Thursday, February 23, 2006

Elitist, Being

You are a librarian. Hold this over the heads of your support staff and constantly remind them of the social stratification within the library work place. Don't do tasks that are beneath your level. Be sure to have exclusive, closed-door librarian meetings. Always keep your day-to-day tasks and responsibilities shrouded in mystery. You aren't a good librarian unless people wonder what you do all day.

Besides, if the staff don't think you're important, who else will?

21 comments:

two bits said...

...and always remind the staff that no matter how many patrons at the cluster of computers all have the same reference question, you must repeat the same information to them individually. You are the only one certified to "teach", and if the staff helps 3 students at once it will be considered teaching.

unstricken said...

...and never admit that it takes only a small cluster of brain cells to make it through the "rigors" of library school. Insist that your master's degree makes you a superior being, and that no one without your qualifications could have anything useful to say about your library and its operations.

Nicole said...

This could apply to so many disciplines and so many people!!

DRI said...

scary.

liebrarian said...

Another important point: Be sure to exclude non-librarians from any
brainstorming sessions in committees. They are just too concrete and psychologically simple to separate suggestions from reality. I mean, if these people hear something said, it's a fact, it's gonna happen. Only librarians are intelligent and complex enough to brainstorm properly.

Conan said...

Yup. Got them all down pat. Good to see I am doing the job right. Now don't bother me, I will be in my office for the next 5 hours.

Anonymous said...

the sad part is, this is the reality of my daily life. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

I am paraprofessional library staff with six years experience. My manager not only puts "MLS" behind her name but tells a patron he can't reshelve the same reference book he uses every day because he hasn't been to library school. Funny, neither have our sixteen year-old shelvers.

Anonymous said...

...and also make certain that you keep track of who has a library degree and who doesn't. nothing is more embarrassing than forgetting that someone has evolved into an equal that can be looked at, talked to and otherwise acknowledged instead of the slug to be stepped over and ignored that they were before their rigorous year(s) of study.

Conan said...

Hey hey you non MLS poster...watch it!get back to the Circ desk.

Anonymous said...

To the person whose manager puts MLS after her name. I don't think there's anything wrong with this practice. Many of the librarians at this university library have their degrees (MLS/MLIS and other advanced degrees) on their business cards. It is especially useful in contact with faculty members as they respect educational achievement. But I don't see why it couldn't be used in a public library setting too. It reassures people that we are not just high school grads who like books.

lowly library assistant said...

Ha ha. I think there's nothing wrong with tackling the perception that anyone can be a librarian without quals, but as a student in the last semester of study for a Master of Arts I do think some of the librarians in my fine institute could lay off the superior-than-thou approach occasionally.

Ppol said...

wow and this all refers to just one person in our library

Anonymous said...

I made it through the "rigors" of Library School in one calendar year--with a 4.0--and never even had to use the right half of my brain. Who knew it was so easy to become superior?

Fer said...

Many of the librarians at this university library have their degrees (MLS/MLIS and other advanced degrees) on their business cards. It is especially useful in contact with faculty members as they respect educational achievement.

Ha, that's rich. Fellow "professional" librarians: if you ever want to know how badly we treat paraprofessional colleagues, think about your contact with faculty members that respect educational achievement... OK, are you thinking?

* You have something less than a PhD and are therefore a clerk; check.

* More importantly, you are their clerk and can take instruction from their student assistants, since their time is too precious for lowly clerks; check.

* You could even have faculty status on your campus, but you'll always be the clerks that are dragging down the salary averages and the academic standards in general, just by being mentioned in the same breath as "real" faculty; check.

Ah yes, our great good friends, the faculty. Let us learn from their elitist misperceptions - well, let us learn one of these days.

LiberryShark said...

You're absolutely right! I refuse to photocopy anything because it's beneath me. If the techie is at lunch or on break, I'll leave the requests on his desk. Also, I close my office door often (even when I don't need to). I figure people will think I'm performing mysterious librarian alchemy and they'll be a bit too intimidated to direct their mundane questions and complaints in my direction.

LibraryTavern Liz said...

I think this blog is hilarious.

With no disrespect and no lack of appreciation for the many non-MLS/MLIS individuals who keep libraries running ... As someone who earned her MLIS, plus another master's degree, I do have to wonder why support staff and paraprofessionals who are so bothered by their lower status don't just go earn these degrees that they say anybody can earn. If it's that easy, go do it. And if you are not a librarian, don't complain that you are not called a librarian. Nobody calls a paralegal a lawyer. I don't think it detracts from their importance in their law offices or indicates lack of respect.

Anonymous said...

Sign on Library Door:

"Sorry the library is close. Professional Staff in meeting. Paraprofessional staff busy placing thumbtacks in chairs."

:)

Anonymous said...

If you really want to Piss off the tech person, the one with at least one master's degree and had spent 20 years as a computer professional before her job was outsourced to Bangalore and was forced to take that library position working with librarians while receiving half her original pay, be sure to refer to her as "staff" or "non-professional."

Anonymous said...

Nevertheless, as the proud holder of an MLIS I refuse to stuff envelopes--a task I am often tasked with by my boss, another MLIS, but not so's you'd notice.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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