I just finished explaining to a member of the public why a librarian needs a masters degree for the umpteenth time.
As I have been hit with this question several times already since starting the program, I am beginning to realize I need to come up with a clear answer. I find this a really difficult question to answer as the people that ask this generally do not have any idea what librarians do and think that we sit at a desk all day and read or something which really is not the case. I am wondering if anyone has any ideas for answering this question that they wouldn’t mind sharing with me! Thanks!!!
And, for those of you that are curious… my answer is rather long winded. I’ll explain it quickly here in short form.
The job of a librarian includes not only finding information, but organizing it, locating it, synthesizing it and evaluating it. Also, it involves collection development, cataloging, educating members of the library, listening and providing information – often there is a need for authoritative information, even in a public library. Some librarians are expected to have a general knowledge of all fields and others specialize in a specific field. Still, no matter what are a librarian specializes in, s/he must have knowledge of the field of librarianship as well. In order to do this, a librarian must have background knowledge, which comes from both experience and education and combined these help librarians to look at issues from several angles and this helps us to locate information for library users and direct them to information from various points of view so those library users make educated decisions.