I recently came across a job opening in an organization far outside of librarianship. It involved a lot of the things I was passionate about as a kid and am even more passionate about as an adult. This position was for a sailing non-profit organization that takes children out on the San Francisco bay to educate them about sailing, marine sciences, and more. For those of you who don’t know I love sailing, I love teaching, I love working with kids, and I am kind of a fanatic about oceanic conservation. Anyway, talking about my love for this job advertisement is not the point of this post. The point of this post is the following video…
What does this have to do with libraries you might ask? Well, I was thinking about, and have been thinking about budget cuts, checked-out librarians that refuse to retire, passionate and newer librarians who are dying to get the chance to do amazing work in libraries but can’t find job openings, ALA’s ludicrous and ineffectual institutionalization, ALA’s and state organization’s unwillingness to act as an advocate for librarianship, librarian’s unwillingness to fight for librarianship, library closures, library reductions in staff and money, libraries lack of ability (or refusal) to adapt to a changing information world, vendors that overcharge and under-deliver products and services that library patrons can’t or refuse to use, the hostile political environment of the people who claim that freedom isn’t free but someone else should pay for it, and all of the other systems in place that are working to keep libraries from getting ahead. So, my thought was… At what point do we become cool guys?
At what point to do we say forget all this, blow it all up, and walk away? Is it really worth it? There are many librarians who are having the same thoughts, Justin Hoenke also started questioning what is important, Tiffany Mair (who you should hire because she’s way better than me at everything) just had to apply for a job at Starbucks, and there many other amazing (typically younger and newer) librarians who have the passion and drive to fight for our profession but are questioning whether or not it’s all worth it. There are many days that I don’t think it is. There are many days that I want to blow it all up and walk away, but not today… Today, it’s worth it.
Of course, we’ll have to wait and see what happens tomorrow.
*added info- Roy Tennant wrote an exactly right response to this. His advice is what is keeping many of us here. So if you’re reading this (although if you are, you’re probably coming here from his blog) and you’re feeling the same way, read his advice because it will keep you sane. If I didn’t have the crew of the Think Tank and some great Library Friends to keep me sane I would have quit or killed someone by now. Also, working for an amazing organization helps :)
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