The Professional Programmer by Uncle Bob is chapter 67 in the book 97 things every programmer should know. I think this chapter has a lot to teach librarians, especially this paragraph:

If you are a professional, then you are responsible for your own career. You are responsible for reading and learning. You are responsible for staying up-to-date with the industry and the technology. Too many programmers feel that it is their employer’s job to train them. Sorry, this is just dead wrong. Do you think doctors behave that way? Do you think lawyers behave that way? No, they train themselves on their own time, and their own nickel. They spend much of their off-hours reading journals and decisions. They keep themselves up-to-date. And so must we. The relationship between you and your employer is spelled out nicely in your employment contract. In short: They promise to pay you, and you promise to do a good job.

Before you cry out that doctors, lawyers and even most computer programmers have way more money than us librarians, remember that we have access to many, many free-to-us but high quality resources. Think about the journals available through your library’s databases or through your statewide contract databases. Think about the training and keeping-up-to-date opportunities available through free quality webinars. Through professional mailing lists. Through TED Talks, Udacity, Code Academy, Academic Earth and so on. And I haven’t even mentioned books in your collection or through interlibrary loan. As a librarian you don’t have to spend money to keep up to date and learn new skills. But you do need to invest time.

The Professional Programmer – Programmer 97-things

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