What Makes You a Librarian?

by Nena Schvaneveldt, Head Editor, INALJ Utah

What Makes You a Librarian?

NenaSI had no dilemma about calling myself a librarian when I was the only one around with The Master’s and not working in a library. It’s when I was a library assistant that it got complicated.

On one hand, I had the degree. I was a librarian.

On the other hand, I was doing a paraprofessional job – definitely NOT a librarian. The last thing I wanted was to confuse people by referring to myself as a librarian and reiterating the misconception that sitting at a desk in a library makes one a librarian.

So I decided that I was half of a librarian.

Is librarianship a list of qualities or traits? Is it professional duties or a salary or certain hours or a job title? Is it official when the requirements include a master’s and you have one? Do you consider yourself a librarian? If so, what did it take? Is there even a right answer to this?

This is an age-old question with tons of debate – at what point does one become a librarian?

What do you think?

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