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On the Professional Advantages of Being a Slacker and a Librarian

One quick clarification on that title, note that I did not say “slacker librarian”, but slacker AND librarian. I liked the sound of the first one better, but I think when you stay late at work just to finish reading all your library 2.0 feeds, and are kept up late at night envisioning all the ways you can optimize web 2.0 concepts in library contexts, you nullify your eligibility for the slacker librarian title. Aaaaaaaanyway

This past weekend I met up with some college friends in Vegas (you can check out my pics here, if you feel so inclined…), and they expressed their continuing disbelief that I am actually a librarian. My obsessions with organization and technology (which no one actually associates with librarianship anyway, much to my constant chagrin) not withstanding, I think I actually stepped foot in my undergraduate library four, maybe five times tops in my four years there.

Now, at first this dirty little secret brought me much shame (along with the fact that I never actually took a reference or cataloguing class in grad school, shhhh! Don’t tell!!! There were just so many fun tech classes I wanted to take more…) But on further thought, I think my college library neglect actually makes me a better academic librarian. Now THAT is going out on a limb, right?

But seriously, how many librarians do you know insist on sticking their head in the sand about the reality of how libraries are actually perceived? I think one of the great things about the library 2.0 movement is that we are truly aiming to reinvent the traditional library, and to once again make it a thriving, relevant presence in the lives of our users.

I know how undergraduates think, because I was a very, very typical one, and not all that long ago. So instead of fighting the same old battle of pushing the traditional vision of the library on them, I can imagine what would have actually gotten me to notice and use the library, and take it from there.

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