Memes.. You just cannot escape them. It seems that there is a meme for everything you could possibly think of and a few you might not want to think about. I was looking for a good library meme for another blog post and came across some that made me do the following:
It seems that no matter what we do Librarians cannot escape the cliche. Buns, shh, glasses, and cardigans will always be a part of our world. I confess that I do love a good cardigan and if I had the hair it might work its way into a bun. However, shh is just not part of my vocabulary.
There are a few good memes like the always classic Ryan Gosling and his “Hey Girl” quotes:
My favorite, WWII posters turned into library propaganda:
And the “What they think I do”
Then there are the stereotype memes that I classify as The bad:
Again, have you been to library lately? We are busy and sometimes very loud. Come to story time and hear the littles singing along to “Pete the cat.” It’s awesome! Having perfect silence can be nice after a busy day. However, I actually love the chatter. Especially in the teen department when they get into a checker or Apples to Apples battle! Then it’s non stop laughs from teenagers having a great time with their friends in a safe environment. What’s not to love about that?
The Ugly memes: These are the memes that just make me want to scream.
Think all librarians are old and boring? Check out the Tattooed librarians Calendar. Browse the Librarian Wardrobe Tumblr site. We are a cool and eclectic bunch! Still not convinced? Check out “This is what a librarian looks like.“
No.. just no.. The whole “sexy librarian” thing makes me want to vomit. Just stop. Women and men are more than just a sexy costume.
Finally, this rage inducing meme for those of us that work public libraries:
I get a version of this nearly every week from random patrons. “Gee, you must love getting to read all day!” Or “I really hate people but I love reading. I am thinking about becoming a librarian.” I cannot tell you the last time I had a chance to just sit and read at work. Maybe on my lunch break but certainly not on the clock. There are too many other things to do in the library besides reading. Customer service is first and foremost. Then I have to make sure the shelves are weeded and straightened, update our upcoming program displays, post things to our teen blog, plan upcoming programs, answer emails, work on training, enter new books into the system, run monthly programs for our teens, do outreach at the local schools… the list could go on.
Also, if you hate people then the public library should not be a career path you should travel.
I confess there are days when I get frustrated with behavior issues, rude comments, chasing adults out of the teen department despite the 20+ signs that say reserved for teens only, or other issues that crop up at the worst possible moment and make me question the state of humanity. It’s the curse of working with the public. However, I do have more days filled with awesome patrons who make up for all the issues that I have ever had to deal with. For example, I have a group of Middle School students that come in every Tuesday for a study group. They are always happy to see me and they ask me to hang out with them so we can chat about fandoms, books, movies, relationships, and well everything under the sun. I also get to help people find information, whether it’s online or book related. That is the best part of my job. Helping others.
Love them or hate them, the memes are here to stay. As with any job there are lots of misconceptions to overcome. No one is immune. The best we can do as librarians is to help our patrons and inspire them to see the library as more than just a warehouse of dusty old books. We have a duty to inspire, empower, and inform the masses. Once that happens… bam: