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Discussion Starter #1
Any INTP librarians here?

I am thinking of becoming a librarian, some sites say it would be a great career for an INTP, others say it would be bad, boring, etc.

Can you share your experience as a librarian? what do you like about the job? what do you hate? do you think it is a suitable career for an INTP?

Thanks for the help!
 

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I am not a librarian, but I used to edit the writings of library science students and professors, so I guess I have some insights.

I don't see why it would be boring. A librarian isn't putting books on shelves; that's what library technicians do. A librarian manages a library or a department. Some decisions are routine, and others require creativity or research. The environment is fairly peaceful. You have a wide range of employers to choose from--not just public libraries; some examples are corporate, university, legal, and medical libraries. You might be planning children's programs, or designing information systems, or restoring archival materials, depending on the employer and your specialty.

In other words, it seems like a field that offers a variety of opportunities, and something I wouldn't have minded doing. However, if you're ambitious with regard to money, it might not be for you; it's one of the lowest paying professional careers.
 

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i knew a librarian 15 years ago. It sounded like it was an OK gig, but it also sounded like the opportinuties were dwindling even back then, with electric readers and online research. Not sure what the future is for libraries another 15 years from now will be.
 

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Yes, a lot of it now is "information science," which is more about computers.
 

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I am currently looking for a job, and becoming a librarian is one of my favourite possibilities. It is a kind of 'boring' that would suit me, and includes many aspects that I indulge me: literature, serenity, people, ...

It is true that there isn't much availability in terms of vacancies, but that is simply the tendency for any occupation in the socio-cultural sector. So, it is not so much because books, or reading, is losing popularity; this problem libraries have covered. As mentioned already, librarians aren't your classic librarians anymore. Libraries change: they are all about digitalization, innovation, and manifest as a the social- and cultural heart of cities and towns nowadays. This is a pity in many ways, the first two factors especially, but it also keeps libraries useful - and thus alive for people to work and visit.

But like I said, the seats are agonizingly restricted. An attractive alternative however are educational insitutions (schools, colleges universities), or perhaps the odd public institution (galleries, hotels, ...).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
what about museum studies or archivology?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Are there any other information careers that would be interesting for an INTP?
 

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I tried to date a librarian but I couldn't book a date. I met her after checking her out in the library. She was tall, lean, but I couldn't judge a book by its cover. When I walked over, her face said a thousand words. She asked me if I wanted a certain text, but I couldn't remember the title. When I finally got the nerve to ask her out, she shushed me.
 

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I tried to date a librarian but I couldn't book a date. I met her after checking her out in the library. She was tall, lean, but I couldn't judge a book by its cover. When I walked over, her face said a thousand words. She asked me if I wanted a certain text, but I couldn't remember the title. When I finally got the nerve to ask her out, she shushed me.
So you had to shelve that plan, huh? Was she stacked?
 

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INTP librarian here. I retired last year after forty years in the profession. Twenty-eight of those years were spent in public libraries, so I'll focus on those. Academic libraries, where I worked for twelve years, are generally similar, but have some differences.

Whether you will enjoy being a librarian may depend on what specialty within the field you decide to pursue. Do you want to be a public service librarian, spending your days helping people find the book/movie/piece of information they are looking for, teaching people how to use the services the library offers (databases, the catalogue, interlibrary loan, the copy machine, the printer, the internet)? If so, would you rather work with adults (Adult Services librarian) or children (Children's Services librarian)? If Public Services sounds interesting, are you also willing to do the less pleasant parts of the job, such as working evenings and weekends, enforcing library rules, settling disputes between library users, and sometimes acting as a de facto social worker? If Children's Services sounds appealing, are you interested in working collaboratively with schools, day care centers, and similar organizations to help children learn?

If none of the above appeal to you, you might be more interested in what is often called Support Services. Librarians in Support Services may work in IT, generally in areas such as setting up and managing library networks or management of the integrated library system (ILS). An ILS is the computer system that tracks library processes, such as materials checked in and out, the catalogue, what materials the library has ordered, what issues of magazines have arrived, who has a library card, and so on. Other Support Services librarians work in Technical Services, where library materials are ordered, received, catalogued, and, if necessary, physically prepared to be checked out. Most Technical Services librarians work in Cataloguing. where they work to ensure that data in the catalogue is up-to-date, accurate and consistent. If you like creating order out of chaos, Cataloguing may be your choice.

There are other specialties as well. Collection Development librarians are responsible for ensuring that the materials the library offers meet the needs and demands of the library's users, whether those users are the general public or academic students and faculty. Web librarians maintain the library's website and social media accounts. Library directors oversee the library and navigate the library through the political environment.

In my experience, INTPs tend to gravitate to Support Services, partly because there they will interact with fewer people--a few dozen staff and vendors rather than the hundreds of people that Public Services staff interact with--and partly because, once you've learned how to do your job, which may take 2-5 years, you're pretty much problem-solving in an arena where coming up with multiple possible solutions and using knowledge and logic to select the most appropriate solution is king. However, I've seen INTPs succeed in other areas; your interest in an particular area is paramount.



Regarding boredom, librarians, like most folks, do pretty much the same thing from one day or week to the next. If you eventually move up to library middle or upper management, there will be more variety in your work, but of course more challenges as well. The trick with managing boredom is not to stand still. Pursue continuing education within your chosen field, or even in other areas of library science. When I went to a library conference, I made it a rule to always attend at least one session outside my specific area. Some of those sessions put me to sleep, but some energized me to think about approaching my work in a different way. Opportunities for continuing education online abound. If you're OK with the idea of supervising others, apply for promotion to a higher position, either at your library or another library. Always look to the future. What's coming down the pike in the library world, and can you use that information in your work to make the library better? Keep your brain busy learning and thinking about what you do and how it could be done differently/better. See a problem? Do some research and think of ways to fix it. If you do all this, as well as enjoy what you do, you won't have much opportunity to be bored.

What did I love? Most of all, I loved to solve problems. I started my career as a cataloguer, and ended it as head of Technical Services, though I spent about ten percent of my time in Adult Services along the way. A lot of the problems i solved involved figuring out how to accommodate requests from the Public Services librarians to be able to search the catalogue for certain information. For example, how can I find picture books about bears, or dragons, or the alphabet, or any other topic? How can I find musical recordings in Russian, or Hindi, or Wolof, or any other language? Or later in my career, when I started working more with other parts of the ILS, how can we set up these particular items (specifically, laptop computers, or knitting needles) in the ILS so they can be checked out and returned only at this one library branch and not any of the others? Other problems were broader in scope. What changes can I make to move books through the Cataloguing process more quickly? How can I either eliminate or work around a bottleneck that is stopping me from implementing a process that will lead to better quality data in the catalogue?

The most frustrating thing for me was communicating with my extroverted colleagues from Public Services. To be fair, they were likely just as frustrated trying to talk to me. It was much easier for me to communicate with Public Services librarians who were, like me, introverts. However, that problem would have been a problem in any profession I went into, not just librarianship. What I disliked the most was working Public Services: 1) too many people; 2) the hours and minutes just crawled by; and 3) while many librarians find that being behind a desk or counter is a bit of a shelter from the public, I always felt like I was on display, which made me uncomfortable.

All in all, though, I had a great career doing something I enjoyed and cared about. I would recommend it.










Depending on the size of the library, you might do just one of all the above jobs, several of them, or all of them.
 
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