What “The Crocodile Hunter” and Librarianship Have in Common

The unexpected death of “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin last week from a stingray barb to the heart shocked me.  I first started watching his shows on Animal Planet while I was in high school, and even though part of me thought he was out of his mind on occasion (like when he handled things such as the most venomous snake in the entire world), it was totally obvious how passionate he was about what he was doing.  He loved animals and conservation, and it was definitely one of the main joys of his life besides his family.  I’ve found myself thinking about that passion and commitment he had, and I realized that the same kind of strong feelings can be found in librarians!  No matter what the setting, I continue to see librarians who truly love their jobs, because to them being a librarian is more than just a career – it is a calling.  Being able to provide someone with the knowledge that they need is highly rewarding, and can make a difference.  The effect doesn’t have to be world-shaking every single time – sometimes it’s as simple as telling a patron where the Supreme Court Reports are located.  But when they come back and say “Thank you so much for your help – I really appreciate it,” that can be enough to keep you going for the rest of the day.

Like Steve, I love what I do.  I hope I’m lucky enough to keep that love going for the rest of my life.

Thanks, Steve.  Rest in peace, and my prayers are with your family.

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