Librarianship as a Calling

Having finished Our Singular Strengths:  Meditations for Librarians, by Michael Gorman, today I’ve begun reading Our Own Selves:  More Meditations for Librarians, by the same author.

In the first meditation, he quotes from a book written in 1966 by Lawrence Clark Powell.  Gorman says:

In it, he summons up a vision of a library as a place formed by “good hands” that have made it orderly and efficient; by “good heads” that have not only shaped collections by intelligent choice but have also absorbed a good part of the knowledge contained in those collections; and “good hearts” that exercise service in humility — motivated by a love of people and learning….

Libraries are about service or they are about nothing.

That got me thinking about why I’m excited about being a librarian.

Today, I had several opportunities to help people find information, quite a few of which were Moms with kids.  That’s one thing I thoroughly enjoy doing.

I love books.  I love learning.  I love connecting people and books.  And I like helping people.

That’s why becoming a librarian isn’t just about finding a job to support myself.  It’s about finding a calling.

May I remember that!


  1. All those years in Germany you wrote of how much you enjoyed and got out of your part-time job at the library. Now that you are a full-time Librarian you have that many more opportunities for joy.
    Continued blessings, Lorinda

  2. Thanks, Pam and Lorinda, for nice reminders how blessed I am. It’s funny to me to think of the same year when I’m being divorced as a good year, or as a year with rich blessings–but that’s the way God’s working it out. Yes, there’s pain–but God is offering me so many rich blessings as well.

    Thanks for reminding me that I’ll be a lot happier focusing on the blessing part! And that part is indeed turning out to be wonderful!

  3. Yes, I can relate, working in a bookstore (and oh yeah, I used to work in a library, although I was back in technical services). Obviously it’s not quite the same, since people have to pay, and they don’t normally come there just for pure information. But I still remember one of my first days, thinking after my shift, “This is fun! And not just because of the books, but because I’m helping people. Why didn’t I realize before that I like helping people? Or that I would enjoy helping people in a job?” Thank you very much for the reminder — some customers are real jerks, and it’s easy to focus on the negative and forget everyone else.

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