Librarians | Archives | Career advice
Stefanie Maclin-Hurd | June 15, 2017
There’s a reason why, when you meet a librarian for the first time, she sometimes looks hesitant to tell you what she does for a living—we’re far too used to sharing our profession and hearing that libraries are dead because of Google. (They’re always shocked to hear that libraries are actually far more alive because of Google.) And even regular library patrons are sometimes shocked by the amount of research and reference that are part of a library’s daily work. In this essay, Stefanie Maclin-Hurd uses her wide range of library jobs to demonstrate that for all its changes, librarianship in the 21st century is still very much about research.
I learned research before I learned to catalog, if one considers digging through websites as a high school student to be research. When considering the whys of being a librarian, research was something I knew I wanted to do. Not just because I loved to learn, but because I needed to know the reasons why behind each thing I learned. If I read a book, I needed to know what was true and what was enhanced, and research was the way to do it. In learning how to be a librarian, this need to know, this thirst for knowledge, was welcome. I studied archives in library school, and loved that I was able to search for the meanings and history behind the objects I was studying. Research is something which has followed me into every library and every archives job I’ve held. Research has made me a better librarian. Read article