As a librarian I have become used to having to prove that I do more than stamp books and fine people but it continues to amaze me the ease with which people dismiss our qualifications. For example recently at work they put up photos of all the staff up. The academic staff all had their qualifications after their name. None of the support staff did and the person responsible dismissed our complaint as being “not really an issue”. This did not help. Now, I realise a lot of roles don’t necessarily need qualifications but I do, as do my library colleagues. Our feeling was that by differentiating between us and the academic staff it dismissed us and our professionalism.
This was just one example of where we feel under-valued and we may have reacted more strongly to this because of a general feeling of being under-valued but what did they think we studied for? I think they think we just tidy the shelves all day. It must be noted the academic staff found this omission as odd as we did. I couldn’t help but wonder if this was because like us they had also had to make conscious decisions to study and train for their chosen profession so they understood. They respect us, value our professionalism and think of us as their equal.