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School Librarians in the News

It’s always fun when school librarians make the news. They’re so put upon these days in so many states that it’s nice to see them get some recognition.

For example, check out this article about a school librarian in the Bronx. Here’s the main point: “Students last week spread around social media a photo of the Taft Educational Campus chief librarian holding an assault rifle inside a gun shop.”

She’s certainly defying the librarian stereotype, or at least I think she is. One wouldn’t necessarily believe that librarians never held rifles, but picturing a librarian with an assault rifle isn’t usual.

And that’s a good thing, right? Librarians always seem happy when someone is breaking the stereotype, which is the only thing that explains that tedious genre of library-related journalism that tells us over and again that this isn’t your grandmother’s library anymore.

So good for her.

You know what else librarians are known for? Being welcoming to anyone who wants to use the library. It’s weird considering how misanthropic and introverted so many librarians are, but it’s true.

Lately a lot of the talk has been about immigrants, illegal and otherwise. There’s a whole website somewhere with information about “resisting” the President’s obsession with immigrants, and lots of social media discussion about what to do if the Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers raid your library. I haven’t seen any reports of that happening, but people want to be prepared.

To break the stereotype that librarians are all about welcoming people into the library, we have a school librarian in Washington state to thank.

She’s certainly no fan of illegal immigrants. She’s all for reporting illegal immigrants to ICE, posting on her Facebook page: “So we are encouraged to report child abuse, tax evasion, sexual abuse, human trafficking, mental disorders… just not illegal entry into the US?…. Really??”

The double question marks show she means business. It is a curious quote. There doesn’t seem to be much in common between sexual abuse or human trafficking and illegal immigration. She might as well have written, “so we’re encouraged to report human trafficking, just not exceeding the speed limit… Really??”

It’s also not clear who “we” is, either. Librarians? Everyone? I’ve never been encouraged to report mental disorders. What would I even report, and to whom? It’s not like they’re illegal. There’s a pretty good chance that people with serious mental disorders hold public office somewhere in the country.

It gets better. She was a yuge fan of the “Day without Immigrants” protest. More from Facebook: “Lots of grade school kids stayed home today for the immigrants protest. I loved it…. Sure alleviated the overcrowding at school. No out of control kids, like it should be…. I hope they can do it again soon.”

It’s nice to see a librarian so supportive of our right to protest. Those darned “out of control” immigrant kids. They’re always a problem for some people. I mean, except for serious problems like school shootings, which tend to be committed by our home grown students. But whatever.

If more librarians start showing up in the news, maybe the stereotype of a librarian will finally shift from sexy shusher to gun-toting xenophobe. All those librarians who hate the stereotypes might finally be pleased, although I doubt it. They’ll probably complain about the new stereotype as well. Some people are never happy.

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Comments

  1. There is much in common with human trafficking and illegal immigration. Illegal immigrants are used to keep wages down, many work as de facto indentured servants, and worse. I could pull out the arguments that were used to KEEP child labor in factories and mines. They would sound very similar to arguments for keeping illegal immigrants working in the US.

    • I feel the same way. You can pay them as little as you want and get away with it. Honestly, I don’t think it’s right to break the law to come to a country. It’s insulting to all the people who came here legally, who did it the right way.

    • Opal and Meg,
      If your choice was to be murdered or to go someplace where you would be illegal, what would you do? If your choice was to watch your children go hungry and go someplace, be illegal and make money to send home to your family so they could eat, what would you do? There is no “right way” for a Honduran peasant to come to the U.S. but children still need to eat; life makes its own demands. This is real. People face untenable choices. Those of us who are fortunate to not face these decisions would be wise to have some compassion.

  2. bibliophile@tactile says:

    Just arrived here after my curiosity was piqued by a mention of ANNOYED LIBRARIAN.

  3. Actually, a lot of illegal immigrants are victims of human trafficking, whether they’ve been brought here to serve as prostitutes or work in sweat shops.

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