Look It Up

I attended two library conferences this summer, ALA and SLA. (If you don’t know what those are, you will need to look it up.) I know what you’re thinking: Shhhhh. Since earning my degree in Library Science (paper will officially be in hand by December), I am surrounded by thousands of librarians. So I have become more familiar with the librarian stereotypes out there and librarian culture as well. We’re a smart bunch, but a bit insecure. Throughout my program, I have been trying to figure what “type” of librarian I will be (in addition to what type of library I would like to work in).

Do I let my hair go grey, get some reading glasses affixed to a chain, buy loads of cardigans, and become an Old Maid Librarian? I do already have two cats.

I could also get a mini skirt, high heels, and a too-tight blouse, and spend my afternoons crossing and uncrossing my legs like The Sexy Librarian.

Or, I could get a few book-related tattoos, ironic cat eye glasses, dye my hair green, tweet about storytime, and be The Hipster Librarian.  What’s that? I’m too old to be a hipster? Come on now, we are talking librarian, not book store/coffee house owner.

I say this all in fun, but librarians as a profession do seem to have a complex about the library persona. There was even a panel about it at ALA, where they argued the merits of What Not To Wear (the show) and what not to wear (for real).

I think it’s time for the intelligent women (and men) of the world to reclaim libraries as the place to go for information, research, and social outreach. I promise I won’t ‘Shhhh’ you!

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