I don't know if I've ever mentioned this, but there was a time when I entertained the idea of getting a MLS with an eye toward becoming a children's librarian, even going so far as getting all the literature from various programs and talking with some department heads on the phone.
But then I realized that (a) another masters program would probably kill us financially, and (b) I've grown accustomed to earning more than $20K a year. And so filthy lucre grinds the face of yet another noble plan into the dirt.
When I originally hatched this plan, my visions of a librarian career were misty and sentimental. I pictured myself conducting story times with babies and new mothers. I imagined myself introducing wide-eyed innocents to beautiful classics and seeing their little faces light up with wonder. I saw myself guiding cynical, book-phobic pre-teens unerringly toward the one perfect book that would open up the world of reading to them.
All you librarians out there can stop snickering at me. I can hear you!
From time to time, I have to confess to feeling a small, selfish surge of relief over not following this path, such as when I read articles about the supposedly decreasing interest in reading and idiotic high-school administrators who shut down library book displays and attempted book bannings. I'm just a bit too fragile (read: cranky) to deal with this kind of stuff on a regular basis. And then when God or nature or random fate or whatever force you subscribe to decides to take out a bunch of libraries? Well, that's just adding grievous insult to injury.
So tell me, librarians and other folks who act as literary stewards and facilitators between books and the public... are libraries as beleaguered as they seem? In the battle between good and stupid, is the library at the front lines of literacy? Should we give you guns, or at least some knuckle-rappingly hard rulers? What about your job makes you most nutty? What makes it all worthwhile? It can't just be the fact that you're lusted after by a certain type of gentleman (and some ladies) with a penchant for cardigans and cool specs, can it?