Luckily I’d saved my notes from the last time I spoke at a school career day several years ago, so all I had to do was go back through those notes and see how many of my earlier thoughts still held true.  Most of them did, but I had to do some minor tweaking here and there.  Of course, the job of librarian has changed a LOT over the last few years, at least in my system. How do I tell several classrooms full of teenagers about the library profession without adding “… but you probably shouldn’t even bother”?

Of course, if I really want them to know what the library profession is like, I’ll just direct them to the Occupational Outlook Handbook’s entry on librarians.  No, I’m not saying that they’ll be demoralized by the salary, or the training, or the job outlook (although any of those things might stop teenagers in their tracks).  No, there’s something else in the OOH entry that will give prospective job applicants a good sense of the particular circle of hell that is library service.

What do you think it is?  Do you want to check out the entry on librarians to see for yourself?

That’s right, it’s the picture of the librarian!

That poor woman looks like she’d rather be anywhere else on the planet than behind that information desk.  Granted, she looks like I feel sometimes, but if I knew that I was being photographed for the OOH, I would try to look happier, or at least busier.  Because I don’t think that it’s a good advertisement for ANY profession to show an employee who looks like she’s waiting for the sweet embrace of death to take her away from this awful place.

Oh, and FWIW, the handbook is due to be updated at the end of March. Will the new update include a picture of a librarian who looks happier, or at the very least looks busier?  Let’s find out together, Dear Readers!

I’ll let you know how tomorrow’s career day presentation goes, and whether or not I’m able to tell these kids about the career path of librarianship without sending them screaming out of the room.

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