Saturday, July 07, 2007

It's Official: We're Cool

The New York Times says it's so - in the Fashion & Style section, no less. I always get whiplash from these kinds of articles from the abrupt switches from patronizing stereotypes to "hey, they're kind of cool, isn't that bizarre?" For example:

Librarians? Aren’t they supposed to be bespectacled women with a love of classic books and a perpetual annoyance with talkative patrons — the ultimate humorless shushers?

Not any more. With so much of the job involving technology and with a focus now on finding and sharing information beyond just what is available in books, a new type of librarian is emerging — the kind that, according to the Web site Librarian Avengers, is “looking to put the ‘hep cat’ in cataloguing.”

When the cult film “Party Girl” appeared in 1995, with Parker Posey as a night life impresario who finds happiness in the stacks, the idea that a librarian could be cool was a joke.

Now, there is a public librarian who writes dispatches for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, a favored magazine of the young literati. “Unshelved,” a comic about librarians — yes, there is a comic about librarians — features a hipster librarian character. And, in real life, there are an increasing number of librarians who are notable not just for their pink-streaked hair but also for their passion for pop culture, activism and technology.

Then again, it is the Fashion & Style section.


Amy said...

Ah, the fashion and style section - good point.

Lots of people sent and/or told me about this article, which I did not read. Why do you have to have pink hair to be cool? I'm all for my profession being embraced by pop culture, but I prefer Seinfeld's portrayal of librarians in season 3. Plus, it is very upsetting how whenever criminals use libraries in crime shows on CBS, the librarian is always quick to hand the computer over to the authorities without a subpoena - which would never happen in real life.

Barbara said...

The Library Cop! good one.

That drives me bonkers, when librarians eagerly hand over records. I once had a writer share a manuscript with me. He didn't take any of my advice except to fix the scene in which the librarian did just that. (I pointed out it was actually illegal in his state for her to do that. And he's a lawyer!) Ah, my work here on earth is done.