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
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
Last week I attended the Oregon Chapter of the Special Libraries Association annual banquet. Since this is my last year as a SLA member (long story; nothing to do with the organization and everything to do with my expenses) I looked at the dinner as the end of a long goodbye. I’ve been in the profession long enough to know these events feature a well-respected speaker with a semi-upbeat topic, something along the lines of “yes we are facing challenges … Read the rest
I realize we’re working in the occupational equivalent of a nunnery but we’ve got to be hotter than a concrete column at the Powell St. Muni station:
(photo courtesy of Brian Yaklich and Paul Harris)
Meanwhile, one Metro stop away…the San Francisco Public Library is looking for personal pixs of everyday gay life. Here’s your chance to show the world gay folks have lives in between pride parades and film festivals.… Read the rest