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Alexi Galica-Cohen <[log in to unmask]>
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Alexi Galica-Cohen <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 7 Aug 2014 09:30:45 -0400
text/plain (72 lines)
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