Library Life

(Not) A Librarian

I’ve read/heard the debate time and time again. Do you need to have a Master’s in Library Sciences degree to call yourself a librarian? Personally I see both sides of the argument though that might be because I do work in a library but I don’t have a Master’s degree. And yes I have called myself a librarian before for two major reasons. One: it is so much easier to just say librarian when someone asks me what I do. Would your everyday person understand what Outreach Coordinator/Adult Programming at a library actually means? Two: it’s fun to channel Rachel Weisz in The Mummy. All “I am a librarian!” declared in a posh accent.

So here’s more on why I agree that a degree is necessary:

  • People put time, money and effort into getting a Master’s degree. I certainly don’t want to invalidate that.
  • True librarians know a lot of things that I don’t.
  • You wouldn’t call a nurse a doctor just because they know a lot of the same things, would you?

And why I question that a degree is necessary:

  • I work at a public library which typically employs around eighteen people and the director is the only one with a Master’s in Library Sciences. And yet we function well. We have reference services, programs for all ages, and our ordering/cataloging/repairs are tight.
  • I feel as though a lot of the everyday things just require organization, good people skills, and research skills. A lot of the background stuff could be learned on the job.

So where do you fall on the great librarian debate?


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