Why I didn’t do #libday8, but why I think it’s great.

Unintentionally rhyming title, I like it.

#libday8, or Library Day in the Life, is a project where people working in the library and information field write about a day or a week, in order to show what we actually do day-to-day, which took place last week.

I didn’t take part in this round of Library Day in the Life, although I have blogged my day previously. The reason for this is that I wasn’t really doing anything last week! How lazy. My course only resumed on Monday, so I was just finishing off an assignment, reading up on my next modules, and generally bumming around. Which doesn’t really make for an interesting blog post. I do, however, love the idea of Library Day in the Life, so I will do it again in the future.

Why I think it’s great? A lot of people honestly don’t know what librarians do all day. And this isn’t their fault, it’s ours as professionals for not shouting about it. This project means that people write about everything they do, including the tasks, skills and projects that we may take for granted.

When I tell people I work in libraries, some still ask, ‘isn’t it just stamping books?’, or, ‘do you just read all day?’. Well, yeah I do read a lot, but right now it’s textbooks, not novels!

However, I feel there’s a glaring problem. It’s the echo-chamber issue. This is basically the idea that ideas get talked about, great, but it’s all within the profession, and we’re not actually reaching anyone outside the ‘walls’. Library Day in the Life could just be librarians reading other librarian’s blogs. We need to publicise these blogs and projects to other people. But how? Well that’s tricky. This is a key issue for marketing libraries themselves. How do you tell people about your services if they’re not in the library? I heard in class today about a library conducting surveys outside the local football ground, to talk to people who don’t normally use the library. I thought this was a fantastic idea.

However, back to the positive side; Library Day in the Life is for anyone working in libraries, information, or related fields. Whether you’re a qualified librarian, a newbie, whatever, you can take part. It’s also a great way for anyone interested in pursuing a job in these areas to find out a bit about what they would actually be doing on a day-to-day basis.

You can find the list of Library Day in the Life blog posts here.

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2 thoughts on “Why I didn’t do #libday8, but why I think it’s great.

  1. Hi Ruth
    Thank you for a thoughtful post about the value of the Day in the Life Project. You’re right Library Day in the Life does tend to be librarians reading other librarians blogs. Four and a half years ago when I wrote the post that kicked off the project the idea was that it would show librarians (and hopefully others) what a librarians day is like. I have worked in many libraries were reference has no idea what’s happening in tech services. It also provides insight into other types of libraries, from public to academic to school. It also provides insight to those considering a career in libraries or those in library school.
    I have had many conversations with Ned and others about escaping the echo chamber. I don’t think the blog posts are the way to do it, the day to day details that show are up in those aren’t sexy or exciting enough for the “outside world”. That said it did get mentioned in a wonderful Guardian article last year by Emma Cragg and Katie Birkwood about 21st Century Librarianship.
    Are you familiar with Patrick Sweeney’s Great Librarian Write Out? A wonderful program encouraging librarians to get published in works outside of librarianship. http://pcsweeney.com/great-librarian-write-out-round-two/
    Thank you again, Bobbi

    • Hi Bobbi, thanks for your comment!
      I hadn’t heard of the Great Librarian Write Out, but I just had a look at the link you posted, and it’s a fantastic idea. The competition aspect would definitely get people involved! Thanks for pointing it out to me.
      I’m glad you enjoyed my post, and thank you for reading it.
      Ruth

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