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Are All Librarians "Good Librarians"?

Dodge County Circuit Court Judge Steven Bauer contacted me this morning to let me know he'd linked to WisBlawg on his blog, To Speak the Truth. It's quite a nice post about his positive experiences with libraries and librarians as the following excerpt illustrates:

I love libraries and librarians. I was going to write "good librarians", but after using libraries my entire life, I can't remember a bad experience with a librarian. (I find that statement to be quite incredulous, even to myself, understanding the bell curve of human behavior and performance in any profession.) I am almost always impressed with their helpfulness and ability to navigate the labyrinths of a library and other sources of stored knowledge.

His statement made me think - are all librarians really "good librarians"? Of course, as Bauer notes, there are varying degrees of behavior and performance in every profession - so certainly some librarians are more skilled than others in digging up and organizing information.

But if you consider that what makes a "good librarian" is someone who is happy in her career - who enjoys helping others and the intellectual challenge of working with information - then he may be on to something. I know that this certainly fits the bill for me - and can honestly say that it's true of most librarians that I know. Yes, there are downsides - as there are with any profession - but as a whole the good outweighs the bad.

It stands to reason that someone who is happy with what she does (and has at least a minimum level of skill) is likely to do a better job than someone who doesn't care about or dislikes the work. Despite whatever difference in skills, the person who is happy in her career is just likely to have a better attitude and try harder.

So to all you librarians out there - keep up the "good" work!