Now almost  year out of grad school, I ponder what type of information I need to know to be a good librarian. After reading countless posts in blogs and forums, it seems every person has a different opinion. Some say we should be up to date on the latest technology, other say (if academic) must specialize in a specific area such as history, science or business, yet others say we should think about interactions with patrons, and other say we should keep up with literature. This got me thinking what do we really have to know. Other professions are different, if you are a teacher you have a subject. If you are a doctor then it is medical type knowledge you must know, a trucker mainly knows the rules of the road, a construction worker must know how to make things.  However our business is information which can be the most challenging because it is so ever changing. Don’t get me wrong I love what I do and one of the perks of the job is that it is never the same. (I’m one of those geeks who does the search over after I have helped a patron to see how I could have done it better.)There are some days when I have felt like I have just run a marathon in my mind. Some examples of what I have needed to know so far:

–When a member (Bradley Nowell) of the band Sublime died and how to find articles about him?

–What is the DOW?

–The science of cosmetics

–What happens when arbitration breaks down?

–Which tax forms are best for college students?

–What is the new tax legislation?

–How much are students getting back with economic stimulus plan? Sorry kids, if you are a dependant than nothing

–Who wrote P.S. I love You?

–When do ILLs come in?

–What is wrong with OCLC?

–Who is Jasper Johns?

–How to make a staff wiki?

–How do I fix the pesky printer?

–Recite something by Walt Whitman for me (this one came from a parish priest who was extremely disappointed when I could not 😦

I’m sure my colleagues in the academic and  public libraries could come up with many more things to know too!

On top of all that looking at the research and trying to find ways to serve our main priority, the patrons better. Some days I want to put my head down and take a nap. Part of this I am sure is because I do about 10 hours per day at the reference desk. (I work 2 jobs) The thing that has kept me sane is that I make a ton of lists and take things one thing at a time. (or try to anyway)