Thursday, 12 January 2012

Librarian stereotypes

Update: As of January 16th at 6:54am, 168 librarians and information professionals have done the checklist. Their scores are tabulated at the end of this post.

Back in what seems a long time ago now - early December - seven librarians and information professionals met up in Birmingham (England) for an informal Christmas drink. The subject of what makes a stereotypical librarian came up. And being librarians, a list was quickly compiled and/or argued over, with the seven of us then determining if we each fitted each particular stereotype.
  1. Pedantic about definitions of what a librarian stereotype is.
  2. Owns a collection of cardigans, sweaters or jumpers.
  3. Wears glasses or contact lenses.
  4. Drinks wine.
  5. Set up a library as a child, or at school.
  6. Drinks gin.
  7. Arranges their CD collection in a particularly exact or OCD manner.
  8. Dating, or partner of, an IT professional (you can be flexible with this definition).
  9. Plays digital games.
  10. Watches Doctor Who.
  11. Likes and/or watches Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  12. Has grey or greying hair.
  13. Listens to Radio Four (or the national liberal radio station of your country) on a regular or frequent basis.
  14. Owns one or more cats.
  15. Listens to the Archers (or the national middle class faux-rural radio drama of your country).
  16. Wears their hair in a bun on a regular or frequent basis.
  17. Owns or collects bookplates.
  18. Owns or collects bookmarks.
  19. Has or had a parent who was a librarian.
  20. Has dated several other librarians (only 1 point maximum, not 1 point for each librarian).
  21. Owns one or more dogs.
  22. Named after a librarian.
  23. Member of CAMRA.
  24. Uses illicit substances.

Now ... your turn :)

Score just 1 point for each of the 24 attributes you can confidently say "yes" to, and score half a point if you aren't sure, a "maybe", "sort of" or "some of the time.

Add up your score and see which of these completely unscientific categories you fall into:

24: You are the uber-librarian. Your presence wards off illiteracy and library funding threats. We bow before you.
23: Dreams in Dewey.
21-22: Eagerly counts down the days till they can renew their national librarian membership.
18-20: Manually word counts each article in their national librarian magazine.
15-17: Spends all weekend, and the midweek nights, rebutting anti-librarian trolls on online forums.
12-14: Militant librarian. Carries a taser, mace and placard. Wears mittens.
10-11: Thinks for the rest of the day about how they disagree with the 24 attributes of being a librarian.
7-9: Checks twitter, adds up their score, and tweets it before doing anything else.
4-6: Quietly despairs that the net is full of pictures of cats.
1-3: Cultural nihilist.
0: You are the anti-librarian. Your mere presence closes libraries quicker than a conservative politician.


Librarians in smocks - Green sofa

And the scores (the ones that have been submitted or found, anyway). To get yours included, add as a comment, or tweet your score so I can find it.

16: Alison Messum
15: Siobhan B
14: James Beaton
13.5: Owen Smith
13.5: Ruan Peat
13: Mairin Holmes
12.5: Sarah Merry
12: Alison Harvey
12: Jessica Olin
12: Ciderlass
12: Stephanie Holt
11.5: Claire Joanne
11.5: Lynne Meehan
11.5: Schopflin
11: Nicky A.
11: Sara Batts
11: Sarah Barker
11: Lorna
11: Andrew Walsh
11: Neil Witt
11: Monika Bargmann
11: Liberry Tom
11: Katrina Dalziel
11: Corinne Mullins
11: Megan Wiley
11: Clare McCluskey
10.5: Shana L. McDanold
10.5: Thomas Brevik
10.5: Dave Pattern
10: Birgit Dahl
10: Emily Heath
10: Katie Ann Smith
10: Celine Carty
10: Suzan Griffiths
10: Douglas Guilfoyle
10: Helen Saunders
10: Sharon Lawler
10: Rachel P
10: The Librain
10: Georgina Carr
10: Heather Marshall
10: KJ
10: Jen Young
10: Deb DeGeorge
10: snail
9.5: Liz Chapman
9.5: Charles Oppenheim
9.5: StEvelin
9.5: Katherine Nagl
9.5: Em Johnson
9.5: Leesa Philip
9: Sarah Maule
9: Elisabeth Robinson
9: K Coles
9: Tina Reynolds
9: John Kirriemuir
9: Edith S
9: Sheila Thomas
9: Sonja Kujansuu
9: Anne Gambles
9: Lindsay Wallace
9: Francesca Redman
9: Scott Hibberson
9: Aimee Jones
9: Melanie
9: Constance Wiebrands
9: Scootes
8.5: Anabel Marsh
8.5: Pru
8: Katherine O'Neill
8: IMBASE
8: Katy Stoddard
8: Jo Alcock
8: Emma Davidson
8: Mike Taylor
8: Biddy Fisher
8: Helen Westmancoat
8: Marf Shopmyer
8: Suzanne Burge
8: Megan Roberts
8: Anne Bell
8: Katy Wrathall
8: Caroline Ramsden
8: JH
8: Sanita
7.5: Liz White
7.5: Louise Harrington
7: Janine
7: Laura Steel
7: Stuart Benjamin
7: Damyanti Patel
7: Jan Rivers
7: Owen Stephens
7: Orangeaurochs
7: Elizabeth Holmes
7: Karen Bates
7: Eleanor White
7: AdioPink
7: Terry Day
7: Sarah
7: Cara Clarke
7: Tracey Totty
7: Karina Forrest
7: Polly
7: Vassiliki Veros
6.5: Lyn Bailey
6.5: Katie Dunneback
6.5: Helen Bader
6.5: Cathie Jackson
6.5: Kath B
6.5: Leonie Bourke
6: Simon Barron
6: Jayne Kelly
6: Cathy Foster
6: David Hughes
6: Poll
6: Meg Westbury
6: Liz Mallett
6: Thomas Connelly
6: Clare Brown
6: Helen Matthews
6: Jaleh

6: Cat.

6: Nancy Kirkpatrick
6: Ruth Smalley
6: Jon 'Jim'll' Knight
6: Claire Back
6: Anne Holmes
6: Nathan Cobb
6: JamesAE
6: Donna
6: Ali
6: Lucile Desligneres
5.5: Emily Clasper
5: Christina Taylor
5: Sarah Wolfenden
5: Laurie Roberts
5: Kath Posner
5: Simon Ward
5: Katie Miller
5: Sarah Stamford
5: Mari Ferguson Cheney
5: Jackie Urwin
4.5: Helen Murphy
4.5: Niamh Page
4.5: Clare Aitkin
4.5: Jennifer Cyr
4: Ian Clark
4: Laura Williams
4: Kristine Chapman
4: Andrew Preater
4: Clare Bristow
4: Isla Kuhn
4: Ned Potter
4: Diane Kauppi
4: Sally Pewhairangi
4: splus3hs
4: Vanessa
4: Mal Booth
3.5: Gwyneth Price
3.5: Richard Hawkins
3.5: R Macrae-Gibson
3: Mike Stores
3: Emma Coonan
3: Katie Wiese
2.5: Owen Coxall
2: Ranti Junus
2: Sarah Nicholas
0: JoTheLibrarian (see here)


(btw that picture is of a group of librarians, but it wasn't us. Click on it to see who, and where it was taken...)

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