Techno-Librarian vs. Musty Parchment Librarian, Or How Can We Get Jenny and Giles To Merge?

So as you know, I’m currently in graduate school to become a professional librarian. (Yes, it is a profession, and yes, you do have to go to school for that.) Anyway–when I am finished, I will be the proud bearer of an MLIS, or master’s in library and information studies. I’m really pumped about it; I totally support the mission of libraries to provide free access to information, to help educate and bring the people in a community together, to promote literacy and information literacy, to counter censorship, all the while hanging around books, technology, and the heppest cats you’ll ever meet. I am soooooooo thankful that I decided to embark upon this path and feel pretty lucky that I already have a library job, pre-degree. I have finally found my tribe.

So what’s the problem, you might ask? Not a problem, really, but an… issue. A question. A slight query: what kind of librarian do I want to be? I could be a children’s librarian, a youth/teen services librarian, a public reference librarian, a cataloger, a school media specialist. An art librarian, a music librarian, a law librarian, a corporate librarian, a medical/health services librarian. An archivist, a museum librarian, a subject specialist, a news librarian, or a generalist academic librarian. And I’m certain there are other types that I’m missing here as well.

What I like is the new and the old. La nouvelle et l’ancienne. So I feel kinda stuck between two very disparate career paths… emerging technologies/web librarian and rare book and manuscript specialist. I know there is a need to digitize old and rare items, however, so perhaps there is some overlap.

Malatesta Novello Library.

Image via Wikipedia

As I also have some unusual interests, I was heartened to find this kindred soul‘s dissertation online. Could it really be true? Could I actually study to become a real-life Rupert Giles??!! I’ve been told there aren’t many jobs out there for rare book folk. Is this true? Anyone with any comments or stories to share on this front? I can’t imagine there’d be an overwhelming call for librarians versed in the history of alchemy, astrology, folk magic, and the occult; however, I know for a fact that there are plenty of occult special collections within academic and research libraries around the world and here in the U.S. But how do I get there?


2 thoughts on “Techno-Librarian vs. Musty Parchment Librarian, Or How Can We Get Jenny and Giles To Merge?

  1. That would be like the most awesome thing in the world!

    Although, you would have some very big shoes to fill. I mean, demon languages, prophecies, that vital magical doohickey that he picked up at an estate sale that just happens to open the Hellmouth? Not to mention the epidemic of concussions and the ability to do live covers of the Who?


    If you can find a job like that, save me a spot, too!

  2. Hi, Kelly! I just checked out your blog–library peeps unite! Lol I like your 101 in 1001 lists; interesting idea that I might try to do or adapt as well. I have failed miserably at NaNoWriMo thus far–zero words logged–although in my defense, I do have a big paper and annotated bibliography due soon which are taking precedence.

    You’re right…very big British shoes to fill indeed. So far, I think the closest I could come is with the Who covers (although I don’t play guitar, just sing). I pick up languages easily and like to shop for antiques, so maybe that counts?

    Here’s to hoping being concussed isn’t a requirement,

    :-) K

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