I'm taking a readers' advisory class this semester, though, and our first lecture of the semester opened with a rather prescient statement: library schools don't provide their students with sufficient background in books. I guess this statement refers more to librarians who end up in public libraries, where a good amount of time on the reference desk--usually a shared responsibility--is spent in a readers' advisory interview. You know, when a person comes up to the desk and asks for a suggestion of what to read next? True, you don't need to love reading to know how to adeptly answer such questions; all you really need is a firm grasp of the readers' advisory resources. But I would venture to guess that a librarian who loves and thus knows about books will be able to negotiate this service so much better. It would seem to be very relevant for a librarian to love books.
So I've been thinking about this discrepancy, about the tension between "loving books isn't enough" and "you don't know enough about books." I do love books; I don't think that will come as a surprise to anyone. But that's not the only reason I want to be a librarian. In fact, it's not even the main reason. My loving books does seem like it'll lend me a slight advantage as a librarian, though.
Maybe what library schools need to do is encourage love of books along with the whole host of other necessary librarian skills they promote. It wouldn't be so difficult to shift that tone from "loving books won't help you" to "loving books, plus these other skills, will help you help patrons." That's what it's all about in the end, right?