Knowing What Kind of Chemist (or librarian) You're NOT

I took my first look at the preliminary ALA summer conference schedule this week, and immediately got overwhelmed--not only at the sheer volume of sessions and presentations, but at how much of it I just didn't care about.

Panicked, I rushed to the office of my nearest empathetic librarian, and fretted about how maybe I don't want to be a librarian after all. I mean, of course, library stuff is wonderful, and I am--more or less--enjoying school, but it hasn't yet been able to get me excited the way theology does. I don't gobble up readings the same way I did in undergrad. What if I've made a huge mistake???

As she so often does, the wise woman talked me down, saying, "It's not that you don't want to be a librarian. It's that you don't want to be that kind of librarian. And that's OK. Not every chemist is a biochemist."

She's right (of course). I am not fit for public librarianship. And heaven help any child or teen who wants to "book talk" with me. And that's OK. I don't have to terrorize children or teach immigrants how to find a job. I can focus on what I'm interested in and play to my strengths--which are unequivocally situated in academia.

Though certainly not in chemistry.

And I'm sure there will be plenty of conference sessions in which I will be interested.