Last week I was having what I thought was a pleasant e-mail interaction with another librarian about a posting I left on a local listserv. We were bonding quite nicely (what library schools we went to, etc.) until she gave into temptation: “I have to correct you….”
Okay; it’s one thing to be corrected when giving a paper or a speech, or even in a blog entry, but in a casual e-mail?? That little incident crystallized what exactly irks me about socializing with librarians: our incessant–nay, obsessive need to correct others. No matter what the situation or who’s involved, we can never let pass the opportunity to be right, no matter how picayune the mistake or perceived mistake (in this instance it was a grammatical controversy of the actor/actress ilk). No wonder we have an image problem.
I must admit, until my mini-epiphany I thought the problem in relating to most librarians rested with me: maybe I wasn’t bibliographically centric enough to slug it out with the big girls. Now I realize that the only thing the big girls are interested in is having the last correct word. Looking back at all those conferences and professional social hours (mostly through self-medicated memories), most of interactions weren’t conversations, but a series of disjointed factoid exchanges. I should have come to this realization at the last ALA in San Francisco: I met a family, all librarians, who spent their entire time with me correcting each other. It was enough to propel me to the nearest host bar….
But I really must have the last word on The Librarian: I wasn’t really impressed with the movie, other than the casting: Bob Newhart and Jane Curtin were inspired choices for librarians, not to mention Kyle MacLachlan as an evil (and verrry sexy) librarian….
My CGI Doppelgänger (so I’ve been told): Edna Mode from The Incredibles. Why for the love of an abstract deity couldn’t it be something like Sailor Moon? I’d even go for Mario at this point. Or Obake no Q-Taro.