Are Librarians Crusaders?

Are librarians crusaders? While surfing the Internet, I
discovered this interesting article (http://www.slisweb.lis.wisc.edu/~khtully/crusad.ht
m
) about Librarians as Information Crusaders.
Yes, librarians are true crusaders and for many things
besides information. Just a few of the things I can
think of that librarians crusade for are: more funding for
our libraries, better pay, and more support for our
profession. Why does it seem like much of what a
librarian does is a challenge or a battle. Whatever
happened to ask and you shall receive? This does not happen in many of the numerous
libraries I have seen or read about. It is more like ask
and ask again, try and try harder, stand up for what you
believe in.


Why do libraries constantly have fundraisers? Notice
the \'fun\" in fundraisers. Sure, some fundraisers may
be fun, but the bottom line is the libraries need more
money for materials. A fundraiser is not always good
enough if the patron and community does not support
the library. One can look at any library journal or web
site and see that while many libraries are facing
budgets cuts, other ones are thriving and expanding
their services. The thousands of libraries that receive
local, state, and federal funding are so appreciative of it.
How can all librarians and libraries get the funding they
need to survive? Keep trying and don\'t give up without a
fight. It takes support to have a good library so as
librarians it is important that we do all we can to make
our library a better place for ourself and our patrons.


Recently, librarians at the borough library in
Rutherford, New Jersey were in the news for picketing
for equal pay. One often hears of teachers battling for
better salaries and librarians are teachers of
information but I never thought librarians would be
picketing for a better salary in the year 2000. Being a
librarian is a noble profession and just like teachers,
we shape the future of America\'s youth. Librarians
should not have to be on the picket line when we
provide a service that is free yet priceless. Librarians
are indispensable for we are in a position to shape the
future by teaching patrons everything from how to read
to how to research and interpret information. Librarians
are leaders and will continue to be leaders of
information.


Being a librarian is not easy for some people have no
idea what we do. I can recall more than several people
asking me when I went to graduate school if people
really had to go to school to be a librarian. Once I got
asked if that is where I learned how to shhhh! people
and if the curriculum was all about how to find books on
the shelf in the library. I am totally serious and this was
just a few years ago. Being a librarian is just part of my
identity, but I am happy to be one even though people
some people may not know exactly what being a
librarian means. I am not what some people may think
of when they think of the outdated stereotype of a quiet,
meek, littleold lady behind a reference desk. I am
friendly and outgoing and truly enjoy helping people find
information. I don\'t know how that sterotype got started
but many people still view us that way and it is so
unfortunate. People are more inclined to value our
profession if they understand what we do which is why
it is crucial to market your knowledge and skills to
everyone you see. There is an excellent article by the
American Library Association \"12 Ways Librarians are
Good for the Country\" at
http://www.ala.org/alonline/news/12ways.html that I
would encourage all librarians to post in their library.
My advice to other librarians is be persistent, be vocal,
and value you what you do even when other people may
not. Remember as Eleanor Roosevelt once said \"No
one can make you feel inferior without your consent.\" I
am in no way saying that librarians feel inferior, but we
have a voice. Let it be heard. That is my opinion and I
am no one important, but I am special because I am a
librarian and we are special people.

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