Well, I’m not one yet, so that label doesn’t quite apply… however, I know that in a few years when I actually am a librarian, I’ll probably look quite similar to how I look right this minute. (Always excepting my hair color and style, for they are perpetually changing).
The other day, I was having a “conversation” with a classmate about all sorts of stuff. The conversation turned, as it naturally does at the end of the semester, to future educational/professional pursuits. I explained that I would be pursuing my MLIS at Simmons in January. After explaining the acronym (Master of Library and Information Science) he said, “Librarians have to have a masters degree?” After assuring him that to be called a librarian one must have a degree in Library Science [at least that's my understanding of it, technically speaking], he then went on to comment, “You don’t look like a librarian.”
First of all, what exactly does that mean? How should a librarian look, anyway? I mean, I know the stereotype, but really, how many librarians actually look like that. I’ve met maybe one or two my entire life, and I’ve spent a great many hours in libraries. A year or so ago I mentioned to a friend of mine that I was thinking about a career as a librarian… his comment? “You’re too loud to be a librarian. Don’t you think you’ll go crazy having to be so quiet eight hours each day?” Now in a small library, like the one at my high school, sure you had to be quiet… it was one big room, and the sound travelled so well that if you didn’t want to disturb the kid doing his science research on the other side of the room, you couldn’t even cough. At my uni library, the folks at the Circ desk are fun and jovial and, yes, even loud at times. The first floor is for students doing group projects, so there’s more of a classroom atmosphere. Now, on the fourth and fifth floors, I have been known (while I was studying for my own courses) to walk over to a table of loud college men (yes, most often I’ve had to do this with the men), take down the “quiet study area” signs and place them on their work desks… directly in front of them. And let me tell you, I’ve gotten some interesting remarks and threats from these men.
So that’s really the only time I’ve ever found myself fulfilling even one part of the stereotypical librarian image (“shhhh! This is a library!”)
Apparantly, goofy, twenty-five year olds, with pink and brown hair can’t be librarians.
At least I’ve got the glasses.
[while looking for scrapbooking stuff on the internet, I came across this paper]
Replies: 2 comments… woo hoo!
Too funny! I think the comment I get most often is the one about education and degrees and whatnot. Really, they must think librarians are run by housewives with nothing better to do, so they have to go out and get a job to take up their spare time.
I’m going for Archival Specialist, so yes, I’ll probably be around books quite often. However, most librarians I know work with computers and databases and whatnot… Some don’t see an actual book all day long, so it’s a wonder people think they read all day. Read a computer screen, maybe, but fiction? please.
I love it when people come into work and say “I’m doing a research paper on xyz.” And without other details, they expect us to *poof* come up with all the stuff they need to write their paper that’s due tomorrow. Um, it’s an archives people… these are primary sources… it’s going to take longer than 45 minutes to get the research done. Sheesh.
Oh, and it pains me to see people not know how to find books in the stacks. Not that I mind leaving the office to go out onto the main floor, I would just rather it be for something more interesting than “What do all these numbers mean?”
ok, enough whinging on about this… I’ve got my own paper to finish.
Posted by sparkle j @ 05/22/2003 08:00 AM EST
LMAO. I’m a Library Officer and man I’m loud Public libraries are way different these days but some people can’t get a grip on the fact that no one runs around going “Sssh!”. We have a room set aside for study, but elsewhere it’s pretty much OK to be loud-ish (the Children’s Librarian sometimes ticks the kids off). As for what a Librarian *should* look like… well, a Librarian *should* look however she or he wants to look. Thankfully, a twin-set, pearls and thick stockings are no longer required to work in a library. (Although one old chap put in a complaint form about a workmate and her “short” – ie, knee length – shirt!).
I love the comment “Librarians have to have a masters degree?”. We get so many people coming in to volunteer and then asking when they get to go on the information desk. Um, when you finish your degree darling. People think we’re all volunteers anyway, LOL. One man phoned up and asked “Can i be a librarian there?”. I said “We don’t have any jobs going at the moment, but you can send your details blah blah blah” and he says “Is there a course or something I need to do?”. Oh, lordy. LOL.
(My other fave comment is “Oh, I’d love to work in a library. It must be great sitting around and reading all day”. Yes, it is great sitting around and reading all day, sadly I only get to do that on weekends when I’m *not* working!)
Posted by Babs @ 05/22/2003 07:32 AM EST