09 July 2007

Sassy, smart, maybe even sexy. What do you mean you're a librarian?

Yes, I too am going to throw in my two cents about the New York Times article on librarians. To start off, it is currently holding the most e-mailed article from the Times. Perhaps that explains why I had a total of 12 emails and 4 phone calls alerting me to its presence. Or perhaps that just shows us that while it is no surprise to the library community that we are "hip", techie, sexy, cool (is that the name of an album?), it clearly is a surprise to everyone else. And hey, if you don't have the Sheck or someone like her in your local library, it's no wonder that this might come as a surprise to you. If I had a dollar for every time I hear "you don't look/act/seem like a librarian"...I'd have a library of my own!

All in all, I think it's a great article for us. Yeah, I hated reading "The myth prevails that librarians are becoming obsolete." It seems clearly oxymoronic in an article that touts rising LIS program enrollment and tries to elucidate on how librarians do a lot more than read books and put them on shelves (oh, wouldn't that be nice).

Many other bloggers had far more difficulty swallowing the public's perception of our work. To me, it just shows, yet again, how library friendly the New York Times really is. At least in the Sunday edition. Over the last few months that we have taken advantage of a sweet deal for getting the Times on Sundays, I've been amazed by how many articles show librarians and libraries in a positive light.

But I also am reminded of picking out my new specs this weekend. Jon and I went to the hip glasses shop in town and I walked around trying to find something that could accomodate my near blindness so on occasion I could not wear contacts. And as I moved from pair to pair, the shopkeeper remarked that one of them seemed funky librarian. Indeed they were, and they are also mine strarting tomorrow. But funny isn't it that there needs to be the adjective "funky" in front? Aren't all librarians (distributors of free information, protectors of privacy and our rights to information, knowers of the next good thing to read) funky? Bun or not?

1 comment:

Greg Schwartz said...

I've gone back and forth on this, but my feeling at present is that the amount of blogosphere response just reinforces that we're largely a bunch of tightly-wound neurotics and perhaps not very hip at all. Hell, if we can't just laugh and shrug off an article like this, how hip are we?

We'll be talking about it on the show this week: http://uncontrolledvocabulary.blogspot.com