Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Michael Jongen on being a grateful librarian!

If I had to choose another career it would be as a librarian. One of the reasons I left academia was because I spent three days amongst teacher/librarians at the CBCA Conference in Sydney 2006, and realised how incredibly happy they all seemed in their jobs. I wanted to be in that peaceful place also, which as you know turned out to be a writing space.  But I also do a lot of work in schools and admire and respect the work of teacher librarians, who also get to work around books all day!

So, today I am pleased to present on my blog Michael Jongen  (aka Larry the Librarian), teacher/librarian, who goes all out for his students by making videos and recommending Aussie authors for them to read. Michael / Larry and I haven’t met face-to-face but have followed each other on Twitter for some time now. We share a love of books, reading and a worldview that includes social justice and equity for all.

Michael has listed below five reasons he is grateful for being a librarian. And they are also the five reminders of what I’ll be in my next life.

5 reasons I am grateful to be a librarian

1. In the age when geek is chic, and nerds rule we librarians know that our time has come.  Our skills and practice are as relevant and essential today as when Dewey organized human knowledge into the decimal system. In the digital age librarians are curating information and enabling access and dissemination through wikis, blogs, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and other web2.0 tools.

2. I am a passionate reader and working in libraries and schools I get to discuss books, stories and reading with other readers.  I have observed readers and their reading for 30 years as well as that of my colleague librarians (Crime is the Librarian's favorite genre).  I have had the pleasure of introducing books to readers and as teacher librarian and a children’s librarian actively promote story and the joy of reading.  Reading stories and poetry to young people brings out the inner performer in me.

And of course I have had the pleasure of introducing many writers to readers and young people and meeting them myself.

3. Libraries are vibrant and free social spaces. Our own State Library of Victoria is a vibrant meeting place with the lawns, Mr Tulk and Readings bookshop contributing to the ambiance.

Public Libraries provide great programmes for their communities and are free and open to all.  Libraries provide social space and access to ICT, Digital Media and Information.  Our users can take home books, films, music, games for free.

4. Information is power! Andrew Carnegie believed that:

 "industrious and ambitious; not those who need everything done for them, but those who, being most anxious and able to help themselves, deserve and will be benefited by help from others."

Public libraries today still provide this service. I love researching and the challenge of providing information and teaching young people the skills of research, bibliography and citation.  This of course has contributed to my own learning and knowledge.

5. What’s not to like about working in a library?  I spend my working day researching, matching books with readers, communicating with our users through Social Media and performing my shtick to young people.

It’s the people.

I bless working as a librarian for the wonderful librarians I have work with, and the daily encounters and joyful interactions I have with Library Patrons.  How you have enriched my life.


Now, Michael and I would love to know what you’re grateful for when it comes to libraries and librarians!


larrythelibrarian said...

Oh cheers Anita, I am chuffed


Elizabeth Lhuede said...

Makes me miss working in a library! (Next best thing to writing and reading.)

@jennypoppy said...

I'm grateful for being able to work with inspirational librarians who motivate and encourage readers.

Cathy said...

In my next life I think I would like to be a librarian too. Infact my mother in law thinks I would be a good one. The books are the best thing about libraries. When my kids were little I loved taking them to the library to have access to more books. You can never be exposed to too many books.

Anonymous said...

I want to be a LIBRARIAN !!!!! Thank you Michael :)

And thank you to all that I will never know - and those that will know children we will never know about

Dr Anita Heiss said...

I think libraries are so underrated by much of the Australian public. They fail to realise that they are a major cultural institution, becoming more and more centres for community activity around storytelling. I take my hat off to those who build the settings for us... librarians. Thanks again Larry/ Michael :)

Jenny said...

What a fabulous post!

I understand what you mean about being around people who love their jobs - I've heard librarians have fabulous conferences!

Now if only I knew what I wanted to be when I grow up...


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