Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Ssshh! Librarian around

I felt I had to defend the honourable profession of library work. A respectable employment, I should know I was one. The Notes and Queries in today's Guardian included answers to the original query about why there are so many mean portrayals of librarians ("sad", "peculiar" and "petty-minded"). Librarians are usually depicted as geeky intellectuals, sexually repressed and scary. Well, I have worked in the profession for some years and I can tell you... two out of three aint bad!

No, seriously, in the academic institutions I have worked the union activists (many strong women) were usually based in the library and when it came to strike action or even showing solidarity when students go into occupation, the library staff were the first to show support. In my previous job, all the union officials were librarians. And the fact that they have to put up with continuous cuts in budget and stroppy students who lose books.

So, librarians of the world unite you have nothing to lose but the unfair stereotypes....