A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

Toiling in Obscurity

by on March 27, 2017

The phrase “toiling in obscurity” is an interesting adage used by authors and writers. It is probably in the minds of many librarians—that they are engaged but obscured. Whether you are a new librarian or have been in the system for years and years, preparing books for the public in the back rooms or even at the top as directors and department heads, I suspect every one of you have had days of wondering, “Is this all there is?”

When we think of libraries, we often think of a space where we work. Our work tends to get specialized over time as we gain experience and often get into areas which may seem to be dead ends. Yet without that part of the process, the book or information doesn’t get to the patron who will need it. Like a well ordered machine, libraries are there to provide information in many different forms, used for different reasons to the end customer.

Whether you are a page, delivery person, mail room clerk, cataloger, supervisor, bibliographer, reference librarian, circulation clerk, or director, it takes everyone to deliver the content to those who will want and need it. People with different skills and talent gets things from one place to another with alacrity— we must re-energize ourselves to build up well-ordered organizations.

Other resources on resiliency:

The Resilient Librarian

Personal Resilience as a Strategy for Surviving and Thriving in the Face of Workplace Adversity

The Eleven Skills and Attitudes That Can Increase Resilience