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Friday, May 19, 2023

Passion and Purpose: The Essence of Librarianship Beyond Monetary Considerations

 Azeez Adeoye

If money were not a problem, would you still choose to remain a librarian?

Often, we complain about people's attitudes towards librarianship. We lament how the parent institution neglects its role towards the library. We complain about how university management only remembers the library during National Universities Commission (NUC) accreditation. We lament how library apathy grows among users. But have we stopped and asked ourselves how much passion we put into our work?

Librarianship is a caregiver profession where we prioritize the information needs of our clients. We are expected to give our best to satisfy our users. And in extreme cases where the information cannot be met, we refer them to knowledgeable individuals and follow up on it. Do you do all this with your patrons?

How strong is your passion for librarianship? How many books do you complete in a month? Librarians are living polymaths who know something about everything. This is not magic; to achieve this, you have to be a bibliophile and a habitual reader. You cannot go far in the librarianship profession if you are a lazy reader. Librarians read, which is why it's easy for them to remain relevant in their communities, engage in intelligent conversations, and make an impact on their clients within three minutes of discussion.

A compassionate librarian learns, unlearns, stays relevant, and upskills. It has been said many times that the illiterate of this century is not someone without a degree but someone who cannot learn, relearn, and upskill. Every profession evolves due to the emergence of ICT, and librarianship is one of the most affected. Almost every second, new application are invented, software packages are deployed, new search engines are adopted, and OpenAI is updated and upgraded every week. Your passion for librarianship must push you to learn and upskill continuously.

No profession has it all, including librarianship. There will always be a need to acquire resources, purchase gadgets, subscribe to reputable databases, and renew subscriptions on platforms like Ebscohost. But have you done your very best with the limited resources you have? So, the next time you are asked about your contribution to the librarian profession and your organization, tell them about the list of activities you have accomplished with the limited resources provided. This attitude will ensure your success and increase the relevance of our beloved profession.

Therefore, before you complain about neglect as a librarian, reevaluate yourself. If money is not the problem; would you still hold on to this career path? Are you a passionate reader? Do you upskill and learn emerging technologies to ease your work? Do you go the extra mile to meet your client's needs? Do you give your best with the limited resources you have? I assure you, if you do all these, you cannot complain about irrelevance as a librarian.

Wizard Librarian

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