The "New" Librarian in the New York Times and The Sun

July 7, 2007 at 2:34 pm 6 comments

A couple of articles to share today, both similar, on the “new” librarians… one is in The New York Times, A Hipper Crowd of Shushers, and the other is in The Sun, For New-Look Librarians Head to Brooklyn.

What do YOU think of these takes on “us”?

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6 Comments

  • 1. Andre  |  July 7, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    The “slow news day” comment to the Sun article says it all.

    I’d rather people think we were hip than dorky, but I also don’t want the public thinking we are just a bunch of drunken, silly Williamsburg hipsters.

    It’s a fine line, I know.

  • 2. Sophie Brookover  |  July 8, 2007 at 6:37 pm

    I am turning into an insane comment whore on this topic, but I just don’t have a problem with this article. I found it much less irritating than the usual open-jawed amazement that librarians don’t all shush that we see in most newspapers, and was glad (yes, glad!) to see some acknowledgment that the face of the profession is changing. This is happening in every field — why not ours, too?

    For different points of view on the article, I suggest any of the following: KG Schneider, Meredith Farkas, and my friend & co-blogger Melissa Rabey have all weighed in eloquently and with varying degrees of dismay over the article’s angle, important things it left out, and the dubiousness of the term “guybrarian”.

  • 3. Amy J. Kearns, MLIS  |  July 9, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    Thanks for sharing more views for us to see, Sophie! :-) Multiple perspectives are always good to consider…

  • 4. Anonymous  |  July 10, 2007 at 2:24 am

    I am sort of in agreeance with all the previous comments posted.
    I hate the traditional stereotypes, as much as the idea of ‘guybrarians’. I am a recent male Information Management grad. from Australia. We shouldn’t try and pigeonhole ourselves with hip labels, or as new or traditional information professionals (one or the other). We are all information professionals.(emphasis on the fullstop). We can be both hip and learned at the same time.
    What is changing is the roles librarians undertake/what is expected of us, our mindsets.
    I do like the idea of the Desk Set group though and other groups where we can network and unwind.
    This has just been a quick comment, so I hope it makes sense.

  • 5. Cynthia  |  July 10, 2007 at 8:21 am

    Funny, I thought the picture in the NY Times looked exactly like most librarians I have seen all my life.

    I think the past stereotype of uptight librarian with a bun who would shush from behind thick glasses was a wrong as this “new” librarian image now being portrayed.

    It would be really nice if someone pointed out that there are an enormous number of librarians in the United States–no one image fits. I am no more a Willamsburg hipster than an uptight spinster. Then again, maybe that is why I am entering my last semester at library school without a paying job….

  • 6. Lisa Coats  |  July 10, 2007 at 2:56 pm

    I showed my husband the article and he said “that woman looks just like you”. Basically, I agree with Cynthia that the librarians I’ve seen over the last 20 years or so often look like those in the NYT article. Obviously, there are exceptions (my father was a librarian and looked NOTHING like the photos or any other librarian I know), but while librarian watching at ALA, I have to admit that there was a pattern…and so what?? At least we didn’t look like mean, scary, shushers. We mostly looked like eager, interested, people in comfortable clothing. I don’t mind that.


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