Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Librarians in the Media

Subway Sriracha chicken Melt

There's a saying that goes All publicity is good publicity. In the worlds of entertainment, big business and politics I would add the word free to that sentence. Libraries and librarians are generally not publicity seekers. This has worked for and against us. While most people support libraries and the services they provide, librarians are often seen as stodgy spinsters who are obsessed with rules and silence.

The new Subway ad for its Sriracha Chicken Melt depends on this rigid stereotype as the perfect compare/contrast for the spicy excitement of the sandwich. Because, I must assume, some ad executive easily sold the concept that a sriracha sandwich will make even the most dull people feel like they've added some spice to their life.

On one hand I'm thrilled to see a library setting (If you haven't seen it, watch the movie The Day After Tomorrow where people take refuge in the New York Public library when the polar ice caps melt- they are quite literally saved by literature!) but on the other I'm a bit miffed at the portrayal of librarians in the commercial.

And yeah, I'm miffed that they're eating in the library too- I can't lie! (You just know she's going to spill sauce on the carpet or worse, a book.)

So let's set the record straight here and now. Librarians are dynamic and exciting people. We are on the front line of technology integration and education. We don't sit at the circulation desk with our heads in the clouds. Instead we travel to other worlds and serve as guides to assist patrons on their own journeys. Through books and the internet, there's no place we haven't been to.

We're brave. We have to be as first adopters of new devices, software and interfaces.

We're patient. We have to be as we teach you to use new devices, software and interfaces.

We're flexible. A library is a busy place. Librarians have to be able to shift gears instantly.

And we're super cool. As evidence I submit this photo from Heroes and Villains Day.

Jedi Mrs. Treude and Sith Master Mrs. Pilarski

The Force of good librarianship is with you here at HHS.


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