Just what the heck is going on in library programs these days?
First there were the post-40 gals wanting to raise money for a hospital, then a centenarian wanting to help the local (British) football team. Now we have a calendar celebrating the sensibly dressed male graduate students at the University of South Carolina School of Library and Informational Science.
Still not convinced librarians and gang members have similar inclinations? More evidence, to wit:
- Gangs organize around race or ethnic group, money-making activities or territories.
- Librarians will not only organize around the aforementioned criteria, they’ll pick ILS’, disagreements over library conference locations, and a mutual suspicion of serials catalogers as reasons to create a new social network.
- Gangs claim a particular area of town which they call their “turf”. They spend much of their time fighting rival gangs
I have, in past postings, referred to our profession as the secular nunnery. Sure; we like to wear black and pray for divine intervention whenever someone asks us for a photograph of a dinosaur, but when you think about it, isn’t being a librarian like being in a gang? The similarities are uncanny:
- Gang members use obscure hand gestures to fellow gang members, signaling their membership.
- Librarians use obscure hand gestures to patrons, signaling they’ll be right with
It’s Official Dept: According to the folks in Television Critic Land, reading is the recreation of last resort, though one of the denizens is cheeky enough to recognize the irony of it all. (P.S.–If you aren’t reading The Bastard Machine, you are missing out on one of the truly original writers about All Things Television.)
Why the librarian/mixed race analogy? The more accurate question would be: what took me so long to make the connection? After all, each demographic suffers from the same problem: stereotypes and people’s reaction when we don’t cozily fit into a psychic box.
As librarians, we moan/revel in the public’s perception of us as dowdy crones with bad wardrobes. The reason we’re obsessed? Because we bump into it every freakin’ day of our professional lives, from well-meaning parents … Read the rest