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Faces of reference
February 24, 2012 10:41 AM   Subscribe

This is What a Librarian Looks Like (SLT)
posted by mrgrimm (37 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Librarian.
posted by The otter lady at 10:45 AM on February 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


They look like bookstore clerks.
posted by jonmc at 10:48 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Boy, there sure are a lot of zombie librarians out there. Vows not to return overdue books.
posted by maudlin at 10:49 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


They look like infinite expanses of eldritch blackness, without form, without shape, emitting strange howls, telling me in annoyed voices that my hat is on too low. Oh, no, wait, I fixed my hat. I can see now. Librarians look like regular people. False alarm.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:51 AM on February 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


That Second Life one freaked me out.
posted by Zed at 10:55 AM on February 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


What a relief. I first read that as Libertarians.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:59 AM on February 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ook!
posted by yoink at 11:04 AM on February 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


This is scary. They could be anywhere.
posted by mazola at 11:10 AM on February 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


They look like bookstore clerks.

They don't look that bad.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:19 AM on February 24, 2012


We could also use a site on what *libraries* look like. An astonishing number of people have never been in one.
posted by DU at 11:19 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lotta dudes with beards and/or glasses. Why am I not surprised.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:24 AM on February 24, 2012


This is far better than my tumblr idea, "what an orange looks like".
posted by IvoShandor at 11:30 AM on February 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Challenging the librarian stereotype one post at a time

Yeah I'm not sure that's what's actually going on here
posted by regicide is good for you at 11:45 AM on February 24, 2012 [9 favorites]


IvoShandor: This is far better than my tumblr idea, "what an orange looks like".

How about an orange librarian?
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:47 AM on February 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Peter, of course, you won't know what one of 'Them' looks like."
"No."
"Well, let me tell you. They look just like us."
"Well, of course, they used to be us, didn't they?"
"That's right, they... they used to be us."
posted by Nedroid at 11:50 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


We could also use a site on what *libraries* look like. An astonishing number of people have never been in one.

I'll show you mine if you show me yours. What my local library looks like (fear our EU ways): (1, 2, 3, 4). They even have a blog.

Also I may have a law degree but whenever these library talks come up it makes me want to be a librarian. Does anyone know how realistic that would be with an law degree from a good uni?
posted by jaduncan at 11:57 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


We could also use a site on what *libraries* look like. An astonishing number of people have never been in one.

It doesn't look like much now, but I love my library. Back in the day. And they have tools! (doh, just closed for the big renovation!)
posted by mrgrimm at 12:04 PM on February 24, 2012


jaduncan, Librarian traditionally means a person with a Master's of Library (and Information) Science degree. In practice, in all but the most rural or underfunded libraries, that job title requires the degree. Academic libraries are currently fighting over people that hold both the JD and the MLS/MLIS degree for Scholarly Communications Officer positions...
posted by nonreflectiveobject at 12:15 PM on February 24, 2012


This is where a Fark thread would take a totally different path...
posted by madajb at 12:20 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


None of these librarians seem overtly naughty.
posted by cmoj at 12:25 PM on February 24, 2012


so it IS true-- being a librarian automatically makes you hot.
posted by herbplarfegan at 12:25 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mine.
posted by Lynsey at 12:32 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


My girlfriend is a librarian. I'm pleased that she holds pretty close to the stereotype. ;)
posted by sourwookie at 12:43 PM on February 24, 2012


My library's bigger than yours.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:45 PM on February 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Just noticed the post title. Heh!
posted by maudlin at 12:54 PM on February 24, 2012


Do people really feel that there's a widely-held misconception about the appearance of librarians?
posted by newdaddy at 1:08 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


My library's bigger than yours.

Hey! That's not your library. That's Congress' library! Sez so right on the sign.

My local library seems to be run by quiet pale wispy women in hand-knit sweaters who share the slightly stunned expression of a cave animal venturing forth into daylight after long hibernation, beardy dudes with Lennon glasses and incipient potbellies, and zaftig young African-American women with a taste for colorful headwear.

Next to the "Popular Fiction" stacks there's a hallway lined with a long shelf above which hangs a banner that reads "STAFF PICKS". The shelf is about half self-improvement glurge and "inspirational" Jeebus crap and half awesome obscure science fiction, mysteries, and local history. The books aren't sorted by who picked what, which I find mildly irritating.

I suspect there is a (very quiet, very polite, painfully slow) battle under way for the heart and soul of my local library.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:11 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Academic libraries are currently fighting over people that hold both the JD and the MLS/MLIS degree for Scholarly Communications Officer positions...

Please to be identifying these libraries? I need to get out of Florida.

Do people really feel that there's a widely-held misconception about the appearance of librarians?

This is crying out for one of those What People Think I Do graphics.
posted by cereselle at 1:15 PM on February 24, 2012


My library's bigger than yours.

So. I should have taken you up on your offer last year to show us around the LOC. The first time we went, we got thrown out because I had a pocketknife. The second time, we wandered around looking for huge shelves of books and found only Jefferson (which was neat) and a tiny children's library. Ah well.
posted by DU at 2:18 PM on February 24, 2012


This is my local public library. It has some nice pictures hanging on the walls.
posted by benito.strauss at 2:21 PM on February 24, 2012


Well that's very diverse, but it's getting to the point where I want to see a tumblr of, I don't know, "This Is What A Customer Service Representative Looks Like", and they're all pictures of Hellraiser, or maybe planaria.
posted by furiousthought at 2:32 PM on February 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


TooSFW.
posted by bonobothegreat at 2:33 PM on February 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


This clever attempt to make superheroes look like ordinary people will not stand, man.
posted by Twang at 3:35 PM on February 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hypnotic. A Metaphor?
posted by nickrussell at 3:57 PM on February 24, 2012


Challenging the librarian stereotype one post at a time

This is totally a thing which needs to be done, because you can't just walk into a library and see one for yourself. People totally believe the stereotype (which exists nowhere outside of porn nowadays) just like they totally believe the porn stereotype of a nurse as someone who wears all white with a little paper cap with a big red cross on it, even though their primary contact in healthcare (i.e. the person that they spend the most time with during any "doctor" visit) is a nurse and they look nothing like that, ditto for the dozens or hundreds of nurses that you can see at and around any hospital.

The problem is that painfully sincere types (such as the persons who put this thing together) probably believe that this is a real problem because they ask people to describe a "typical" librarian and the person believes that they're being asked to describe the archetype, and fall back on the stereotype. I wonder if the people that are so concerned about the stereotype asked the obvious follow-up question, which is "And have you ever seen a librarian in real life who looked like that?", and if the answer is that they haven't been to a library in a while and can't remember, the obvious follow-up to the follow-up, which is what the fuck is your problem man get your ass to a library now now now.

Sorry for bitching, but this is a cyclical thing, like the New York Times Style section article that helpfully informs us that librarians drink beer and some of them are in bands and may, theoretically, have sex once in a while, and not with that creepy dude who hangs around the reference desk, either.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:59 PM on February 24, 2012


and not with that creepy dude who hangs around the reference desk, either.

Alas.
posted by Zed at 8:18 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I suspect there is a (very quiet, very polite, painfully slow) battle under way for the heart and soul of my local library.

Oh Jebus help us, not you, too? My library was taken over by a bunch of right wing christian fundies that decided the town needs 'more uplifting' reading, and started ordering these sappy, poorly written 'christian' novels and slapping them up on the shelves.They have yellow circle stickers on the spines. Now you walk along the aisles and it's a sea of yellow stickers--I can't believe there's that many damn 'christian' books being printed. The master librarian is very diplomatic when speaking about the issue and has always done her best to bring in current best sellers, award winners, and just plain good books.

The old library was a Carnegie Library. It had lots of character and nooks and crannies to read in. Now, with its new facelift, it's the Historical Museum. The modern Mountain Home Public Library that replaced it has a lot more windows and a lot less character. It's just....meh. I'm sure it's better to work in, and it does have a lot more space. Our director, Luise is a real hoot and was 2006 Librarian of the Year!

Unfortunately, after 30 years I'm no longer a member of the library. They levied rates for out-of-city residents, which are currently $75 a year. Not being a member is my protest against what I see is an unfair burden on many of our rural residents, especially kids and the elderly on fixed income. The whole purpose of a Carnegie Library was that it provide free service to all. Our 'shifty fifty' public leaders threw a wrench in that one.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:57 PM on February 24, 2012


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