On being UN-hip

In an earlier blog I posted the link to an article about hip librarians. We talked about the article in class Monday night, and the professor, a retired library director, who always talks about her experience by prefacing it with "when I was the director, like 8 million years ago," mentioned how great the article is, even passing it around class for all to read. I reread the article, then raising my hand to say, "Seriously, this article makes librarians look anything but hip. Who says stuff like, 'That me just speaking Dewey,' (or whatever the girl said in the article)?" The professor responded by smiling and changing the subject.

At least I tried.

I have come to terms that I am in an uncool profession. I didn't decide on this profession thinking, "wow, librarians are always getting laid!" or anything like that. Anyway, I found this hilarious blog entry from the Effing Librarian, on the same article (I copied and pasted what he/she said below). My sentiments exactly.

Sunday July 8,2007

"Are Librarians Cool?
If you need to ask the question, then the answer is "No."Here are two of the latest articles branding the profession as "cool."A Hipper Crowd of Shushers (you'll need to log in) For New-Look Librarians, Head to Brooklyn But Librarians are not cool. That doesn't mean that there aren't cool librarians. I went to library school with a few people I would call cool. But does that make them cool (that I could label them as cool)? After all, who am I that I could call someone cool and have it mean what most people define as cool?

As an fyi:
I got a tattoo because a Richard Hell song told me to. Wow, I must be cool.
I skipped a Jane's Addiction concert because the crowd looked too trendy. Too cool for Jane's Addiction, gosh, my coolness is off the charts!

If none of these things makes me cool, then I don't know what else to tell you.But I've been places where, when answering what I do, someone will look around as if they're thinking, "oh, librarians hang out here; let's go someplace else." So sometimes, when asked, I won't say librarian; I'll answer "scientist." People aren't sure what to make of a scientist, but at least a scientist could be cool. Hell, maybe that's why the Library has disappeared from the degree and most schools only offer a "Master's of Science."

But ultimately, being a librarian isn't cool. I don't know how long it will be before it is, if ever.

So for now, I tell people I'm a scientist. An evil scientist."


Rakstar said…
Oh, come on... those glasses? access to card catalogs? the finger telling the rowdy hoodlums to shut it? Oh yeah, that's cool if ever a cucumber was cool. ;)
Who still uses card catalogs? That is a thing of the past friend...everything is online. And it is ok, I was never cool!
JennPav said…
Its cool to not care if you're uncool. Ya dig?
Kimberly said…
Being "cool" is just about as ambiguous as being "normal". I don't dig the nascar scene... But id be an idiot to think a million ppl wouldnt argue that guys in fast cars were not cool.
I think this article was pointing out that the technology aspect is challenging our old school views of what the library could be... And the people behind it must be cool if they understand databases. Imagine grandma with an iPhone (or blackberry)... Suddenly the library isnt so predictable.
As far as the funky glasses and such, i dare say this ties in more with our generation and the current times. A time of garage rock, emo, thirft store chic, combined with booming advances in technology that drive nerdlike quirky behavior to become trend staples.

It never hurts to take into consideration that this article was about students in NYC. Sure we are sceptic. Everything looks trendier there. Maybe they should visit Idaho - expand their research and prove its more about a younger generations' interest in the library, not just the fashion and martini they are drinking. Is that not pure sterio types at their best? "wow! A librian that likes fashion?"

Unfortunety it takes these less subtle observations to awake the general public. Let them know there is more to a library than they think.
Maybe a few big wigs need to follow hollywood style with some drug rehab. Then would you be "cool"?

Wow. So many good thoughts...I wish I would have thought that through more eloquently, and then I would have sent a letter to the Editor pointing out these things.

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