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What do Librarians Make?


I am very proud of my children and I like to share with folks what they are doing.   Some interesting comments have been emerging when I share that one of them has become a Librarian.  Especially when I add that she is an Information – Media Specialist Teacher for a school.

“Oh that kind of Librarian!”

If I ask what they mean when they say those words in that tone of voice, I usually get some kind of response about why with such a great level of intelligence why would she choose to go into something that is becoming obsolete?  Information is FREE these days.  Why not the CIA, FBI, or a corporation and get decent pay for her smarts?

I must not be alone in my concern about these questions because my sister – in-law who is a retired School Librarian (now does Launching Success)  just sent me the following video – Which hits the nail on the head!

What do Librarians Make or Why should I be more than a Librarian? By Joyce Valenza

What librarians make. Or Why Should I be More than a Librarian? from Joyce Valenza on Vimeo.

My District has just voted in our new Representative to Congress, who says on her website that we spend too much money on schools for no measurable results.   This attitude worries me especially since this woman lives just a few blocks away, in a gated community, from my daughter’s school which has no computers for the students to use.    Well a great deal  of information is free, but if one does not know how to access it, interpret it or discern it – what use is free?

I do not think my child is a failure for not trying to make lots of money.  I think she is a hero and someone to be admired.  She is concerned that she spends so much time on behavior problems and has no equipment to empower the students who want to learn.  She loves her work; she just wants to be able to do it to the max.

What greater gift is there than to teach a person how to learn, interpret, integrate and act upon their knowledge?   I cannot think of any greater gift, can you?   I also think most learning takes place one on one, do you?

I am interested to know what you think – Please share your ideas and thoughts.

Related Reading:
Dear World You Still Need Us Love Your Librarian
The Element
New Projects and Adventures
Alaska Adventure for the Summer 2010

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24 Responses to “What do Librarians Make?”

  1. Deborah Says:

    Hi Patricia. I totally agree. There is nothing so rewarding as teaching a person something new and seeing their face light up with sudden understanding. Your daughter is right to be proud of what she does and deserves to be given the right tools to help her get the best results. One on one has long been known to be the most reliable way of imparting knowledge. What use is a computer sitting alone in a room without a friendly teacher to is explain how it works, what to use it for and to help the user to then decide for themselves how they want to reach information?
    The internet is marvellous but I don’t quite believe it will ever replace the need for books and one on one interaction.
    I am looking forward to reading to my grandson in the very near future and know his parents are too. Oh and a room full of books beats a room full of buzzing computers any day! :-)

    Patricia Reply:

    I think we still need books, but then we need to excite folks to read them! Entertainment educations is not working…and today’s Global reports say that the USA is in the middle of the world on reading and way behind others in Math….Science is falling backwards all the time. That scares my socks off more and more…

    I also wonder about the question of “responsibility”.

    UK was in the top 5 in reading…impressive in math too…lucky grandson

  2. supernalsteve Says:

    Hi Patricia – I was just reading your post. I’ve just got back from work and my wife has just popped, yes you’ve guessed it, to our local library. I think that libraries (and therefore librarians) have a place today – they’re an invaluable, free, resource. We get books out on all sorts of stuff from beekeeping to building your own house. Books are wonderful and should be freely available to all. I’m definitely a fan of the library!!

    Patricia Reply:

    I just got my children to the library at least weekly and now have a librarian in the family…I think this is important information sharing and we must stop, in the USA, cheating our children. The new global stats say we are way at the bottom of the world in education and falling further all the time.

    Since our state switched to No Child Left Behind our education system has dropped from the teens down to 47th…What will inspire and what will we do with out thinkers and learners and designers…no wonder Social Security and Medicare is in trouble

  3. vered | blogger for hire Says:

    “I do not think my child is a failure for not trying to make lots of money. ” I 100% agree. I think people should follow their passions.
    .-= vered | blogger for hire´s last blog ..Sweet- Airy Little Dough Rounds- Jelly Doughnuts Recipe for Hanukkah =-.

    Patricia Reply:

    Me too Vered…Me too….
    A person/ A mind is too wonder full a thing to waste.

  4. J.D. Meier Says:

    I like your point — free doesn’t matter if we can’t use it.
    .-= J.D. Meier´s last blog ..Leadership Blogs =-.

    Patricia Reply:


  5. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia .. what an amazing video .. and there’s so much content there .. and it’s so interesting to learn all about the aspects – that I don’t know about! I can find information & probably work out what to do with it .. but really I’d have loved to have IT girl working with me – now!

    Free is ok .. but if you don’t know what it’s saying .. as JD says .. we need to guide & be available to ask .. intelligently ..

    Good for you .. and for IT girl .. thanks so much .. Hilary
    .-= Hilary´s last blog ..What makes a great villain =-.

    Patricia Reply:

    IT Girl is very impressive too and actually working on the software end of what Librarian Girl does….and I think because I pushed and shoved and inspired the kids to work their passion with computers involved and reading…even Enterprising Girl is having success too…

    I started early and I think having an advocate and guide made a great difference…

    I thought the video was amazingly good.

    I guess teachers are getting the worst of this criticism though – here

  6. Arts Web Show Says:

    I agree.
    Although i do understand that machines in a lot of cases are able to take over a job a human used to do.
    It cant be delivered with the passion and drive to be found in people like librarians.
    We shouldn’t always do everything for the money.
    And for someone to go into an underpaid industry knowing that fact deserve a lot of respect.
    It shows they do it for the love of their job.
    .-= Arts Web Show´s last blog ..Silent movie- slapstick comedy =-.

    Patricia Reply:

    Library Girl truly loves her work and is doing it half time and looking for a second job to just help pay the bills.

    I think in the USA we are in big trouble with health care and education because we are not doing what is being done in UK and China and we are not developing the thinking minds that we need to survival….This actually causes me grief.

    We seem to be cutting off our future – for the majority and trying to raise a super race of wealthy class people who control the masses – hmmmm sounds like some other parts of the world – even they are more successful in educating their young.

  7. Library Girl Says:

    Thanks mom! This is a nice post. Joyce Valenza is a fantastic voice for our profession – I’ve read many of her written works.

    patricia Reply:

    You betcha!

    Riddle for you:
    What goes up stairs 50 times a day but can not come down?

    GeekGirlSF Reply:

    ‘Lemmie guess… Its very cute, furry and has 4 legs :)

    Patricia Reply:

    you cheated! 😉

  8. Alien Ghost Says:

    Hi Patricia,

    Making money and becoming wealthy to show success through material stuff is getting out of hand. I agree with being successful when doing something we love and that also can make a difference for others (I have a sister who is a school teacher).

    My son started college in mechanical engineering but after a year switched to history and political science. Every known person around screamed in horror (what is he going to do with that?!), but if you could see how motivated and happy he is, you’ll see he is going to be a successful person; maybe not a wealthy one, but happy with what he does, and isn’t that what really matters? Your daughter is doing the right thing.

    .-= Alien Ghost´s last blog ..Insurance of Fear =-.

    Patricia Reply:

    I think it is important to follow one’s heart and mind in making a career choice – I do worry that at 1/2 time there is not enough to pay the bills. As a person who has never made a living wage in my career field, I caution that there needs to be some economic justice too – retirement and health care are not always paid for by love!

    I am so happy your son found a niche
    Those kids are lucky to be doing the right thing

  9. suzen Says:

    Hi Patricia! Consider the source I guess. I personally am in awe of my librarians and have two “friends” at the local library who have helped me research endless topics over the years. Yeah sure I can google stuff now too and I do. But our librarians put on wonderful presentations for children and that’s what really counts. The “news” last nite AGAIN showed our schools are behind according this global test (of course Asia is way ahead of us!) but this isn’t news. How many wake up calls do we need to pay more attention to educating kids? I would think there is more of a need for good librarians than ever.

    Well don’t get me started – haha – I believe the entire education system needs to be trashed and started over again, get back to the basics and teach math WITHOUT calculators in grade school!!! That early math (w/o calculators) teaches them to THINK. We need a lot more of that early on.
    Holiday Hugs

    Patricia Reply:

    I think we need to get back to teaching – this entertainment education is not working so well and we do need thinkers not so many manufacturing jobs any more…we need designers and problem solvers, who can use all the tools.

    Yes we definitely need Librarians and great schools…and not this mass exodus from public education.

    We also need local responsibility. In our last election we elected a representative who believes that we spend too much money on education and we should just not have any new taxes until the kids start producing results. She lives about 18 blocks from Library Girl’s school with her 1/2 job and no computers ( well some reconditioned ones are showing up now – about 6 )

    Oh yes and rep. lives in a gated community!

    We also did not pass a bond measure to green up our schools and remove absestos because voters did not know the difference between Bonds and taxes…

    Where is the personal responsibility?

    Really liked your post on Vit. D….Thanks for your grand comment!

  10. Jenny Ann Fraser Says:

    This is so true and important!
    We have to find the work we’re passionate about if we are to be content in life. Money won’t fill the void when your soul has been sucked out of you by a job that you weren’t meant for!
    Librarians and passionate teachers are so very important to our future, as are so many other proffessions.
    I do believe that if we were to have more respect for each other and the work that we do along with it’s contribution to the world, pay would be more equitable and there would be much greater balance in the world.
    Thank you for this, we should all be proud of your daughter and those like her who don’t let money choose their paths for them.
    .-= Jenny Ann Fraser´s last blog ..The Wisdom To Know The Difference =-.

    Patricia Reply:

    Jenny Ann Fraser,
    Thank you for your comment and dropping by today.
    Your book review is just excellent – it is such a fine, quality book.

    I think one must follow their dreams and I believe if we could work on re-localization we will powerfully see how important the diversity is to our progress and our future.

    I applaud the folks who are doing their own “thing” Powerful resource that loving it spirit

  11. Jannie Funster Says:

    What greater gift is there than to teach a person how to learn, interpret, integrate and act upon their knowledge?

    I agree. Some gifts equal, but none greater, where young hearts and minds are being touched. Who knows how deeply the one-on-one attention goes, or how far it will be felt into the future?

    BRAVO for Library Girl!! She is following her passion and making a difference, and one’s career doesn’t get any better than that!

    .-= Jannie Funster´s last blog ..The Unknown Mom — World Premiere =-.

    Patricia Reply:

    BRAVO for Library Girl!!! I could not have said it better myself!

    Thank you Jannie