Libraries, Librarians and the Press

A lot of people complained about the pieces in the NY Times and NY Sun about a group of “hip librarians” in Brooklyn. The general consensus among the dissenters was a desire for more substantive articles on modern libraries and librarians.

I generally didn’t have a feeling one way or the other about the stories. As I’ve pointed out to friends in the past, although I do get irked by the librarian stereotype and the general ignorance of people in general as to what the heck it is we actually do (why do people assume the job is the same as it was in the 1950s? They don’t seem to make that assumption with other fields, they logically assume those other fields have evolved and changed over the years…) But in all honesty, as a young single gal, I have in fact used the “sexy librarian” stereotype to my advantage (just saying you are a librarian makes for a great pick-up line…) So you see I’m leery of biting the hand that feeds, so to speak.

Anyway, in response to the call for better library-related stories, I just wanted to point out a good article on It doesn’t talk about anything that’s news to the library world, but it does serve as a great little reminder to the general public that libraries have grown and changed over the years, and that we are attempting to compete in the digital domain.

I think sometimes we librarians spend so much time around our resources that we forget how little the outside world knows about them. Sometimes it’s enough to simply point out what’s available at your library, even if it’s nothing new or “exciting”…

(Oh yeah, and for two more good links on the topic: Cultural Images of Librarians by John Hubbard and Hipster Status, Determining Your from A Librarian’s Guide to Etiquette–too funny!)

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