Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

 

This recent article seems to be inciting a ton of controversy in librarian circles inspiring a Mad Lib and even an interactive version. While I agree that it is ill advised to focus on superficial features attributed to young, hip librarians like their heavy framed architect glasses and wacky shoes, can’t we all just get along? Librarians with substance and experience seem to be all up in arms about newcomers to the field with their fresh ideas, freakishly fast texting skills and ADD.

Admittedly, there are incompetent people, young and old, cool and dorky, in every profession except perhaps advertising where you are neither allowed to be old (over 40) nor uncool. One thing that the young, hip librarians have on their side is that young, hip potential library users can identify with them. Case in point, this excellent post on Library Moth. The main point is that the younger demographic, already enthusiastic about sustainability and activism, can help to reinvigorate libraries.

After all, who are the donors of the future? Who will be using libraries in the future and who should play a role in shaping the services of the future library?

At the risk of starting more controversy or sounding like the Annoyed Librarian (who annoys me), I think that diversity is going to play an enormous part in libraries and this includes the patrons as well as the librarians. Perhaps appreciating the strengths of all participants – young or old, stylish or hopeless – is the way to go. And by all means, stupid, lazy people and those who thrive on inertia need not apply.

 

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