While coming in the middle of an episode of Joan of Arcadia a show I’ve grown to love despite its seemingly sappy concept), I watched as Joan (Amber Tamblyn) is talking to Sammy (Patrick Breen), an owner of a bookstore. I don’t recall what the conversation was about, but Sammy says something to the effect of (and I’m paraphrasing here) “I have a masters degree in English Literature–what else can I do except own a bookstore?”
Even when it’s so painfully obvious, why is it Hollywood still suffers from a dearth of imagination when it comes to librarianship as a profession? Is it because bookstores have more resonance than libraries when it comes to that most treasured of demographics, tweenagers? Or is it because librarianship seems rather archaic, akin to being a blacksmith in the world of information? Sammy was certainly quirky/twitchy enough to be a librarian, at least the stereotype of a librarian, so why wasn’t it mentioned? The answer, I suspect, is even more disheartening: I don’t think the profession even entered the writers’ minds in the first place. In other words, librarians and libraries are so removed from the day-to-day experiences of Hollywood and its denizens that now when they create a character that in movies and television episodes past would have been a librarian now that character becomes a bookstore owner. In other words, even the stereotype has become irrelevant in most people’s worldview.
So we’ve come to a mixed blessing in the profession: the stereotype is becoming outmoded, but only because in the public’s eyes, libraries are outmoded. Please someone–prove me wrong!
Snore No More Dept: I must say I’m amazed at the feedback I’ve been getting from the snoring post. Though I do come from a long line of prodigious snorers (when we were teens my sister once slept in a hotel bathtub to get away from my father’s snoring), I don’t believe I have sleep apena–just a good ol’ all-American snore: loud, even and annoying. I did, however, have an upstairs neighbor whose sleep apnea was so bad it woke me up with a start several times at night–even with all the windows closed. I really wanted to tell him about my concerns, but how do you tell a stranger he’s got sleep apnea?
I hope you and yours have a happy Thanksgiving and try not to make everyone’s eyes roll when you begin outlining why they should be thankful librarians are looking out for their freedom of information rights. Wait until after dessert, at the very least.