So, what DO librarians do all day?

The librarian of yore…lots of dusty books? Check! Bun and cardigan? Check! (CC0 image via Wikimedia)

So you may or may not know that librarians actually have to go graduate school to become librarians.  You may even wonder what we study. As a student in library school (Queens College Graduate School of Library Science), I often get a shocked “You need a degree for that!?” when I explain that I’m working toward earning my Master’s degree in library science. 

So, yes, I do indeed need a degree for that.  Library school should (ideally) cover a majority of the issues librarians deal with daily.  Depending on the library and the librarian’s duties, we can never really fully prepare for our future positions.  Librarians do all kind of work.  Certainly this is in direct contradiction to the stereotypical reference librarian, looking strict with her bun and glasses, getting books for her patrons.

Firstly, there are male librarians. Secondly, we sometimes wear our hair down.  I’ve also been known to wear contacts; okay, mostly I’m in super stylish retro glasses, but that’s beside the point.  Librarians put on exhibits, create and maintain databases, digitize and store valuable and unique artifacts, coordinate with other organizations and libraries to borrow their materials, budget, acquire new materials, do TONS of assessment. And that’s the tip of the iceberg.  Seriously people, once I’m a librarian, I’ll probably be stressed.  I’m prepared to engage in some yoga during lunchtime.

The archaic card catalog in action (CCO image via Wikimedia)

So yes, librarians are always learning because information is always changing.  If you guys remember card catalogs (I’ve actually never seen one in use, to be honest), imagine what it must have been like switching to a computerized method of data retrieval for the old-schoolers out there.  Talk about adaptability. You see, librarians are pretty amazing.  And this is not me tooting my own horn; remember, I’m not a librarian yet.  They roll with the punches, learn new technologies, and fight to maintain access to information. The only rule across all the different types of libraries is to respond to the patrons’ needs.  Basically, we’re here for you! Tell us what you need and we will get you an answer or find out the appropriate person to ask.

All of you who have visited our libraries and spoken with our Touro College librarians probably know how hard they work to make sure you get the information (or books or articles or whatever else you can think of) that you need.  You probably also know how excited we are to work with and support our students!

So stop on by.  We’d love to see you.

Contributed by: Victoria Reyz, Library Assistant, Midtown Library

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