Student Snippets

A WINDOW INTO THE DAILY LIFE AND THOUGHTS OF SLIS STUDENTS

Librarians: Myth and Fact

During my first year in library school, I'm noticing things about my classmates as well as people in the field. I'm noticing what is and isn't true about people in the library science field and what stereotypes don't hold true. I figured I'd address the most common things you should know about people in the field before you come in with all the normal assumptions (as I did). These stereotypes apply to all library science careers, but I'm going to use the term 'librarian' for the sake of brevity.

  1. Librarians are quiet. This could not be more untrue. Librarians LOVE to talk. You'll take a reference class where you learn how to talk. If you ever encounter me on campus or in class, God bless your cotton socks, because I will talk your ear off. Part of being a good and effective library sciences student and future employee is being able to talk and communicate effectively, just like any other field. Jobs in library science aren't jobs where you show up to work and don't say a word the whole day. We value silence but we also value communication, which not only helps us understand our patrons but also helps cement a relationship with them.

  2. Librarians aren't friendly and they want to be left alone. This ties into #1, and it's just as wildly inaccurate. Everyone I've met in the program and out in the field has been warm and welcoming and I've forged a lot of solid friendships. Not only is it boring to sit at a desk all day and not do anything, but we are truly here to help you! ALWAYS feel free to talk to your librarian or archivist or what-have-you, we want to help you and we want to feel that sweet satisfaction when our patrons get the help they need. Additionally, library school is chock-full of group work and teamwork, which, weirdly, no one seems to expect. Working in a team is a constant part of working in a professional setting, so SLIS helps prepare you for that. Buckle up!

  3. Librarianship is a woman's job. *buzzer noise* Nope. I know when you think of a librarian, you think of a plump little old lady with white hair pulled up into a tight bun with half-rim glasses halfway down her nose, but that's far from the truth. Although the job is stereotypically for women, men have always been in the field. To be fair, the ratio is 70-30, but that's changing. Information doesn't have a gender. It's for everyone, literally everyone. Simmons is a women's school for undergraduate, but graduate programs are coed. Anyone and everyone is welcome to work in library and information science. Something that's pretty cool about Simmons is inclusivity -  you'll never feel left out or marginalized for any reason. Everyone is welcome!

  4. Librarians are boring. Wrong again, compadre! The people I've met have genuinely exciting, outgoing lives - rock climbing, dancing, concerts, hiking, bar crawls, road trips, swimming, activism, trivia nights, movies, world traveling to name a few - librarians do it all. Even the SLIS organizations and clubs have fun stuff to do, like the aforementioned bar crawls, local trips to see the sights Boston has to offer, or even just relaxed get-togethers on and off campus. Librarians are still people, and we love to see and do all kinds of things, but we can also appreciate a good night in with a glass of wine and a movie. One time I invited a non-SLIS friend to a party of SLIS friends. After we left, she told me "They're really cool. I actually had a lot of fun." People are actually surprised.

Don't expect to see all your classmates with their noses stuck in books - we love to read and learn and educate, but we love to live life to the fullest!