The art, science and magic of being a librarian.

Learnt at library schools, librarianship consist of equal parts of domain knowledge, interpersonal skills and the kind of secret, tacit, knowledge that some people are born with and no one can be taught.

Librarianship does not depend on the librarian being a hot library chick, but may well transmogrify the librarian into one (gender permitting), since libraries are sexy and sexiness is catching.

A librarian understands classification systems as knowledge representations for both ornamental knowledge, common knowledge, collective knowledge and library books and uses them as knowledge management tools. A librarian is challenged by patrons with deep questions; handles annoyed patrons with aplomb and even deals with patrons who want books banned without removing any of their limbs. When asked a reference question a librarian always appears to have the sum of human knowledge as personal knowledge but be strangely immune to the knowledge/power/corruption problem.

Whether working in a personal library, public library, digital library, university library, the Library of Congress or the Library of Alexandria have an innate cone of silence and calm which enables them to spread quiet study conditions wherever they go.

See also: library; librarian; Conan the Librarian; The secret mission of everything2 is to train us to be reference librarians.

In a nutshell, the purpose of librarians is to seek the information needs of patrons and to:
and disseminate information to the library user, whomever that may be.

source: yes, i am an LIS student
A quote that was in one of those annoying day-by-day desktop calendars that my mother insists on getting for me every year. Arg! But, the quote appeared on my birthday, which was appropriate since I want to be a librarian:

"Librarians like to be given trouble; they exist for it, they are geared to it. For the location of a mislaid volume, an uncatalogued item, your good librarian has a ferret's nose. Give her a scent and she jumps the leash, her eyes bright with battle."

-Catherine Drinker Bowen, Professional biographer

Li*bra"ri*an*ship, n.

The office of a librarian.


© Webster 1913.

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