Many professionals in all fields and occupations have followers. What are the followers? The followers are those people who “look for” you in a workplace, because you have “looked after” them. It’s not like a royalty with his/her subjects. It’s more like, “I trust you because you are there for me and do your best to help me”. Is this a good thing? Absolutely and for both sides! For the patrons/customers/users, the trusted employee is the person they feel comfortable with and expect to get the job done. For the employees, the more the followers, the more they feel confident; strengthen and better their position in the workplace; and create friendships and connections. As long as this doesn’t become a competition between the employees in a workplace it is normal, logical, healthy, and necessary.
No, I didn’t forget that this is a librarianship site. I had to look at the “followers” concept with a general approach, before I bring the librarians into the picture. Librarians belong to a category of professionals who may end up with a lot of followers. It is part of the profession and the librarian’s mentality and attitude to help, help, help. Librarians exhibit patience and sacrifice while trying to assist users with their requests, some of which may be extremely unusual (to point out as an understatement), or teach users how to use the library catalog, technology, and even special topics. I think they deserve, not only a “thank you”, but a “you helped me a few days ago on this issue and I was wondering whether you could help me again”. This happens; the users remember us because we make sure with our actions that they will. This process of helping and creating followers happens without any of the two sides realizing it. For us, the librarians, it is what we do. For them, the users, it is an innate cognitive tendency to trust whoever and whatever came through for them. Librarians have been on both sides of the fence and understand very well this implicit relationship.