Today, my boss showed me this video entitled “Why You Shouldn’t Become an Archivist.” It was actually created by a librarian and an archivist. The video is quite humorous, especially since it exposes some of the painful truths behind entering the archival profession. I guess it is one of those things where the situations can seem so bad that they become ridiculous and laughable. The video obviously purposely exaggerates (I know of no archival graduates who are living in their cars and there certainly are windows in the building I work in) but the basis for the video is quite factual. I think the most fascinating thing about the video is that it takes all of the comments which people use to respond to “I’m an archivist” and forces the archivists who watch to make sure they are not making a naive decision about their future. Choosing to be an archivist, like all other professions, is something that needs to be taken seriously. The position comes with a lot of weight and responsibility and some people really are better off watching the History Channel. I love what I do and I really do not mind the dust and dirt and occasional bugs I might encounter when I am working out of a donor’s home or business, but it understandably would bother other people. The other archivists I have worked with and encountered so far have all been passionate and invested in what they do and conscious of the value of their work. I think this attitude is vital to continuing our work. We definitely don’t get a degree in archival science for the money. Overall, the video seems slightly depressing, but if you think of your own chosen career, plan of study, or even hobbies, I think you will realize that there will always be someone out there who will not understand and possibly will criticize your choices. Sometimes I wonder what the world would be like if everyone was able to do what they were passionate about.
Anyway, enough philosophical talk. Watch and enjoy!
Why You Shouldn’t Become an Archivist, from Derangement and Description by Rebecca Goldman