Getting More Social

I recently decided to take a hiatus from the Library Society of the World. I’ve got a lot going on in my personal life (that I don’t really feel like talking about here) (but in case anyone’s worried, let me reassure you, it’s good stuff, not bad), plus a lot going on at work, and the LSW was starting to feel like work, not play. So, I decided to step back and take a break.

We’ll see how long that break actually lasts, though, because just after I declared my hiatus, the superhuman Laura Crossett took it upon herself to upgrade the LSW site to WordPress 3.0 and install BuddyPress. The LSW site is now a fully-functioning social site! You can create your own profile, send private messages to other members, create groups, post to the forums–it’s really awfully cool! I sincerely hope people take advantage of the site in the same way they’ve taken advantage of FriendFeed, the original LSW wiki, Twitter and Meebo–to make and build professional and personal connections. And since the new site is a lot more fun, I may come back from my hiatus sooner than I’d originally thought.

Special

“Because women don’t have special powers. Let’s dispense with that theory right now. They don’t have intuition, they don’t have a sixth sense.”
–Jeremy Goodwin (Joshua Malina), Sports Night

I’ve been reading library-centric blogs since 2003 and doing my best to participate in library-related discussions for about as long. I’ve noticed something that’s really starting to stick in my craw.

Librarians love to talk about how special we all are.

This basically comes in two different flavors: librarians are awesome because we have special values, amazing skills and we touch people’s lives in crucial, near-mythic ways; or librarians are pathetic because we as a whole are insecure, passive-aggressive, socially awkward, fashion-challenged and nerdy.

I’m coming to realize I think both of these ideas are complete and total bullshit.

Librarian are not inherently dysfunctional, neurotic or emotionally stunted. I say this with a great amount of affection for the human race, but the fact is a lot of adults are dysfunctional, neurotic and emotionally stunted. It’s not particular to libraries, nor is it more prevalent in libraries. Let’s stop putting ourselves and each other down as a profession, because it’s simply not true.

And while I’m proud to be a librarian and think libraries are very important to human society, librarians themselves are not cleverer, more insightful or special than other working people. Yes, we have certain professional skills that we (hopefully) get better at the more we exercise them. The same is true of doctors, painters, automotive mechanics, farmers and strippers. Let’s take pride in our work, but let’s not put ourselves on a pedestal. Let’s just recognize that we, like other working people in our society, have a job to do.

Librarians are not special snowflakes. We’re not divine and we’re not demonic. We’re just people, for better and for worse. That’s all.

21st of June, 2010

engage the confections!
this day will last
forever
& the heat of my bones
this fever i cannot
shake
is threatening to overtake you all

this day will last forever
until i
devour
the sun
& pull you into a dance
with the moon & me

so…

sweeten the derangements!
open your flesh to me
for i will
drink
your ocean
& burn your ghosts to green

burn
your ghosts
TO GREEN!