The stereotypical librarian is often depicted as a quiet enforcer of silence presiding over dusty bookshelves. The truth is that public librarians do more than master the art and science of knowledge management. They must also act as de facto social workers to help the people who walk in their doors every day.
I just read a touching article on the web site Medium titled The Important Emotional Labor of Librarians Most People Never Think About. The article highlights the misunderstood role of library workers in caring for our community. Author Oleg Kagan shares his own personal story while highlighting the challenge of the profession:
“Most people intuitively understand the emotional load taken on by professions like social workers, nurses, 911 operators, and teachers. Rarely, however, do people consider the emotional labor of librarians. Spend a day at the service desk of a busy library and you’ll see people on their best and, too often, their worst days. Spend a few months and you’ll begin to follow the lives of your repeat visitors — you’ll be privy to, and sometimes help them solve, life’s hardest problems.”
Read the rest of this article at Medium.com.