Yesterday, I wrote about a little archival find: a 1912 library director’s report from my current workplace.
Several commenters equated this to: Librarians’ jobs haven’t changed in a 100 years.
ERMAHGERD…no! That sounds like a bad clickbait headline with black and white photos of shushing librarians. It makes us seem like we’re complacent, when most of us are not.
What I was trying to get across – and it’s my fault for not stating it more clearly – was that I was able to see a lot of parallels to today’s job duties of librarians. I had expected to read the report from 1912 and chuckle at some of the work the library was doing. But I didn’t. Instead, I saw how our VALUES have remained consistent over time (providing access, organizing info, place to learn and get help, materials for the community). That’s what I was trying to emphasize.
I have 12 years of librarian-ing under my belt now. There are plenty of things that I’m doing now in 2015 that I wasn’t doing in 2003:
- Researching 3D printers for my library.
- Overhauling LibGuides.
- Working on video tutorials.
- Using ethnographic research to make the library better.
- Planning a large-scale student “party” in the library.
So our job duties may change over time, but we still remain wedded to our core values. Consistency is good. Complacency is not.