In the 13 years I have been working as a librarian, I have been very lucky to encounter individuals who are enthusiastic, energetic, and passionate about their job and libraries.
These librarians are from all aspects of librarianship: academic, state, special and public. Some are people whom I have studied with, worked with, or simply know through their blogs or tweets. Of these, quite a few of them tend to be public librarians.
Over the past few years, public libraries have become more proactive in marketing themselves to the public, in providing access to information and resources to those who are socially disadvantaged, and in delivering their services on a limited budget. This is supported by ALIA with a recent Public Libraries Summit; the State Library of Victoria also administers scholarships to public libraries such as the Barrett Reid Scholarship to allow library staff in public libraries to further their professional development.
In some ways, I am envious of the opportunities that seem to be available to public libraries and librarians. If staff wish to add a tweet or blog under the auspices of their library name/brand, they can without relative angst. Our library, on the other hand must seek approval from a departmental head. Much of the information we manage and deliver will never be made available to the general public.
Special libraries such as mine should look to see how public libraries operate and cooperate. I sometimes think that special library staff are so concerned and busy with serving their exclusive clientele, that they fail to see the bigger picture of being part of a greater whole. This whole is not only the organisation of which they are a part, but the body of librarianship.
Despite the opportunities that public libraries enjoy, I am happy to be where I am- for the moment 🙂