I was on LinkedIn today and came across an interesting question in one of my groups. She posed the question “what is your Elevator Pitch (a pitch that is no longer than the average time it takes to ride in an elevator) when someone asks you why librarians are not an out of date commodity?” I have come up with many varied responses to this: essays, or entire books could be written I am sure. Trying to put it into less than a 5 minute speech could be difficult, but should be a requirement to graduate from the MLIS program.
We as librarians are endlessly defending our career choice, either defending it from google-maniacs, our family, friends, that stranger that approaches the reference desk and doesn’t know what your doing there, or thinks you are just there to direct him to the washroom. As this is the case we should be prepared to defend our profession and help others not only find information they need, but also help them understand the value of the library and information profession.
Below is my response to the original question: what is your Elevator Pitch (a pitch that is no longer than the average time it takes to ride in an elevator) when someone asks you why librarians are not an out of date commodity?
Librarians are more than purveyors of books, we are guardians of knowledge. Any person can go on Google and do a search you say? Well do a Google search and you will likely find 1,000’s of responses. A librarian is trained not only to search through Google and narrow down your search from 1000’s to roughly 100, we also have access to other databases and sites that are generally off limits to the average internet user. You may be able to search Google for what you are looking for, but it will take you hours. A librarian has the knowledge and tools to find the information faster and more efficient. We can also find you that new Stephen King novel…..it’s 3 shelves over 3rd book to the right.