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As I change career paths in my 50s, many of my friends and relatives have said, "Of course, that makes sense; you're a book lover." They are right. However, they are also wrong. That's not why I want to be a librarian. If that was the only motivator, I would retire in ten years and just read books. I want to be a librarian so that I can serve my community.

A library is currently being built in my community, which will be in the center of the community. The community's Facebook page is filled with comments from people who don't want the library, who have vowed never to use the library, and who say the library is a waste of money. I view this as a challenge that is related to my philosophy of librarianship as a service industry.

Cabello & Butler (2017) describe libraries as “third places” – places that are not one’s own home or place of worship. They claim that these "third places" serve community needs that cannot be met elsewhere. Library services assist communities with health and housing issues, literacy issues, and employment opportunities (Cabello & Butler, 2017). Librarians fill in the gaps that would not otherwise be filled in a community, either directly or indirectly by providing awareness of other services.

My philosophy of librarianship is influenced by several core values of the American Library Association, including public good, service, and social responsibility (ALA, 2019). By offering a diverse collection, educational and entertaining programming, and providing a welcoming space for all - these core values reflect what libraries can do today to serve their communities. According to Gorman (1995), service is defined as “individual acts of help and furtherance of the higher aspirations of humankind’ (p. 784). In addition, he writes “service in librarianship implies an attention to quality, a desire to live up to and to surpass the expectations of library users (p. 784). That idea of surpassing their expectations, even those nay-sayers on Facebook, is a challenge I know I have ahead of me, and I am ready to take it on.

As a librarian, my philosophy is based on collaborative community service by determining what resources are needed and creating programming and services that meet those needs. Educating community members about the services and resources available from a library and creating a more equitable access to those services and resources are also important pieces of my philosophy of librarianship. 


American Library Association. (2019, January). Core values of librarianship. American Library Association.

Cabello, M., & Butler, S. M. (2017, March 30). How public libraries help build healthy communities. Brookings.

Gorman, M. (1995). Five new laws of librarianship. American Libraries, 26(8), 784.

Tippett, A. (2023, April 16). Twin Beaches Library in North Beach, Maryland, under construction. [Photo].

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