If there’s something librarians love, it’s knowing what the world thinks about us, keeping tabs on the stereotypes, and getting our nether-garments in a bunch about aforementioned opinions and images. I like to think of it as the library profession’s equivalent of ego searching, this fixation on perception. And I’ll admit I’m game for it – every month when I get my copy of American Libraries, I flip right to the How the World Sees Us section. After all, it is a fine line between navel-gazing and brand management, right?
So I was pleased to see this tweet, via a RT, yesterday:
@wawoodworth: Poll: Worst librarian stereotype. Go. (answer then RT question, please)
And I couldn’t help but be interested in what the replies were, and I can’t help but post them here. I ended up setting up a Twapper Keeper for these tweets, and have pasted the bulk of them below (with apologies and thanks to all users, the public nature of Twitter, and @wawoodworth for starting the thread):
HeidiSteiner: That we’re all shushers. Shush I do not.
Joe_Librarian: 63 year old who’s never had sex or an email account
jaimebc: That all we care about is books (not tech literate)
jhardenbrook: All we do all day long is check out books
agrundmann: That all we do is sit around and read books all day
uamslibrary: That there aren’t any young librarians or librarians of color
nicolibrarian: Old white woman who doesn’t like you or noise or computers.
carolbatt: Shhh! Be Quiet! (but some still do!)
jpetroroy: That we just read all day long.
thebrainlair: That we are always shushing children.
orireed: Brary Buns!!!!
bookmeme: Specs and tweed skirt with horizontal teeth…
librarianbryan: That linux-induced white boy doesn’t know his urban fiction!
miss_print: librarian as crazy cat lady
subclassz: Female librarians r secretly sluts while male librarians r monks.
subclassz: Also librarians don’t have social skills b/c u can’t be social AND smart/organized
TheLiB: All we do is read all day (thx for that Laura Bush).
bmljenny: Sexy librarian. Not bad, I just can’t live up to it.
lauramac95: Catalogers as nitpicky anal-retentive fussbudgets
mascher: Socially inept.
ultimatelibrarn: memorized the dewey decimal system
schmeeeb: Kleenex up the cardigan sleeve
LCPLWeb: You don’t LOOK like a librarian.
tmvogel: 1) Cats 2) All we do is read/surrounded by books
vonburkhardt: Umm…that they all wear prescription shoes?
LibrariNerd: That we’re quaking in fear because print is dead.
msjoanthomas: We wear comfortable shoes
kimberwimber: Cat lovers. I def prefer dogs!
janholmquist: People thinking their questions are stupid because ‘You know so much’
thepinakes: That all young librarians are hip and tattooed.
WWUBusLib: That we’re all prim old ladies who do nothing but shhh
jonbloy: Librarians go around shushing people.
RedheadFangirl: That I’m a “naughty librarian” & wear garters.
RedheadFangirl: Or that I’m a crocheting cat lady (true, but love rock, horror)
marissajeanine: That all librarians are old!!!
I’ll also indulge in confirming a stereotype by admitting I couldn’t help but want to classify and graph these tweets (yes, let the heckling begin – but I will have you know that Dorothy of Cat and Girl also enjoys recreational data visualization, so I am not the only one):
And for those of you who *still* haven’t had your RDA of nerd, here’s my spreadsheet for coding the tweets. Really, people. Get a life.
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