The People Business

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I’ve been running the near daily #andypoll on Twitter for a couple of months now. Sometimes the questions are goofy, sometimes they are serious, and most of the time they are just random questions that pop into my head. The question I asked today elicited all sorts of answers.

You should add your own answer below.

For this particular poll, I got a ton of answers. So many, in fact, that rather than highlight a few, I compiled them into a giant picture file.

Click to embiggen

They certainly represent a broad spectrum of views and beliefs as to what makes a librarian a librarian. If I was to generalize them, they hover around customer service skills (e.g. empathy, patience, kindness, and a love of people, to name a few).

But I was curious as to what non-librarians thought would be a quality that they would look for in librarians. So I (and a few other people) asked around. Again, I compiled it into a graphic (albeit a smaller one).

Click to embiggenWhile this does not meet any sort of scientific credibility at a glance, I thought even in the few answers collected that they lined up some of the answers given by my fellow professionals on Twitter. Moreover, it was a confirmation of the personal aspect of the service; that attitude and approachability have a higher importance to non-librarian library users than other proficiencies and knowledges.

While this isn’t a Will Manley poll, it certainly something to get conversations started. What do you think is the #1 quality a librarian or library staff member should have?