I have a few other posts in the works, including some timely political stuff, but I woke up this morning thinking about the farce that will likely be the senate confirmation hearings this week, and realized I need to write something else instead. At best, the next four years are going to be grueling and perhaps even thankless work for those of us in education and libraries. I wanted to write myself a reminder - and to share it with all of you - of why what we do is worth the work. We need to keep our eyes and minds on the why so I can keep rolling the boulder up the hill.
- The moment the light bulb goes on. This is my absolutely favorite thing about working in a library. That moment when you see a student/patron/member of the community get it - it being whatever you're trying to teach them.
- Getting the book (or article, or film, or whatever) in the hands of a reader. Ranganathan's rules are still my jam, and finding the reader their book and the book their reader is a fantastic feeling.
- The mix of intellectual and fun. Working at a library that supports the curriculum of a liberal arts institution with both traditional liberal arts majors and professional programs means that on any given day I could be talking about board games or about the finer points of research strategies for intensely academic programs - or both. This is a great way to make a living.
- Community building. I love working with people in our community, both on and off campus. It's a direct reminder of why this work is important.
- Books, books, and what was that other thing...? Oh, yeah: books. Libraries are primarily a people business. I am very much against the fetishizing of the physical containers and am I big believer and practitioner of weeding. But my oh my, I do love working in a profession that is associated with books. Love it.
So, how about you? What are the reasons you get out of bed and go to work every day? What makes librarianing your thing?