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Kathleen Spahn <[log in to unmask]>
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Kathleen Spahn <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 7 Aug 2014 09:37:31 -0400
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Cheers!... on all points.


Kathleen Spahn, MLIS/CAS-DL
Department Head, Access & Technical Services
Portland Public Library
5 Monument Square
Portland, Maine 04101
[log in to unmask]
PHONE: 207-871-1700 ext 709
FAX:       207-871-1703

-----Original Message-----
From: Maine Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Alexi Galica-Cohen
Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2014 9:31 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [MELIBS-L] I love my librarian

Hi all,

Normally, I would not respond to a discussion such as this one, as quite frankly I find the segregation depressing. But today, after reading over a day's worth of rants, I feel compelled to add mine to the mix. When I was in high school and college (and yes, working in a library) I found the prejudice against paraprofessionals disturbing. There are untold competent and capable non-degreed librarians out in the field. As a library science student, I found the prejudice against such students degrading, being looked down upon both by professional and paraprofessionals alike. Now, as a professional librarian, I find the prejudice persists. Having been in all three categories, I can truly say it takes all sorts to make the world go round and we should all be respectful and supportive of each other regardless of the status of our education. We all have something needed to bring to the table. As for what my work experience has brought me: it's an understanding of how to interact with the public and build those relationships and bridges. As for what the degree has brought me: it's a deep understanding of the underlying theory and history of our profession and how to make that experience better for our patrons, along with numerous finer points about the technical aspects of my job. And while a degree may not be the road for everyone, I worked awfully hard and long for mine, and there are other paraprofessionals out there that are in the same process of that undertaking. (Though, I confess, the I Love My Librarian award was in no way, shape, or form a motivator for me to achieve the degree.) I think we should be respectful, encouraging and supportive of them. There are enough groups out there that undervalue librarians. We do not need to add to it.

Cause you know what? I think librarians, degreed or not, students or not, are awesome, intelligent, capable people. So let's just go back to being awesome, together.

Thank you all for reading. I promise not to rant again too, too soon. :)

Best regards,

Alexi Galica-Cohen, MSLIS
Special Collections Librarian and Cataloger

P.S. Even though technically I would qualify for the award, I wonder how often it goes to a degreed librarian that engages primarily in "back of the house" activities like collection development, administration, digitization projects, or technical services? So even there, the reward is clearly biased. So, let's focus on something else! :) :)

Ellsworth Public Library
20 State Street
Ellsworth, Maine 04605

-----Original Message-----
From: Maine Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Vinalhaven Public Library
Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2014 8:50 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [MELIBS-L] I love my librarian

I was wondering what someone with a degree in library science does that if different from what I do? I check-in, check-out, order books and supplies, cover books, catalogue the collection, give a monthly report to the trustees and board of selectmen, apply for grants, do state reports, organize library programs, provide tech support and oversee the maintenance of the building.
What am I missing?

Valerie Morton, Director

Vinalhaven Public Library

Vinalhaven, Maine