So what’s Library Adolescence? Like gay adolescence, it’s that period in a librarian’s life whereby everything (and everyone) has something to do with your incipient career. Can’t find any clean clothes in your closet? It’s because you’re too fixated upon digital preservation issues to run out and buy Tide. Your boyfriend moved out with your cats weeks ago and you’ve only just noticed? Blame it on your endless tirades about Michael Gorman and the Cuban librarians speech at ALA Midwinter. Thoughts about librarianship are just a hop-and-a-skip away from the shiny reference desk in your mind.
I think most of us go through it, particularly those who’ve been casting around for a career of some sorts. Mine hit me during library school orientation, slapping me so hard I barely registered the sentence “you know that it’s very difficult to find a librarian position these days…”, something that wound up haunting me for quite some time. But at the time I didn’t care–I had a brand-spankin’ new identity.
And so it was for over ten years: the secret joy of attending a library conference–any library conference, no matter where it was held; the seductiveness of shop talk with those equally enthralled with the vision of hybrid libraries as you once were. Being courted with free lunches and demos from vendors. The eye-rolling from your Significant Other when pleading to visit the local library during the trip of your dreams because you can’t resist a busman’s holiday, not to mention the shock and delight when once inside, someone asks you for help.
Then one day you notice your mind has been wandering ever-so-slightly away from the goings-on of the secular nunnery. You forget to register for that online course on search engines you’ve been talking about. You no longer cull discarded handouts from empty meeting rooms for the PLA presentations you missed. And you find yourself making friends with outsiders, such as the woman waving perfume samples at you before you step on the escalator at Nordstrom.
You realize the dust jacket is off the top-selling hard-cover fiction title, career-wise….
(To be continued–honest!)
What I’m Reading: Still Passage to India–so there.