Is pro bono librarianship a thing?

Post date: 2021-10-20 12:52:17
Views: 10
I'm a former librarian, and I miss doing reference work. Brainstorming ideas about how I might be able to draw on these skills and put a bit of good into my community as a volunteer?

I used to work in libraries. I loved the work, but I've since moved on to another career for some of the usual reasons: burnout, low pay, few job opportunities, etc. While the career change was the right choice for me and I'm not looking to return, I find there are some parts I really miss, particularly answering reference questions. Perhaps there is a way I could do connect to this type of work as a volunteer?

So, my questions for library/library-adjacent folks: Have you volunteered for a nonprofit in a way that uses reference/information searching skills? What did you do and how did you get connected with the work? I also would never want to replace a paid professional's work—is there anything I should think about to make sure my volunteering couldn't someday be used to justify not paying someone appropriately (e.g., "why can't we just get more volunteers to do this instead of hiring someone")?

I know Wikipedia is an obvious answer for this. I've dipped my toes in a bit and am familiar with 1Lib1Ref and Citation Hunter, but I've always found Wikipedia editing...overwhelming. If Wikipedia is your recommendation, I'd be interested in any tips to help find a niche!
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