Last Monday, I heard on the radio Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’ presentation on the house floor of how the iPad was eliminating paper related jobs. When he said, “…librarians and all the jobs associated with paper…Well, in not too distant future such jobs will not exist.” (“Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Says Apple’s iPad Kills American Jobs,” http://tinyurl.com/44uukrv) I said, “What!” People really have no idea what librarians do, and the skills associated with librarianship. A lot of us provide services completely online. We use databases, e-books, and other electronic resources to do research and reference. We change along with technology. If books were no longer available in print we would focus on making them available electronically. Something many librarians are already working on. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. probably just remembers the librarians that helped him when he was a college student.
Several of the skills we have can be applied to other industries and businesses. Librarians work in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. The stereotypical librarian sitting at the reference and standing in the stacks re-shelving books does not apply to all of us. I love the diversity in librarianship, and the creative ways so many librarians use their skills. How do we let lawmakers and those outside the library world know what we do? This is a question we will continue to answer. Image from: http://librarianlistsandletters.blogspot.com/