Read or learned or picked up
“One of the great joys of being a librarian is that it is the last refuge of the renaissance person — everything you have ever read or learned or picked up is likely to come in handy.” — GraceAnne DeCandido
Sometimes I think the term “renaissance person” is too loosely used in the modern sense, as an overly glorified label for people whose energies and interests are so scattered that they never focus on any one thing long enough to get really good at it. But for those of us who are that way, being a librarian is a great way to tie it all together. There’s not a topic or field you can think of that doesn’t have something to do with a library somewhere; not a reference question out there that might not be asked of a librarian.
When I came home from my first day of graduate school, having chosen library and information studies out of a number of potential majors, I told Jeff with great certainty: “This is the career I was born for.” At graduation, in a parody of the oft-quoted phrase, I joked, “Jack of all trades, Master of Library and Information Studies.”
However, given that I’ve worked relatively few years as a librarian, a parallel truth has been more relevant for me: everything I read or learned or picked up in library school has come in handy in my everyday life, in ways too numerous to count. Being a librarian is primarily a matter of knowing how to find information, and make it accessible and useful. That’s a valuable skill, whether one is a parent, spouse, homemaker, travel planner, caregiver, investor, writer, or blogger.
The great thing is, you don’t have to go to library school to avail yourself of the riches found in any public library. Your librarian is there to help you learn to help yourself, empowering you to find any information you might need or want. Whatever you do best, or want to learn to do, can be improved, explored, expanded and enjoyed through the resources of your library.
Learning is a great way to defeat despair, so I hope you will take some time to discover what’s available at a library near you. Even if you just spend a couple of hours in relaxed, unfocused browsing, you’ll have fun — and you probably will find some information that is likely to come in handy!
One year ago today: