Regina Beard, Kansas State Business Librarian, writes:
"Is this job what I expected? Yes and no. My work with students is gratifying, especially when they recognize that my role is more that of a guide or teacher than a personal researcher. No, because I never expected to have to work so hard to convince faculty and students that my responsibilities extend far beyond shelving and shushing. Too bad library schools do not require sales and marketing classes. Who knew I would make cold calls and sell library services; try to convince users that library resources trump Internet findings; and insist that library instruction cannot be limited to thirty-minute sessions and remain an effective learning experience? Our charge as librarians is to demonstrate that as students and faculty change the way they pursue information, so have libraries and librarians changed the ways in which they deliver resources and information."
The article is Mid-Life Career Change-On Choosing Librarianship, July 2010 issue of ALA-APA's Library Worklife.
I enjoyed her perspectives on career assessment, librarian competition (it's a great job, so openings continue to be tight), and the above on the nature of an academic library job. I met Regina last week at the KLA-CULS executive board meeting, as she's our newly elected ACRL representative.
Past President, CULS