Saturday, November 03, 2007

Singapore Library Week: I don't Shhh! for a Living


Picture for Singapore Library Week 2007Ivan Chew
Manager
Adult & Young People Services
National Library Board



I don’t “Shhh!” for a living.

Although I wish I did.

That would be the easiest job in the world. Shushing people. Index finger to lips. Pucker and Shhh! Get paid. Easy-peasy.

But it's a good thing I don't.

IvanChew Link
[How I look in my SecondLife]

For one, wrinkles form more easily if one puckers the lips too much (guys are a little concerned about looks too!). Two, it'll be a boring and meaningless excuse for a job.

For me, librarianship (public librarianship, to be specific) is a calling. Not in the religious sense but closer to a philosophically of why we do what we do.

As a public librarian, you wear many hats:
  • Retail or Sales Executive (you help people with their "purchase", advising them on what "product" to buy or use)
  • Marketing Executive (you publicise the library's services and products)
  • Event Manager (you organise programmes and activities)
  • Trainer (you conduct workshops)
  • Talkshow host (you chair programmes and events; facilitate book discussions)
  • Administrative Executive (reports to write; you may have to manage budgets)
  • Inventory or Store Manager (you are part of the process in managing the library materials to be added or removed)
  • Security Officer (you look after the safety and well-being of those who use your premises)
  • Customer Relations Executive (you deal with customers, both the nice and not-so-nice ones)
  • Project Manager (you organise and lead projects; you most certainly work in teams)
  • Researcher (you answer reference enquiries and help customers search for information)
  • Writer (you write book reviews)
  • Coach (you might end up mentoring or leading staff)
  • Customer (you read; you have to; enough said).

Picture for Singapore Library Week 2007
[How I look in my "First Life"]

Picture for Singapore Library Week 2007
[Why I share: Because each time I teach, I also learn]

Picture for Singapore Library Week 2007
[I looked blur then. And still do now.]

See? I wish I'd only Shhhed people for a living.

With so many things to do, why did I stick with being a librarian for the last 11 years?

Because in simple terms, I think I'm contributing some good to society. It's a nice feeling.

Better than pursing one's lips.

7 comments:

  1. Any opening for me?

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  2. This post makes me want to mid career switch!

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  3. Applications are open at the NLB Careers page (go to www.nlb.gov.sg) :)

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  4. nice snapshot of a life spent doing important work, ivan. here's to the next 11 years!

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  5. hey ivan! you were too early! haha...
    the blog on the excursion is up! haha

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  6. No wonder our libraries so noisy :)

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  7. i love your second life self. isn't it fun to be someone you're not?!! i am just so hot in that incarnation ... but i guess not so much in ahem "meat-space"

    the world needs librarians!

    ReplyDelete

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