There is too much information out there! It’s overwhelming! As an information professional (official title: Information Specialist — eek! I specialize in information? Don’t you have to know a lot to do that?), it is my job to keep a cool head, weed through the information, find what is relevant and get rid of the extra noise. It is my job to swim the seas of information and find the pearls of wisdom. When someone has a question, it is my job to find the answer. Isn’t that scary? What responsibility! What has me freaked today is that there is a plethora (I love it when I can use that word) of tools for librarians that support them in their tasks. I don’t have the time to examine all of the things that exist to help me do my job and actually do my job.
On a positive note for my noble profession, Phil and I watched a movie this weekend that actually gave a positive portrayal of a librarian. Librarians show up in movies now and then, and sometimes they are pretty stereotypical (mousy yet stern, old spinsters, bun in hair, glasses on chain, cardigan buttoned at the neck). This librarian was in fact quiet and wore glasses but she also saved the life of one of the characters by knowing where to find information on her condition. There was a small band of people trapped in the New York Public Library trying to escape a storm that was freezing the northern hemisphere because of an ice age brought on by global warming (yes, the premise seems sketchy, but it’s an o.k. flick). One of the characters had blood poisoning from a cut on her leg that she sustained while escaping the advancing water that was filling the streets of New York. The librarian was able to diagnose her mysterious illness and they were able to get her the help she needed, thereby saving her life.
The moral of the story is: while it may overwhelm me to do my day-to-day job, in the event of an impending, world-wide natural disaster, do your best to be trapped with me in a library — I may just save your life.