On a + note


Public service is noble and important work. #10: 2013.

Posted in on a + note by flickfancy on March 11, 2013

kitty #10Over the weekend I was talking to a group of high school students  about public  libraries and becoming a librarian. I was surprised when one student asked me point blank… “So why are you a librarian? Public service is so undervalued today”

Really?

As I drove home, I was thinking about the state of pubic service and how it is still…yes still… a noble and important calling and why I am so proud to be a public servant. When I got home, I went straight to my computer, to do a bit of research, after all that is what we librarians do so very well!

Public service is a resource or service which is provided by government to the citizens living within its jurisdiction.  It is based on the belief that;

●certain services should be available to all, regardless of income or status
i.e. schools, hospitals, roads, citizenship and immigration…

●some services need to be centrally administered
i.e. environmental protection, fisheries, tourism, utilities, water, census…

●some services are needed to protect all citizens and be strongly regulated
i.e. police and fire services, boarder services, food inspection…

Public service is often characterized as:

● the most economical way to provide a service to all citizens
i.e. snow removal, passports, postal services,  waste and recycling

●often require high levels of training and education
i.e. libraries and museums, universities and colleges, social workers, legal aid, etc.

But what ties all public service workers together is the belief that serving the public is noble and important work. It is because of this philosophical foundation, that public service is viewed as essential to the well being of a democratic society. The vast majority of people in this line of work are proud of how they make a difference and find great personal satisfaction in serving their community.

Every day I see amazing library staff help customers access the information they need.  And every day,  I hear the satisfaction in their voices as they help make my community a better place to live.

Public service is indeed noble and important work!

Kitty Pope                                                                                    #10 March 2013

kpope@library.guelph.on.ca

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2 Responses to 'Public service is noble and important work. #10: 2013.'

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  1. Heather C. said,

    I think that sometimes public service is undervalued by the people on the receiving end. Along with basic customer service in many a retail setting, it is often taken for granted. People don’t even really notice it (in many cases they never bother with a thank you) until they no longer have it — then watch out!

    I do, however, agree that public (and customer) service is noble and important. As a Library Technician in training, currently working in retail, nothing gives me greater satisfaction than sending a customer out of my store knowing that I did my utmost to outfit him or her in exactly what (s)he was after — and I know I’ll feel the same way once I’m dispensing information instead of clothes.

  2. Karin Turkington said,

    I really value our local library and the staff who are incredibly helpful and pleasant to interact with. I must say, also, that I love the changes in decor that I have witnessed in the library over the past year or so. It’s a very inviting place.

    Karin Turkington


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