Here I am in Ottawa, Ontario, considering my career options and finding myself quite interested in Librarianship. Having spent a good chunk of my young life in libraries, I know the value of a good reference librarian and think it might be nice to join their ranks.
But here's the thing. I'm not so much interested in libraries because I'm interested in books themselves, or creative ways to organize books, or nifty online gadgets for finding them, (though that's all interesting) my real interest is what the books contain, what they say, and what they mean to people.
I'm an historian by trade and by choice, having done my undergrad in history and having worked as a professional historical researcher doing the same since then. It's something I love, and it’s something I’d like to continue doing. At this point, however, pursuing a doctorate in history simply doesn’t make sense, and library work seems to me to be another very effective avenue to pursue my interest.
So tell me, can a fellow who is passionate about history (and the humanities more broadly) really dig into the content of the things he’s managing, or is being a librarian less about that and more about organization, circulation etc.?
Another way of asking is, what degree of specialization can be accomplished in library work? Is it possible to be an “historical librarian?”
Thanks for your thoughts,