It’s hard for me to stay positive all the time. I’m not always rainbows, unicorns, and disco dancing.
In the past few months of my life, I’ve hit two points in my career as a librarian where I’ve thought about giving it up to be a mailman/house husband/professional video game tester*. They’re well documented on Twitter. Go ahead, search it out. I wear my heart on my sleeve.
Last week’s journey to the depths of library depression came from two things:
THE GOOD OLD LIBRARY ROCKSTAR DEBATE
I know David Lee King and Andy Woodworth weren’t out to get me with their posts**. They’re both wonderful and brilliant dudes and have excellent things to say. In fact, their posts really bring up some great ideas for libraries. However, bringing up this library rockstar thing once again really bugged me.
There’s just something cocky that comes with the rockstar tag. I don’t know what it exactly is and I don’t think I can perfectly capture it in this blog post but…well I guess it has a lot to do with ego. This sense that you are everything and the world revolves around you. I got a sense of that during my experiences at ALA 2010 and I did not like it at all. I feel like that if we can bypass the rock star tag and all the trappings of it we can move on to bigger, better, and more productive things. David Lee King is right…Why NOT “showcase” some of our fine staff a bit? But do we have to call it rock stars? Can’t we just be awesome people? Community supporters? Very nice librarians? Let’s not cut and paste a stereotype from another profession into our own. Let’s create something that transcends rock star.
AGH. YOU DAMN KIDS!
I’ve heard it pop up on Twitter many times. “I’m never gonna be one of those librarians that shushes my patrons.” Yeah, well I never thought I’d be that person either.***
Last week, the teen area at my library hit new highs. With those awesome highs however came some not so awesome lows. First up, the highs. On average, we’ve been getting anywhere from 40-60 teens in our area between 2:15pm-4:45pm every day after school. That’s a huge win. They’re coming over to the library to use our computers, meet with their friends, work on school/personal stuff, and more. We’re the community center for a large group of Portland teens. AWESOME!
On the other hand, I’m finding out that a recently renovated and state of the art teen library doesn’t go without its flaws as well. Noise travels, there’s never enough room, things get damaged, and nothing is ever enough. Just when you give the latest technology to teens there’s something that comes along that makes it void in an instant. And there’s always a few teens that are just out to push buttons. They want to see how you react. They can smell your blood, dammit.
I’m not going to get into specifics because it doesn’t matter, but all in all what I’m trying to say is that with your ups you have your downs. Just when you think life is perfect and you’re riding the waves of success, the next minute you’re going back over the fine details to retool your methods. It’s a hard game. I really don’t want to play it all the time, but as much as I’d like to be a house husband whose main goal in life is to learn how to bake really awesome bread, I know I wouldn’t be 100% happy. I’m a librarian because I want to have a positive impact on the people I interact with. I want to make my community a stronger and happier place to live. My mission isn’t done, so that baking bread and sleeping in till noon thing has to wait….for now.****
*SEE ALSO BRIAN WILSON STAYING IN BED FOR THREE YEARS IN THE 1970’S AND JOHN LENNON CIRCA 1975-1979.
**MAYBE THEY ARE OUT TO GET ME. MAYBE THIS WHOLE LIBRARIAN WORLD IS A MASSIVE SECRET SOCIETY TYPE THING LIKE IN THE THIRD SEASON OF BONES WITH THE GORMAGON AND ALL THAT TALK ABOUT CANNIBALISM.
*** I’M NOT REALLY THAT PERSON. MY SHUSH IS MORE LIKE “C’MON DUDE, RESPECT THIS LIBRARY”
**** I STILL MAY RETIRE IN 2018.