I’m a big fan of the Food Network. One of my favorite shows on that channel is “Food Network Star.” They take chefs – both professional and amateur – and put them through all kinds of challenges, and the last chef standing at the end of the season gets their own show on Food Network. Point of view is one of the biggest parts of becoming the next Food Network Star. The contestants need to have a food point of view (Vegetarian? Seafood? Healthy cooking?), and they also need to be able to articulate that point of view.
Librarians, too, should have a point of view that we can articulate clearly. For example, youth librarians with a particular interest in early literacy should be able to talk succinctly about teaching children to read, cite statistics on literacy rates, and provide literacy programming ideas. Business librarians should be able to use a variety of sources for business research, demonstrate business databases, and interpret business data and reports.
As a public librarian, I am very much a generalist. I do a little collection management, a little reference and reader’s advisory, a little programming, etc. My POV is more “big picture” and centered on customer service. Basically, my point of view is that every interaction is an opportunity to deliver a positive patron experience. In collection management, this means honoring requests whenever possible. In reference and reader’s advisory, this means following through with a solid answer or suggestion. In programming, this means informing or entertaining the participants. As a manager, it means being as flexible as possible to create a drama-free, stress-free, creative environment for my co-workers.
What’s your point of view? How do you articulate it?