It seems there’s no opportunity to embarrass themselves that at least some librarians won’t avoid. Often it’s the opportunity to make a tasteless video of themselves dancing in the stacks. Lately, it’s this Tumblr, which is apparently so popular it made international news.
It’s supposed to be librarians shaming themselves, but simply embarrassing themselves seems more like it.
Although I’m sure it surprises you to know, I’m not really a Tumblr kind of person. The amount of dreadful you have to wade through to find the few comic gems is just too much. In general, and with this one.
Occasionally they’re almost amusing. For example, “I made my mom navigate the college library for me whenever I had to use books for research papers.” A real go-getter.
Some are a bit obscure for nonlibrarians. Such as, “I haven’t actually shelf-read in more than six years.” I’ve never shelf-read in my entire life, so it can’t be that bad.
Some I assume we’re supposed to find daring, like this one: “I don’t care about teaching library research skills because I GOOGLED my way through grad school and did just fine!”
To which I wanted to reply, no, you Googled your way through library school, and that doesn’t count. Why don’t you Google your way through an academic graduate degree and see how that works out for you.
Then there are the barely literate librarians. “I hate reading books! But I still check them out and they sit on my shelves for months. I can get through 1-3 books per year. I want to read, but it’s hard to concentrate and I feel like I don’t have enough time.”
But you have time to make a stupid little sign and post it online. In your case, it might be a cry for help. Maybe there are medications that can help you.
Or this one: “I’d rather read Dr. Who fan fiction than anything from a library.” More than anything from a library? I find that sad, but hey, a rich intellectual ife isn’t for everyone.
Some are against our professional ethics, supposedly. “I steal most of the books I read from the internet.” Given the ridiculous DRM on ebooks, that one doesn’t really bother me.
Or not caring about the legal restrictions on ripping CDs. Nobody but the RIAA really cares about that one anyway. Those two seem like good reminders that librarians aren’t the bad guys in those fights. Seriously, we’re not the digital rights cops.
Some were good, but could have been improved. “I sat in the inside book drop and could not get out!” That one would have been much better with a photo of the person stuck in the book drop. Maybe a little animated gif of her trying to escape.
Then there are the ones showing people not just as questionable librarians, but as destructive human beings, like the ones about dog earing pages or cracking book spines or writing in books.
Why not just say, “I destroy and deface public property and like it.” While you’re at it, why not defecate on the floor of the restrooms and post about that. The difference is only a matter of degree.
Or this gem: “I take books off the shelf & they sit on my desk for months – & I never actually check them out. (or read them).” Okay, we get it. You’re barely literate. Books are too much for you.
The only takeaway from this entry is that the librarian is an inconsiderate and selfish human being who thinks she’s the only person in the universe who matters. We have a name for people like that, but this is a family magazine.
Some of the librarians are trying to be funny, and some succeed, but overall this is mostly either trite or painful. Maybe there will be some funnier posts to drown out the drivel.
And maybe the librarians destroying public property or acting like aholes will decide to be funny rather than awful.