“Librarianship is the ultimate service profession,” and we need to all be mindful of that (Stephens, 2014).  Some time ago, a person said to me that as a librarian you never get a second chance if you upset someone. With a classroom, the student will be back the next day. In the library, if someone leaves mad, they just leave and they may never come back. You must always strive to put your best foot forward. While sometimes this can be difficult (we’ve all had our challenges), try to keep in mind that this may be your last chance otherwise.

Katie Clausen (2012) wrote about the importance of professionalism in speech, attitude, dress, character, and online. This is especially true if you live in the community where you work. Although I live in a suburb of Los Angeles (an enormous city), I live just five miles from my school. This means I inevitably run into students and their families at Costco, the mall, the YMCA, etc. Frequently I recognize them, but often I get a shy “aren’t you the librarian at …” question at the end of a transaction or passing each other in an aisle. You never know where you will see someone, so it’s important to always look and act in a professional manner.



Clausen, K. (2012, October 19). The importance of professionalism [Blog post]. Retrieved from

The Importance of Professionalism

[Professionalism]. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.peterstark.com/quotes/professionalism-workplace/

Stephens, M. (2014, January 13). Reflective practice [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2014/01/opinion/michael-stephens/reflective-practice-office-hours/

~ by on May 12, 2017.

3 Responses to “Mindfulness”

  1. Lori- you make a good points in this post about people who live and work in the same community. I work at a law school where there is a small downtown area near where I frequently run in to students at restaurants and shops. Lately, I’ve been seeing them at the gym and, although I’m usually tired and exhausted from working out, I make sure to smile and acknowledge them. Sometimes it’s hard to be “on” all the time, but keeping in mind that asking questions can often be daunting, we need to keep ourselves approachable for our patrons.

  2. @Lori, agree on all counts. I’m also in the LA area and I occasionally run into people I’ve assisted at the library, almost always in the most unexpected places. As an extreme example, I once ran into a coworker at the airport in Oslo, Norway.

    I think it’s nice (but a little jarring) to run into people you encounter at work in a non-work setting. It humanizes both parties and while I agree that you obviously have to remain polite in those circumstances, it’s okay to embrace the scenario. Let them know you sweat, shop, go wine tasting, whatever. It’s one more connection we can make.

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