During an interview last week I heard myself say something that surprised me. I don’t even remember what the question was, but this is how I answered:
“Librarian is a state of mind.”
The person looked at me, opened their mouth, closed their mouth, and then moved on to the next question.
In the week since, I’ve had a lot of time to think about what I said, and even though I don’t know where it came from, I realize that I believe it. From here, there’s only one thing to do.
But first, an explanation
Most librarians are curious people who aren’t suited for other jobs. People so scattershot and eclectic in their interests that rather than specialize in something, they gain conversational, sometimes superficial knowledge of just about everything.
Along the way, many pick up some pretty incredible research skills. And yet, to just about everyone who walks in the door, a librarian is the person who hands your book to you or tells you to be quiet.
My youngest sister married into a family full of brilliant pharmacists. You listen to them talk for about one minute and realize how smart they all are. They’re basically professional chemists who know as much about medicine as most doctors and yet…they’re the people who hand me my pills at Walgreen’s when I’m sick.
What about that state of mind question?
If we say–and I am officially saying–that librarians are curious lovers of stories and knowledge who hate boredom and want to learn until the day they die, well…I say there are more librarians out there than there are fancy diplomas that bellow “Here sits a librarian!” in some perverse, curvy font that nobody can read, sitting on some wall in a home office.
My master’s library degree diploma is at the bottom of a box somewhere. I think.
So, do you love stories? Are you curious? Are you a bit odd? Do you have glasses? Do you loathe censorship? Do you like to learn? If any or all of these apply to you, then I say you’re in the right place. And with that, I think it’s time to change the name of the blog…
Something cool is happening here
You are here reading these words today along with a lot of other people. That both scares and delights and confuses me.
There are more people here reading with you than makes sense. There are lots of blogs out there you could be reading or that I could be writing. But we’re both here and I’ll take it.
I’ll take it and not question too much because you and I have created something here that didn’t exist before us, and evolves every day because of us.
It’s not just because of me. It’s not just because of you. It’s the combination of all of us.
This blog is quickly becoming a wonderful little community of weirdos and I’m honored to call you my friend. And while I’m calling you things, I’m calling you a librarian. You wouldn’t be here if it weren’t true.
We’re unofficially changing the name of the blog today
Unofficially because I’m not going to go register another domain name. But the fact remains that this is a group project, a community, and a family on the fringe of the norm.
So in your heads, when you think about our blog…
And when you type the name of our blog….
And when you tell people to come visit our blog…
…tell them to come join the merry band of the World’s Strongest Librarian(s). And tell them it’s worth as much (or more) as any fancy librarian degree.
But also tell them that if they add that S to the URL, the poor suckers aren’t going anywhere cool.
Now down to business. We’re going to need official uniforms. Let’s talk about what our little army is going to wear in the comments section. I’m voting for propeller beanies and Tombstone-style dusters.
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Photo credit to Dirk Schaefer