I’m a librarian. I work in a library. I wear glasses. I read often, and for pleasure. I drink tea. I enjoy research and other academic pursuits.
As many students will attest, most research begins with Wikipedia. According to the almighty W, “Stereotypes of librarians in popular culture are frequently negative: librarians are portrayed as puritanical, punitive, unattractive, and introverted if female, or timid, unattractive, and effeminate if male.” The librarians in popular culture article notes that librarians in film are “often portrayed as meek, timid, and unassertive in nature.” They’re spinsters, eggheads, and recluses. What a sad, pitiful existence these librarians keep.
So what does this umbrella of (mostly negative) connotations mean to me, a self-professed non-stereotypical librarian? Mostly it amuses me. Yes, I’m a librarian — but I’m young! Yes, I work in a library — but I’m studying web design and Web 2.0 applications! And yes, I wear glasses, drink tea, and read for pleasure — but I also curse, do yoga, and read comic books. I also edit Wikipedia.
The librarian field has been evolving for the past two decades. Rather than ruling the roost of dusty tomes, librarians navigate the information highway that is the internet. We are male, female, young, old, gay, straight, tattooed, be-spectacled — you name it. Above all, we value knowledge and the passing of knowledge from one person to another.
I am not a stereotype, but some stereotypes are built upon truth.