Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Typical Librarian

Okay we all know the two stereotypes about librarians. One is a little to PG-13/R rated for this blog, and the other is of the grumpy, old woman wearing a cardigan, glasses and a bun who is obsessed with trivial rules.
I'll let you decide about the first, but I know that as a profession we would like to leave the grumpy, old librarian image behind!
Let's get away from this image!
It isn't too hard to figure out why the image of the grumpy, rule obsessed lady has become ubiquitous with librarian. Let me list three things that are harmless to the non-library world: talking, eating, and talking on a cell phone (not while driving). Walk through library doors and you are likely to treated like a criminal for doing any of the aforementioned actions. Although I am officially part of the library world, I am not, yet, an official librarian so please let me make an argument for all of these activities on behalf of the non-librarian world.

1) Talking. Even laughing or giggling! Communication is very important. I have young children, and I spend a lot of time trying to encourage them to speak. People must speak to learn collaboratively or work on projects. I know that a lot of noise is distracting, but have you ever walked past a person with an iPod. They blast loud music into their ears with those things so I am pretty sure that a little chatting isn't going to distract them. Bottom line: Please use common sense librarians. Try to satisfy patrons of all noise levels. If you shush more than once a day, should you revise your noise level policy?

2)Eating. Hey, I get low blood sugar and pass out if I don't eat every few hours. Seriously, I almost had to quit my job when I was pregnant because I couldn't eat at the library where I work, and I was always dizzy and shaky! People like to eat. When your patrons check out the books they are going to eat around them. Couldn't we just take out the trash and vacuum more often to avoid the supposed pest issue? Can't we figure this out because us non-librarians really like to eat. Please.

3)Cell Phones. People like their cell phones. We really like our cell phones*. *please see my post "my new phone..."
Stop telling us we can't talk on them! We have already established with section 1 that you do not like talking, but how is whispering into a phone different than whispering to a person at the library? Please read this article in Library Journal.com, and consider having a  "no rude people on cell phones" policy instead of a "no cell phone policy."
I am inviting librarians to join the rest of the world, and enjoy some talking, eating, and cell phone usage!

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