoy doing this. More than once, I’ve said to myself I can’t believe that I’m paid to help students do research when I love to do research anyway. (Although the administrative parts of the job certainly justify my pay!) And it’s true of the entire staff; it’s just kind of who we are.

And we’re not unique or even that special. Just go into any library and ask a question. If you don’t get an answer immediately, you’ll very likely have a team of people working on it until the problem is solved. And then you’ll be sent more information than you thought possible on the topic. And this is done in spite of budget cuts that have decimated some libraries to the very bare bones.

The other night I was half-dozing, half-watching a talk show. A celebrity was being interviewed, and he made the comment that he was so lucky to be able to do something he loved for a living. Sure, this rock star gets to travel the world, live in different mansions, date and marry a succession of models, and never have to worry about how to pay the bills. So I suppose most would consider him luckier than the average librarian.

 But when it comes to enjoying our daily work, he and most of the librarians I know are equally blessed. We are both those lucky people who get to do what we love for a living. And unlike rock stars, librarians get to go out to eat without being chased by the paparazzi!


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