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What type of Library Professional are you?

May 31, 2016

This article is not for the fainthearted nor for those with high moral ground. This article was written based on facts observed and heard from other LIS professionals in a sarcastic funny way to ignite thought and simultaneously hiding the seriousness of the issue in this banter. Hoping it will be taken in same spirit as it was intended with all seriousness.

Every institution of repute has a library. Academic, Public, Special Library has library staff in various levels to manage the library, its resources and clientele.  Library Science in India has a history of 100+ years and LIS departments have produced few lakhs of LIS professionals till date who are scattered all over India and the abroad and is continuing to produce thousands LIS professionals every year from its regular and distance mode programs.

But we see a certain type of apathy in their attitude towards their profession.

There is no “UNITY” in the LIS professionals. Each has his/her own agenda and usually is at cross purposes with others. They do not have a vision or mission. They do no posses a panoramic view or work for greater good of the profession. Team effort is missing as everyone is working solo and in silo mode. Each has a reason why they are unable to work towards status of library professional in India.

Recently “Many” institutions downgrading salaries and designations of library staff but even then there is only “Arm Chair Activism” and never a full fledged upfront support which unifies all LIS professionals in India and raise their voice collectively to bring change for the better.

This is how “MOST” library professionals “THINK” and “FEEL”

  1. I am a “STUDENT” library professional ….surely my opinion will not count! or will it? I dont know! They are unsure and undecided and have already lost the battle before they ventured!
  2. The “FRESHER”library professional who just entered the job thinks and feels that let me first find my feet before I think about the profession.
  3. The”FEW YEARS EXPERIENCED LIBRARY PROFESSIONAL” who is  mired in job feels  – I am but a small person rotating and revolving in the humdrum of my busy insignificant life! I am not in a prominent position with no power, name or fame! How will my opinion matter….Even if I voice out….who will notice me….listen to me…heed me….so I will not voice out … Whatif my ideas are ridiculed by the senior professionals?
  4. The “FACULTY” of Library Science feel that they are getting the work force of future library professionals ready and should not be disturbed. Setting papers, invigilation duty, correcting them, collating marks is enough they feel. Should they have time they take responsibilities of being on various boards and wielding their influence. They feel that working librarians are inferior lot and need to be kept at a distance so that they can feel “SUPERIOR” by doing various projects and guiding PhD scholars so they would not voice out for voting to make all Assistant Librarians as Assistant Professors (LIS) giving them same powers – which in turn would be a threat to their very existence. This way faculty maintaining their unique position by sitting on fence on “MOST” issues.
  5. The “SHY”/ “TYPICAL” library professional who is quiet and mousy and is molded on all those stereotype librarians shown in movies with black shell cat frame spectacles and cardigan; who will hide and fade into the background least someone call upon them to voice their opinion. Their throat goes dry at the very thought of being in spot light, so cannot be counted to lend voice to others.
  6. The “BUSY” library professional who mostly are from corporate sector believe – if you work – your effort will be rewarded…..So I cant be bothered about the lazy lot!
  7. The “JET-SET” library professional who is constantly traveling to various countries either on scholarships or attending Seminars/Conferences/Workshops who does not have time to waste on trivialities as he/she has miles to cover before he/she can sleep.
  8. The “CLIMBER-CONNECTOR”/”SELF PROMOTION” library professional who markets himself/herself effectively and connects with various other library professionals in India and abroad and ensures he/she is on ‘n’ number of committees irrespective of whether he/she can spend time contributing to the responsibility taken and invariably outwardly crib about the number of responsibilities he/she has and how overworked he/she is. This type of library professional is on “almost” every library association in various capacities but always  has a reason why  the association he/she is member of could not contribute as it should have to the profession. Always says “What can I alone do?” If I were the association president, I would surely have brought change. He/She is always angling for the higher position. If this person is the Association President – when asked says “What can I alone do?”, the council members are not very supportive and are always busy so do not attend any association meetings….I run association will the minimum quorum required. The person ensures his/her survival both ways.
  9. The “ATTENTION SEEKING” library professional who always comes fashionable late and disturbs  whatever is going on with his/her bomming voice blaming “STUFFY BORING BOARD MEETINGS” or “DELAYED FLIGHT (never delayed train or bus)” and greets each and everyone personally in the front two rows only where the happening crowd is seated and then occupies the chair of in the middle in the first row without inquiring who was earlier seated there. This type of person is all bark and no bite.
  10. The “SCHOLARLY” library professional who churns books by the dozen and does not want to be bothered by the trials and tribulations of general untalented library population who are unworthy of his time and attention.
  11. The “JADED-COMPLAINER” library professional always sees things through his/her coloured lenses preaching to all those who listen that – all these things are useless. I have already experienced these things. NOTHING will happen. I know it! I, with so much talent could not make a difference (secretly thinking: you think you are more talented than me?). This type always laments that the profession is becoming obsolete but will not move a finger to ensure the professions survival. Nothing or no-one can make this person quieten down and be happy. He/She has to crib about everyone and everything especially how useless the library science subject is and how difficult jobs in libraries are and how paltry the remuneration is!
  12. The “FLATERING (MUSKA-POLISH CHAMCHA) – HARDLY WORKING” “WANNA BE” library professional who want all benefits without making any effort. This type tries very hard to look/seem happening by attending all popular LIS events ONLY, name drops at every second of “HAPPENING” library professionals he/she had opportunity to meet and take selfies with them and immediately post photos on various social media.These are the hangars on people who mushroom around the more popular or successful professionals. They look and sound very busy. They believe in power of flattering and are usually successful in the art of buttering…which tells us something about character of those who end up buttered and exploited. The Faltering professional believes only in lip-service and always has a reason ready why they could not do the allotted work in time and the most undependable of the lot!
  13. The “FASHIONABLE” library professional who is a clothes horse and thinks everyone either loves or hates him/her as there are no in-betweens and cannot be bothered with something so mundane. I, Me, Myself is the moto, so expecting something from this tribe is virtually useless.
  14. The “MEDIA SAVVY” library professional who is featured in various print and electronic media and who knows which is his/her best side is and shows it off to the advantage. But this person is so calculative trying to squeeze out the maximum leverage out of media coverage to personally benefit that he/she will not want other LIS professional to get same attention so blocks out every other person who is perceived as an adversary.
  15. The “DESI-PHOREN” library professional who has studied LIS in India but has gone abroad and settled there and return to the motherland as strangers. They are friendly but do not encourage queries on “Help me-JOB ABROAD” “Help me-SCHOLARSHIPs ABROAD” fearing burden in their adopted land.
  16. The “SOCIAL STRATA CONSCIOUS” library professional who professes social equalization but strives to create the social divide between “HAVEs” and “HAVE-NOTs” and feels threatened by those professionals who he/she considers as professionally inferior; but these “Have-nots” succeed in superseding him/her and his/her standing in professional society with their talent and hardwork and gain recognition, salary and designation similar to strata conscious people. These “HAVE-NOTs” have to be stopped by showing pseudo support otherwise my importance is in danger.
  17. The “LEADER”/ “KING” syndrome library professional who always wants to be seated on the dias and in the middle – which is perceived as powerbase. Wants to head every table and gives speeches at the drop of the hat and only needs blind followers who praise his/her every move.
  18. The “DON” library professional who tries to dole out various favors in terms of job placements, member on various boards etc and expects in return to be feted at every opportunity and treated like a king. He/She projects himself/herself in such a way that success could be got only under his/her umbrella irrespective of the candidate winning on his/her own merit.
  19. The “HAS BEEN”/ “RETIRED DON” library professional who is always in flashback mode and tries to recount and relate his MOST HAPPENING MOMENT to all those who will listen. This type tries to grasp straws and remain relevant and maintain the facade that he/she is still flavour of the profession and can continue doling out favours if current professional gives him/her due.
  20. The “RETIRED” library professional is ignored largely and not invited anywhere; he/she attends all events on his/her expense to keep busy and meet friends and fellow professionals at these events. The “RETIRED” faculty fare much better on an average and are still called to address and inspire LIS professionals with their experiences.
  21. The “FORGOTTEN”/ “UN-SUNG” library professional are all those “WORKER ANTS” whose contribution is a “LOT” but “NOT RECOGNIZED” either because they are very soft in their approach or do not court attention.
  22. The “HARD WORKER” library professional who works very hard at his/her job and tries to attend “majority” of meetings of various library associations and contribute his/her mite towards development of the profession without expecting a place at head of the table. These are very few and far between.
  23. Where is the “DOER” library professional? Extinct or Un-Awakened. If there are any “DOERs” please get in touch by emailing us at IndiaLibraries@gmail.com

 

Note:

We (IndiaLibraries) are trying to be politically correct and display unbiased nature by mentioning “MOST” thereby professing that not all are like that but seriously believe that everyone can be slotted. We leave it to the readers self awareness to slot himself/herself as he/she knows oneself best. This is to awaken your inner professional and contribute to the professions good and not to point finger or play a blame game.

Do not make any changes to the existing article. If there are any other types please email us – if relevant we will include it and give your name and email as source.

This blog post was written after  Anil Singhji https://www.facebook.com/anilsinghcci

had posted an open letter

 

Copyright: IndiaLibraries

All Rights Reserved.

Please contact for permissions at IndiaLibraries@gmail.com

 

 

 

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3 Comments
  1. abdeepak permalink

    Hello my name is A B Deepak and I would like to congratulate you on such a well observed and comprehensive article.
    I am a new entrant to the LIS profession and believe there is still hope if concerted efforts are taken by us all.
    Look forward to hearing from you.
    Regards

    Like

    • Thank you Deepak for your response. Do read other posts and let us know what you think! You can also check out IndiaLibraries on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/IndiaLibraries

      Like

    • Deepak…
      Thank you for your feedback.

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      Looking forward for posts on your blog! Aldbest. Warm Regards IndiaLibraries

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