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This article was originally published at http://theantiquarianlibrarian.blogspot.com/2012/03/for-librarians-librarianship-is-still.html.
While technology and gadgets seem to be overtaking much of library work, the love of words, the love of books is at the heart of librarianship for librarians around the world. The article "Internet is Discouraging Book Reading, Librarian Says" http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/internet-is-discouraging-book-reading-librarian-says tells the story of Abdul Razak Al Khumairi of the UAE and Arabian Gulf Library. The following quotes from the article demonstrates that for librarians everywhere it is still about the books.
"Oh, I know people think it is the most unprestigious job out there, but to me it is the most rewarding as books have been my teachers, my solace and friends in my darkest hours," he said.
"They have given me a second chance in life."
"Cataloguing, indexing and shelving is an art; it is not just a matter of putting a book on a shelf," he said.
"Unfortunately, the questions are often about internet access," he said, laughing. "The internet is a curse in many ways. It is killing our Arabic language and has made people too lazy to go check out a book for information."
"Parents need to come to the library with their kids. That will change everything," he said, fondly recalling a frequent childhood image of his mother with a book, sitting across the kitchen while the food was cooking.
"Early in the mornings, whenever the library was empty, I would sit with a pile of books and take my time reading through them until I became fluent," he recalled.
"By the turn of a page I would disappear into the world of words and imagination. I would become a poet, or a pirate, or even an old general.
"I can't imagine life without the touch and smell of a book."
Though separated by distance, language and culture librarians and all book lovers have so much in common.