Why I Love the Library Profession

I am a faculty member at the Library and Information Science department, but I also have been working independently as a volunteer librarian since my graduation in 1986. I love helping friends, neighbors, colleagues and students in their assignments, research papers and theses. I also enjoy teaching them to best utilize the library’s print and online resources.

Why do I love librarianship?

  • The library profession is rewarding. When I see users happy after solving their problems, I feel happy too. And if I later see them successful and prosperous, I feel proud, because I was one of the reasons for their success and prosperity.
  • I become more and more knowledgeable. There is an Arabic saying: “The more you give knowledge, the more you get.” Every time I help someone find information, I find some information that helps my teaching, research or personal life.
  • I am a lifelong educator. The librarian helps library users become independent learners. Information literacy programs help patrons solve their own information problems and teach them crucial survival skills for the Information Age.
  • The helpful librarian is a master. Another Arabic proverb states that “he who serves people is their master,” and librarians serve users all the time – helping them find what they are looking for, make right decisions depending on accurate and updated information, or even solve their problems through bibliotherapy. Through this service librarians exercise great influence in many areas of life.
  • I own keys to knowledge. Librarians know where and how to find information. Information reference skills are the keys to knowledge.
  • I work in an increasingly important profession. In the information age, knowledge is a crucial economic resource, and librarians are trained to best utilize this resource, making them economically beneficial. Concerning the replacement of librarians by technological devices; I think that, for many reasons, no machine can replace a skilled and evolving librarian! Elbert Hubbard, the late American writer and essayist, reflected this fact in a quote: “One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.”

I love my profession. Libraries and the people who work in them serve as candles that light the darkness of the world.

Amany Zakaria Al-Ramady, Ph.D., is a faculty member in the Library & Information Scence Department of Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt.