Friday, December 17, 2010

Librarians in the Media

I was watching Glee’s “The Rocky Horror Glee Show” episode. Now there’s nothing very surprising about this, however I did find something in the show that gave me a shock. Was it the leather bustiers? Was it the tiny gold shorts? No. It was Sue Sylvester’s line, “People who dress like librarians - all sex addicts.”

This was the second time in the past few weeks that got me thinking about librarians’ representation in the media. I went to the FLA’s screening of Desk Set and watched Katharine Hepburn and the “girls” in the library answering ready reference questions over the phone.

These instances made me think about people’s conceptions of librarians. I don’t know about you, but I get, “You’re a librarian? It must be nice to have all that time to read.” Or “You’re a librarian? You have to go to school for that!?!”

Now I know that not everyone thinks about libraries as much as I do. I do, however, think these types of comments are indicative of the lack of understanding around the job of librarian. I often feel a major part of my job is educating others about what I do.

So, as 2011 approaches, I’ve decided that my New Year’s resolution will be to do my part in raising the profile of libraries and librarians. I need to start writing my MP about library issues like Bill C32. I need to advocate raise awareness about current threats to our intellectual freedom. I need to inform my patrons about issues of privacy in the social media they use. And I need to stop wearing so many cardigans.

~Becky Willson, Mount Royal University

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