Friday, July 25, 2008

Character, Being a library

Every library's personnel roster should include someone to fill each of the following character roles:
  • the village idiot
  • the insecure scholar
  • the Pollyanna
  • the skanky slut
  • the pretty one
It is recommended to write these roles into people's job descriptions so that you don't end up with more than one idiot.

Ask the readers: What other characters belong on the library payroll?

83 comments:

Sarah said...

The Luddite

Shawn said...

The Scary Misanthrope

Anonymous said...

the Passive-Aggressive

Kevin Musgrove said...

The sulky four-year-old

Kevin Musgrove said...

Just checking here, folks: is it OK for me to continue to be the pretty but insecure village idiot? I feel quite comfortable in the role and would hate to have to give it up.

The Eeyore Librarian said...

The cantankerous 30 yr + employee who can't get fired, hates his job, and takes pleasure in 'bringing people down'. I'd also second the Luddite.

Anonymous said...

Ol' Perv

Dances With Books said...

The not-so-old perv.

The drama queen.

Incompetent director.

Clueless director.

Drunken, alcoholic director (yes, I still hear stories of this one in my library even though he has been gone for years).

The "why do we need libraries, is not everything on the Internet?" administrator (for an academic library).

Any more folks?

Anonymous said...

The Overworked Tech - the one to which any problem involving electricity is directed to.

KJ said...

The Web 2.0 Cheerleader, who can get into all kinds of entertaining fights with The Luddite...

Anonymous said...

Well, the Vespa-riding hipster, of course.

librarianwoes said...

LMAO!!

... We've already filled our idiot quota, thank you very much.

Please keep us in mind in the future however.

missprint said...

I enjoy a spin on the skanky slut: the library harlot

Anonymous said...

the ALA-International-Equivalent Degreed Librarian

Geek Girl said...

The No-Initiative-Whatsoever Employee

"I don't know know if you can borrow that pencil I brought from home to make a quick note. Let me call the boss and ask."

Seriously. Please tell me I'm not the only one that has to deal with that.

Anonymous said...

The illiterate communications person
and the clueless director are well known in these parts.

Anonymous said...

The Petty Manager:

"lets keep those mouse pads at a 90 degree angle"--and getting IN TROUBLE FOR IT!

Anonymous said...

The crazy janitor everyone is afraid of firing

miriam said...

The non-English-speaker. We actually had one who spent all her time speaking Ukrainian and had a tough time in English. She was a reference librarian.

Anonymous said...

The Control Freak. You know, the person who you wait on to go on vacation so you can move furniture even with the manager's permission because you know they're going to flip out...

Mita said...

The Consensus Terrorist: the one that insists on group consensus when it appears that they aren't going to get their way in a decision.

Anonymous said...

The hypo- ... hypo- ... {ah-choo!} ... excuse me ... hypochondriac. Got any nuprin? Cause I'm allergic to motrin you know.

Marissa said...

The Status Quo Collection Enforcer.
We have one of these. She will try and put weeded books back into the collection because how could we remove such treasures? And by treasures I mean musty, moldy, falling apart, having incorrect or outdated information, and haven't been checked out in 5+ years. MUST keep those.

Gemma said...

The vegetarian/hippie/we can save the world....

Liam Hegarty said...

The Mistress of Security - the one who: develops an incredibly elaborate procedure to check in and check out summer reading list books because someone from the "wrong" grade might want to read a book on a list; or leaps around corners in a vain attempt to catch people surfing the internet on a catalog only computer.

Bookgrunt said...

The Hyena

Anonymous said...

my personal favourite the "topper" or "one-upper"

Anonymous said...

"What other characters belong on the library payroll?"

...um, can I just say that I don't think that ANY of these characters belong on the library payroll? Doesn't mean they aren't here, of course; so let me add ot the list:

the Calendar Watcher (counting off years and months till retirement);

the White Rabbit (always late for important dates);

the Office-Administrator-Hybridized-with-Imperial-Storm-Trooper;

the Political Appointee

Anonymous said...

my library doesn't have a 'the hot one'

wtf!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

the graphic novel enthusiast ("They're literature!")

Anonymous said...

Asexual ManChild

Anonymous said...

The homosexual

Anonymous said...

How about the cheerleader? They do not have to be 'pretty' just enthusiastic!

Anonymous said...

The Extremely Loud Talker/Laugher who works at the Reference Desk...

The Prude who will not put out any new books whose covers she deems too risque...

The Can't Stop Talking (um, hello, I'm on break and holding a book up to my face...shut up!)

Mom Pants & Holiday Sweater Wearing Children's Librarian

Anonymous said...

The Cat Lover (with cat posters, pictures, calendars, and action figures strewn around the office)

LegalGoddess said...

Don't forget The Martyr. They come to work when they are sick, spreading plagues to one and all. In order to let you know just how much they are suffering, they detail their symptoms (green snot, large pustules, fever of 105 degrees) and expect you to laud them for their commitment to coming to work. In reality, you want to slap them silly and scream, "Keep your filthy germs to yourself!"

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the paranoid librarian!

Anonymous said...

No library should be without:

The aged homosexual acting like a 30 year old;

and the soon-to-go postal employee.

Also:

Women in chronically bad relationships who cannot be separated from their cellphones.
At all.

Anonymous said...

Every library needs one--and only one--person who knows everything about "how we've always done it" and why the new way might not work, as long everyone else is not afraid to overrule that person's objections.

Jolie said...

The doe-eyed optimist that accepts everything and questions nothing.

The "I'm really a ________, but I keep this job for the health insurance."

Anonymous said...

The socially inept, dull librarian who:

a) never gets angry,
b) always has a 'pleasant day',
c) has lousy taste in clothes,
d) doesn't know that she/he's not amusing but repeats the same jokes anyway, ad infinitum;
e) will never get fired, because she/he plays by the rules (no matter how screwed up they are).

There, I think I've covered all the bases.

I think. There's a million of 'em (as Bugs used to say...)

Anonymous said...

ugh! I thought this site was "a libertarian's guide to etiquette."

Helene H. said...

the nattering nabobs of negativity

Anonymous said...

And I thought it was "A Liberian's Guide to Etiquette"!

delightfully mediocre said...

I have a sinking feeling we all fall into one of these categories...

mrs. sarah ott said...

i'm voting for the passive -agressive

Anonymous said...

Curmudgeon

Anonymous said...

The chatty spinster

finally_a_librarian said...

The Expert. In everything. S/he has done it all, better than you. And for some reason, cries that no one likes him/her.

finally_a_librarian said...

Similar to The Expert, the "Expert." Totally incompetent at her own job, but knows how to do everyone else's better. And for some reason, cries that no one likes her.

susan said...

The "geek with hobbies": Mild mannered and low-profile at work, but has secret life doing medieval re-enactment or elaborate RPGs involving vampires or dark elves. Cthulhu decorations on desk are a dead giveaway.

Anonymous said...

The celiac.

Anonymous said...

Prostitute.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the screamer.

Anonymous said...

How about pocket pooler? Male, of course.

Anonymous said...

SOCIOPATH!

Anonymous said...

I KNOW THESE PEOPLE!
Unfortunatly, they don't know themselves :-B

Miss Lily said...

And of course there's the director who has worked at the library since s/he was 16, never having worked at another Library EVER.... the scope that gives one is truly *awesome*

Helene H. said...

1) The town crier (who likes to be the first on the scene with the news)
2) The hard-luck case

Anonymous said...

Miss Lilly 11:06 AM and when these Directors/Ass Directors/Ref Librarians are forced to retire at 104, they keep coming back, and back, and back....

Anonymous said...

I mean miss lily ....

Anonymous said...

We're all geeks with hobbies here. And passive-aggressives.

k paul blume said...

Hate to admit it, but I fall into about eight of these categories...

Anonymous said...

The super nervous need to do everything now worker.

Anonymous said...

The Drunk....the Library Director is the bane of his existence.

Anonymous said...

LOLcatz addict?
and every library has the 'Has been here longer than everybody else, unbelievably scary "...person who knows everything about 'how we've always done it'..." who can never be overruled no matter how junior their position 'but of course it is your decision (no matter how stupid it may be)' thus rendering any attempts to manage them or change anything in the library impossible.' sigh met a lot of these.

Anonymous said...

oh, and depending on the size of the library they can double up as being the luddite quite effectively.

Anonymous said...

How about the one who insists she's "Not a Stereotypical Librarian" Librarian? The one with tattoos and dyed hair and semi-revealing clothes?

brie said...

I think this list is missing...

The Eccentric

and

The "Did I tell you what Becky/Johnny/Sage/Lief did yesterday? Oh, let me tell you..." (and they proceed to tell you regardless of whether you've heard the story or not

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anonymous who said "The Calendar Watcher (counting off months till retirement)" I have worked in many different libraries for over 40 years. I am retiring in 2009 and can hardly wait. I take offensive with Anonymous who said "The Cat Lover" The only reason I don't have cat items strewn around my office is that I am a reference librarian and do not have an office.

Anonymous said...

The Reference Librarian who hates fiction so he only adds non-fiction unless patrons start yelling at the clerks about the lack of fiction. Then he reluctantly adds it, but only after saying that "Non-fiction is so much better."

I know, long title. Still, he beats the control freak southern belle who'd ask pages to do work they weren't suppose to do then complain when the pages were doing assigned jobs and she didn't know about so they weren't avalible to be at her beck and call.

____Maggie said...

The Bowl Hair Cut female/male Pat.

Anonymous said...

You left out 'crazy cat lady'

soren faust said...

The Socialist, Humanist, Progressive librarian with utopian visions of changing the world via the ALA.

Anonymous said...

The stoner. Most libraries don't drug test.

Anonymous said...

I fall under the "token homosexual/overworked tech"

MyLibraryIdeas said...

There's always the tattle-tale and depending on the library - the token male.

And then of course - the goldfish, hamster, gecko, or other resident critter that is occasionally found in the children's area.

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled upon this post, thanks to another library blog. The character roles are wonderfully funny and yet pretty spot-on. Here's my contribution:

The Insecure, yet uncredentialed research librarian: "I know so much, 'they' should just give me the degree." And having worked in one library for nearly 20 years certainly gives sufficient expertise to win any argument.

Anonymous said...

How about the county library system director who is as supportive as ten year old panty hose? when I started as the director of a very small urban library, his first words were "This library does not need an MLS to run it."

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http://www.polosales.com/ : cheap Lacoste polo shirts
http://www.superpolos.com/ : cheap Lacoste polo shirts
http://www.shoesbuying.com/ : 2009 nike shoes
http://www.shoesbuying.com/2009-nike-shoes-c-153.htm : new nike shoes
http://www.shoesbuying.com/air-max-classic-bw-c-185.htm : Women's max
http://www.shoesbuying.com/mens-max-93-c-188.htm : Men's max 93
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-shox-c-165.htm : nike shox
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-force-c-174.htm : Nike air force
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-2003-c-181.htm : Nike air max 2003
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-air-max-ltd-c-166.htm : nike air max ltd
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-air-max-tn-c-167.htm : nike air max tn
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-rift-shoes-c-162.htm : Nike air rift
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-yeezy-c-184.htm : Nike air Yeezy
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-airmax-c-154.htm : nike airmax
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-airmax-c-155.htm : Nike air max 90
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-airmax-c-157.htm : Nike air max 97
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-birds-nest-shoes-c-152.htm : nike birds nest shoes
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-dunk-high-c-177.htm : nike dunk
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-shoes-c-168.htm : nike RT1 shoes
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-sb-c-180.htm : nike SB
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-shox-shoes-c-156.htm : nike shox shoes
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-shox-shoes-c-158.htm : Nike shox OZ shoes
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-shox-shoes-c-159.htm : Nike shox R2 shoes
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-shox-shoes-c-160.htm : Nike shox R3 shoes
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-shox-shoes-c-163.htm : Nike shox R4 shoes
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-shox-shoes-c-164.htm : Nike shox R5 shoes
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-shox-c-171.htm : Nike shox TL3
http://www.shoesbuying.com/nike-trainers-lovers-c-118.htm : nike trainers lovers

http://www.racketsoffer.com/ : tennis rackets
http://www.racketsoffer.com/wilson-racquets-c-19/ : Wilson tennis rackets
http://www.racketsoffer.com/head-racquets-c-18/ : HEAD tennis rackets
http://www.racketsoffer.com/babolat-racquets-c-17/ : Babolat tennis rackets

Anonymous said...

that's exactly what i was thinking bing