The Sunday New York Times of July 7 ran a Styles section article on young, tatooed, hip librarians getting together at a bar in Brooklyn (ok, ok, I hate to admit that I even read that section). It was not only refreshing to read about a new generation of librarians but that they actually have a social life to boot! What a concept…… This article has created quite a buzz on the PubLibs listserv in combination with comments about the sloppy attire of those who attended the ALA conference in Washington. Whenever I saw someone in business attire or stylishly outfitted, he/she was usually representing a vendor. Why don’t librarians do a better job of representing their libraries or themselves, for that matter?
I think that it has been common for librarians to become invisible after 5pm – for the most part. How many of us are members of community organization boards or are active participants in recreational events or leagues in the community? How many are active members of PTA’s, Chambers of Commerce, clubs, associations, fraternal organizations, churches, etc? How many volunteer their services?
Is it usual for people in our communities to see us and say “hey, it’s the librarian?” When it is often difficult to tell the difference between library staff and patrons, it’s time to ask ourselves is it any wonder that the librarian stereotypes are credible?