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Houghton Memorial Library (Huntingdon College) Web Site: Become a Librarian

Oh, the Stereotype

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Types of Libraries

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Why a Librarian???

Librarianship is one of those professions that for good or bad suffers at times from an antiquated stereotype.  And then there is the belief that librarians are a dying breed because “everything is available on the Internet.”  Not so (never will be). 

The beauty of librarianship is that you can come into the profession from any academic background and find a home that will allow you to tap into your special interests and talents.  So in addition to degrees in the humanities, particularly in the academic and special library fields, there is demand for librarians with social science and science backgrounds.  Click on the links on this page for the Association of College & Research Libraries, the Special Library Association or the American Library Association (including its Round Tables), and you'll see just how diverse the profession is.  

So, as you work toward completing your degree at Huntingdon and find yourself wondering, “What am I going to do after I get this diploma?” you might want to investigate a career in the library profession.  Librarians are here and we aren’t going anywhere (the classic Kathrine Hepburn/Spencer Tracy movie Desk Set was oddly – and entertainingly -- prophetic).  If you have questions, you have four local resources ready to talk with you – the members of your library faculty -- who represent a diversity in undergraduate preparation – secondary education, English, microbiology, and business administration and art.

Eric A. Kidwell

Director of the Library/Professor

source: http://www.ala.org/educationcareers/careers/librarycareerssite/home

LibraryCareers.org

So, what are some of the characteristics of a librarian?  They are as many and varied as there are different types of people.  Here are a few common characteristics from the American Library Association:

  • Enjoy helping and serving other people 
  • Interested in developing and providing services, resources and materials that inform and entertain, such as books, movies, music, storytelling, websites, local history, databases, and puppets 
  • Thrive in a technologically changing environment 
  • Interest in information research, preservation and instruction 
  • Willing to connect people with a wide variety of value and belief systems to materials that represent multiple points of view
  • Believe strongly in First Amendment rights protecting the freedom of speech and of the press 
  • Wish to contribute to the greater good of a literate society
  • Want to be part of a professional community that encourages sharing information, opinions and expertise
  • Respect and uphold people's rights to privacy and the freedom to read what they choose
  • Believe all information resources provided by libraries should be equitably accessible to all library users

Professional Library Associations

So, just HOW diverse is the library profession?  Listed below are just SOME of the professional library organizations that you can join and in which you can become actively involved. While the major organization is the American Library Association (which in some ways is an international organization), there are many, many more that reflect the interests of the library world.