Tuesday, November 17, 2020 Charleston County Library

CHARLESTON, S.C. - If you've walked into any Charleston County Public Library branches, it's likely you've talked to a librarian. But what exactly is a librarian? 

To be classified as a librarian, you must have a Master's degree in Library Science. 

According to Southwest District Associate Director Pamela Sweezy, this is the science of research. "When I decided I want to be a librarian, people were so shocked that I had to go to school for that and get a Master's degree in that specifically," she said.

The goal of a librarian is to find information. 

"To me, a librarian is someone who helps each individual who comes into the library or contacts the library with getting whatever it is that they need. We want to get the information and correct information to people. There's so much wrong information out there, especially with the internet. We want people to make sense of what might be truth and what isn't," Sweezy said. 

When you hear the word "librarian" what image comes to mind? There are many librarian stereotypes, so we asked Pamela about some of those assumptions. 

Q: Do Librarians spend all day reading?

A: No, I've never been able to sit and read since I started. 

Q: Do Librarians spend a lot of time shushing?

A: Libraries now are more vibrant and fun and we want kids and everyone, really, to come in and enjoy the space. So libraries are not the quiet spaces that they used to be.

Q: Have you ever shushed anybody? 

A: I have not shushed anyone, but I've been shushed a couple of times myself as a librarian. 

Q: Is the librarian uniform a cardigan and glasses?

A: Okay, there may be some truth to the cardigan because libraries tend to be cold and we like to wear layers just in case. But it's a choice, it's not a requirement. 

Q: And most importantly, do all librarians look the same?

A: No. They may be hiring more men, or people with visible tattoos, or purple hair, or whatever because we want everyone to feel welcome and whenever someone walks into the library we want them to see somebody they may be able to connect to and identify with. 

To learn more about what librarians do or how to become a librarian, just stop by any Charleston County Public Library branch and ask!