Tangent — Sassy Librarians

sassy librarianI’m always surfing around for ideas, and I have a blast doing it. I run across all kinds of interesting things of which most will never see the light of day on this blog. But some demand I give them attention. So I can’t ignore any longer what I’ve come across almost daily for years — a set of people who have me curious about how they really are face to face. On the Net they’re pretty up front. Demuring is not their thing, and there’s a downright fiery nature about some of them. To the point that I’ve found myself asking: where did all these sassy librarians come from? Have librarians always been this way and I had them in a boring box but didn’t realize it? If so, my humble apology.

Even if I did pigeon hole them, I’ve almost always had a fondness for librarians. It started when I was ten years old. My friend, Debbie and I used to venture out on our bikes every Saturday morning to parts unknown — meaning we never knew where we were going to end up. One Saturday we ended up at the library, and this was not a common occurrence for me since I hated to sit still long enough to read a book. To go to the place that was teeming with them? No, I rarely darkened their doors unless my mother dragged me there.

That particular morning I was on a mission to read something about Fred Demara. Unfortunately, the library had no books about him, and I was about to leave when a lady asked me if I needed help. She had such a sweet face, and yes, she wore glasses. I was reluctant because the library ladies represented confinement to me. If she was going to help me find a book, certainly it was going to be something dull and dry, and I would have to endure it whereas I was on a lark to find out about The Great Impostor. But being respectful, I answered her question truthfully. She looked again in the card catalogue as I had done, and I remember wondering why she had to do what I had just done. I know now that all librarians do their thinking and everyone else’s too. I was pleased when she hit a wall as I had.

Then she pulled a rabbit out of a hat and said, “Maybe you could read a magazine article about him.” Wait! I didn’t have to read a book to find out about him? Hmmm, this was sounding good. Then she threw water on it by saying, “Or perhaps you could borrow a book through Interlibrary Loan.” Huh? No, the magazine was proffered, and I jumped on the suggestion. Besides I didn’t know what Interlibrary Loan was, and it sounded scary.

It was a little disappointing when she led me over to a shelf full of some of the dullest looking books in the reference section, and that’s saying something since almost every book in the reference section was dull looking. Dang! I knew I was going to have to read a book. She laid one of the dark green books open and began to explain how to use The Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature. It surely didn’t sound like anything about magazines, and if a librarian hadn’t shown me those books, I doubt I ever would have opened one. Little did I know at the time this was going to be a pivotal event in my life. Although I was aware it was an epiphany even if I didn’t know the word epiphany yet. When I realized I could look up almost anything in those books and get not a book but a magazine to read, my heart could barely stand it. Fred Demara was just the beginning!

I’m sorry to say I don’t remember that woman’s name. She was not at that library on a regular basis but was a floater. I found this out the next time I went to the library, and I was so bummed. I think she was at that branch perhaps one other time when I was there. But I never got to talk to her again. Lately I’ve been wondering if she was as sassy as some of these others I’ve encountered. Was she as intrigued by Fred Demara as I was? What happened when she left the library at night? If I were a writer, I would write a story about that.

Whatever she did, surely all of that information in her head and passion to share it went somewhere besides helping people find books and periodicals to read. Surely. And now I know it did.

Below are just a handful of the many librarians I’ve run across in my travels around the Net, and if any of them come around here to look, yes, I’m a subscriber to your blog.

Stiletto Storytime — Courtney makes it sound very hip to be a librarian. By the way, she has a book on her 2010 reading list, “Recent Reads,” that you will find of interest. I think she’s one of us. :D

Lipstick Librarian — Diary of a Library Fashionista — Librarian angst with humor which is definitely designed to take the mickey out of the rest of us who aren’t librarians. Enter at your own risk.

Librarians are Weird — No argument there, but I’ve always liked weird people.

Laughing Librarian — Home of the Zen Librarian. Aren’t they all a bit Zen?

Free Range Librarian — They let her out of Georgia. I would explain. Just read the blog.

Low Rider Librarian — Max is on a mission.

Warrior Librarian — What it says on the tin.

Meg Wood — One of the sassiest of them all, and I’m sure I’m not the first to say that. Some of you may recognize her name from “Boyfriend of the Week” fame, and yes, before you ask, RA made the list, and he had one of the highest scores ever. Did you doubt it? The real question is when is he going to make the list again? All I know is that he better make the list again if he actually comes to America. Meg owes us that. ;-)

Our own Phylly3 — what can I say? I’ve already made it plain how much I think of Phylly with my Do Wah Diddy Diddy award.

One more:

Under the Mad Hat The Madhatter doesn’t blog there much anymore. She’s started a Children’s book blog. You can check that out for yourself if you like. But what’s left of this blog is well worth reading, so here it is on my list! Maybe a little traffic over there might cure her ennui and get her to write again. I know I would love to see that, and I hope she still has some of those hundreds of posts she removed.

Oh, and as I was surfing around trying to find a free picture of a librarian with glasses (see the one above), I ran across this —–>

Is he cute or what? No, he’s not a librarian, but if he had been when I was single, I would have tried to live at the library.

And to be fair to him since we’re ogling his picture, here’s his website. The link to the blog entry with him in glasses is here. His blog has absolutely nothing to do with librarians or RA so this is a bona fide tangent. I just thought you might appreciate an attractive picture, and yes, he looks like someone famous. It should be pretty obvious amongst this crowd, so I’m going to be shocked if someone doesn’t jump up and say it quickly. I mean these guys look like they were separated at birth. Bet people tell him he looks like, uh, that other guy.

While I was on his site, I actually read several blog pieces and downloaded a book called Thrivability, which I’m currently reading. It’s found here. I also went on to download the book that inspired Thrivability. Its called What Matters Now, and it’s found here. See I can really go on a tangent. I was just messing around until now, and hey, I figured since this is a piece about librarians, I should at least read a book or two while I’m at it. Plus, most librarians I know love segues, so they ought to love this post.

And if Leif ever comes over to read this piece, yes, I’ve read the Utne Reader, and read it when you were probably too young to write for it. Uh oh, did I just give something away?