Monday, December 1, 2008

Librarianship in other countries

I often wonder how different my job would be if it were in a country other than the U.S. or Canada (I assume Canada is very similar). One day I would like to participate in a job swap or temporary job abroad. My French is decent, though I think academic librarianship requires an excellent understanding of the language and I don't have that. You would also have to understand the education system, or at least what type of research your patrons are doing. I never figured out French high schools when I lived there, and they didn't have to do any research at that level... the high school library consisted of two shelves of literary books. I am intimidated by my imaginary limitations, which make me stop looking for any opportunities before I even start.

I sometimes look at Andrew Eynon's Library Blog, which often specifically focuses on UK libraries. I can only imagine how frustrating it is to have the literature stuffed with stuff from the U.S. And as I often think the stuff in these UK library links don't pertain to me, I suppose most of the rest of the English-speaking library world must feel that so much of it doesn't pertain to them.

So I wonder how much of it is very different. Is public librarianship very different between here and, say, western Europe? Are the skills I learned in library school relevant anywhere else?

No comments: