Don’t Call Me Homey

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 them just as soon as they finish answering simultaneous reference questions that arrived via phone, chat and e-mail.
  • Gang members wear colorful bandanas to announce their gang affiliations.
  • Librarians wear colorful conference ribbons to announce the fact they were talked into being division secretary yet again.
  • Many gang members adopt street names to impress their fellow members.
  • Many librarians adopt absurdly long position titles for business cards in the hope of impressing colleagues.
  • Gang members wear athletic t-shirts and extremely baggy pants.
  • Librarians wear outdated summer reading t-shirts and extremely baggy cardigans.
  • Gang members tattoo a tear underneath their eye for every person they’ve “taken care of
  • Librarians highlight with a tear on an Excel spreadsheet each serial title they need to cancel to make next year’s budget.
  • Possession or use of weapons is often an indication of gang membership
  • Possession or use of pointless facts that drive friends insane is often an indication of librarian-like tendencies.
  • Several negative encounters with law enforcement could be a sign of gang membership.
  • Several negative encounters with incensed mothers who think libraries are just county-sponsored babysitting services could be a sign you’ve been a children’s librarian way too long.

And I think I have even more to come….

What I’m Listening To Dept: Don’t Tell Columbus by Graham Parker. ‘Cause it ain’t always about the hip-hop.

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