I have been a library user for the majority of my life. I was taken there as a young child by my parents for story time, I studied there throughout high school and college, and I’ve use their quiet corners to hide from the world when I needed to clear my head. I’ve always appreciated what librarians, those “keepers of the knowledge,” have provided, but it wasn’t until my four years here at OverDrive that I’ve truly come to respect everything they do.
It’s no secret that librarians are essential to OverDrive. You’re the reason we exist. On a daily basis the members of Team OverDrive (many of whom come from library backgrounds) work with thousands of librarians from public, school, academic and corporate libraries. We partner together to create new collections for patrons, add new features to websites and come up with ways to bring new users to these vital community centers. These collaborations continue to result in thousands of new patrons discovering the library every single day. But it’s not why we love librarians.
We love librarians for their passion. When someone chooses to become a librarian, it’s not simply a job. It’s more than just a career. Becoming a librarian means a life of advocacy, teaching, raising awareness and scratching, fighting and clawing to continue to show how vital these gateways of knowledge are. It feels like not a week goes by without some website writing about the “death of the library,” but that couldn’t be more wrong. The innovation, determination and fire that come from the librarians who fight every day for their cause is proof that libraries are not going anywhere.
This past weekend at American Library Association’s annual conference in Las Vegas, I was reminded once again of how amazing librarians truly are. They are smart, adaptable, and intelligent, constantly challenging us to improve our service and our mission. Librarians are demanding – and for good reason. They help bring entire communities the ability to discover new worlds. Like the Lorax and the trees, librarians speak for the reader both young and old. They aren’t simply passionate because they love what they do; they’re passionate because they realize how vital their presence is to the world.
The library is more than just a place to get books, be they physical or digital. The library is a place to collaborate, innovate and learn. It’s where you can research a paper, get help with your resume, work on a business proposal, get fresh food from a summer farmers’ market, and teach a young child a lifetime love of reading. Neil Gaiman once famously said, “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.” Librarians are more than just people with answers to your questions, though. They’re the ones fighting to make sure you always have a place to find those answers. They’re the ones helping you discover your next great read. They’re providing a safe environment for children and adults alike. They’re the heart of the community and they are constantly striving to make sure that heart keeps beating. Being a librarian is more than just a job; it’s a lifetime commitment to knowledge and innovation. It’s a culture and a passion that are interwoven with civic growth. It’s a movement forever worth fighting for. That is why we love librarians.
Adam Sockel is a Marketing Communication Specialist with OverDrive. He is jealous of the amount of energy every librarians seems to have.