Dream Job: NPR Librarian

22 Sep

As we learned earlier this week, I’m an NPR nut. When ALA sent me (and, you know, probably some other people) a link to their piece on the library at NPR HQ, I was rapt. Here’s the full post.

As someone who’s still trying to figure out what kind of library I’m interested in, I love the wildly varied topics on call at the NPR reference desk:

“‘Remind me how to pronounce Eyjafjallajökull?” “What music should I play for a piece about polar bears?” “David Hasselhoff—singing at the fall of the Berlin Wall. Can you find tape?’” – Brian Matthews, Next Steps

What would you play for a piece about polar bears? No matter what’s chosen, these librarians aren’t the shushing kind. Many of them are “embedded” with production staff:

The librarians constantly monitor hot topics and breaking news. Several have their desks located in newsrooms throughout the building, placing them in the middle of all the action.

I dig that “in the trenches” mentality. Other librarians collaborate on NPR’s extensive online presence, physical – for now – and digital archives, and content management systems. For two fields (radio broadcasting and librarianship) that have a rap as clinging to “outdated” mediums, the NPR crew has done an incredible job appropriating technology to stay relevant. Wherever I end up after school, I hope it’s somewhere as forward-thinking as NPR. Or actually NPR?!?

End gush.


One Response to “Dream Job: NPR Librarian”

  1. archive34 September 23, 2011 at 12:37 am #

    I was talking to my boss, who worked at the State Journal for a while, about what it would take to become an NPR librarian. (and I did NOT see that article yet, so thanks so much for posting it!) He said the absolute biggest thing is an extensive background in reference. They’re like, the pros. Super pros.

    I recently sent in a volunteer application to work with WPR … I really hope they call me back to do something. I’d love to get some experience there. I think one of my dream jobs is being the archivist for the shows.

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