Why should special librarians defend public librarians?

Because despite differences in day-to-day work, out ultimate goals (helping people find and make use of information) remain the same.

Because every time public librarians are described as glorified book-stampers, it chips away at the whole idea of librarians’ professional expertise.

Because even if your sector is not currently the one that’s under threat, that doesn’t mean it never will be.

Because libraries are good for society, and you are presumably a citizen as well as a librarian.


Note – the above post was inspired by a slightly tipsy conversation with @walkyouhome last week. Have had a much longer post in the works on this topic for a while, but it got very ranty so I thought the above summed it up a bit more succinctly! Hope it still makes sense…

Anyway, if you agree with any of the above I urge you to head over to Voices for the Library and find out a bit more about the current threats to public libraries and librarians, and what you can do to help.


6 comments on “Why should special librarians defend public librarians?

  1. I completely agree. And I also appreciate the fact that in the UK, we don’t separate the two areas the way they do in the US. It’s just as important that your lawyer, your bank or your government department has the right information, managed in the right way, at the right time, as it is for users of public and academic libraries. We have one lead representative body which should be shouting about our value to all employers.

  2. Hear hear!

    Completely agree. Though that’s easy to say to be honest as I was formerly a public librarian and now I’m some kind of workplace/not for profit/special librarian now.

    We need to fight together and look at how we are similar, not fixate on the differences between our sectors.

    • Exactly!

      I think having worked in different sectors probably gives you a better insight into this. I find it’s harder to communicate this sort of thing to people who have only ever worked in one sector.

  3. […] reading “Why should special librarians defend public librarians?” by @Woodsiegirl I started thinking about the interplay between special and public libraries and […]

  4. I agree, its important to have all the special libraries stand up for the public libraries. They both serve a cost into serving the community and help up coming researchers with materials that can be helpful for their work. I love all the public, academic, and specials. I have experience all three types of libraries as a student that volunteers, interns, and work as a student work in North Carolina Central University.

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