There has been a lot of discussion about being a rockstar librarian and what that means in the blogosphere. Mostly, I’ve read that its something to dread and to avoid. In that case, I wanted to give you this list of things to avoid if you don’t want to be considered a rockstar librarian by anyone.
Are you a librarian?
First of all, you need to realize that being a librarian is the best job in the world. Good for you. You’re helping people, you’re building communities, you’re doing things to help people get through rough times and prosperous times. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about. And anyway, just being a librarian won’t get you rockstar status, but it will get you halfway there so this is the first thing you need to avoid. If you quit your job right now, you can just stop reading this blog because you’ve already won the battle.
What gender are you?
One of the biggest indicators of your rockstar status (according many of the blogs/comments I’ve read) is your gender. You should check this first. If you have some kind of gender assignment and you are a librarian, you are probably a rockstar. You should also check to see if you don’t, if its ambiguous, if it’s in the process of changing, or you have any kind of gender identity or nonidentity. Basically, if you’ve ever thought about your gender or anyone else’s in any way, shape, or form, you might be a rockstar librarian. So be sure to never, ever, have any genderish thoughts.
What Race are you?
After your gender you need to check your race. Where do your parents come from? Do they come from some landmass on the face of the planet earth? If that is the case, then you need to be sure you hide that as deep as possible. People will judge you on your race and your gender (and possibly on your sexual preference or religion or socio-economic status or political beliefs or color and style of your t-shirt or your tattoo). Basically, if you’re human then you could get in trouble. So let’s just scratch these last two and save some time and just say that you should just pretend to be some kind of animal. Maybe a dog or a hippo or something. Just never pretend to be a cat. Cats are a dead give-away. Never try to be a cat.
Do you do things?
When you go to work, do you actually perform any work? Do you do storytimes, or outreach, or programs, or services, or basically any of the things that you are paid to do while you are at work? Well, you might be a rockstar librarian. Sorry. You could always try working for the DMV.
Are you excited about what you do?
This is where people just begin to get themselves into real trouble. Some librarians get all passionate and excited about what they’re doing. That’s ridiculous. You absolutely can’t do that if you don’t want to be a rockstar librarian. What you need to do is sit quietly in your cubicle and be angry about what other people are doing. Unless you get good at being angry. In which case you could become a rockstar librarian for your passionate hatred and anger. For example, The Annoyed Librarian. Maybe, if you don’t want to be a rockstar librarian, you should just sit in your cubicle and think about Unicorns or squirrels in the most non-librarianish way possible. Just don’t think about cats. Once again, cats are always a dead give-away. Never think about cats.
Do you talk about what you do?
Here’s where it really breaks down. After being a librarian, your gender(ish), your racish, and doing the things you’re paid to do, you might want to consider not talking about what you’re doing if you want to avoid being considered a rockstar. Please, whatever you do… If, for some wild reason, you do something that you’re excited about and passionate about for the love of god… Don’t share it! I really mean it. Don’t share anything with anyone. In fact, if you go out into your community don’t tell anyone that you’re a librarian or that you work at the library. That’s how rumors get started.
Also, don’t answer the phone or questions at the reference desk.
Get off Social Media
Completely disconnect. I mean everything. Don’t answer email, get off twitter, facebook, youtube, and even myspace and G+. If you talk to someone somewhere about libraries, someone might get wild the impression that you care and then they’ll start talking to you. Or even worse… about you. Getting talked about is even worse than talking about what you’re excited about in your profession. You can’t control what people are saying about you. They might be saying you like your job or something. That can only lead you astray.
Don’t go to conferences
I mean ok, this is a dead give-away. If you’ve ever gone to a conference of any kind that has any kind of remote or obscure connection to libraries, you’re messing up. But here’s the kicker, librarianship encompasses so many aspects of modern life that just about any conference will have some kind connection to your job. Its best to just sit at home and watch TV on your off time. Although, even here you have to be careful not to watch Doctor Who or Game of Thrones. Only librarians watch Doctor Who or Game of Thrones (at least according to my twitter feed).
Don’t google anything.
If someone asks you a question, use Bing. Nobody uses Bing. Nobody will believe you’re a rockstar or even a librarian if you use Bing.
Do you do things outside of work?
Here’s the problem… Librarians have hobbies. All kinds of hobbies. If you have a hobby or craft or activity that you do outside of work, you run the risk of wanting to talk about it. If you talk about something like that, you run the risk of having friends who might talk about you and maybe even mention that you’re a librarian and we already discussed where that would lead. Even worse! If, for example, you’re passionate about something like beading you might decide to run a beading program for teens. This will be the death of you. Never have a hobby or, as previously mentioned, do anything at work or outside of work and try to avoid being human.
Ok, clearly this is satire. Basically, everyone just chill out and enjoy your job and relax with the labeling of everyone around you. Do your job, love your job. Its the best and most important fucking job in the world.
10 thoughts on “How to Never, Not Ever, be A Rockstar Librarian”
Reblogged this on Never Pity The Past.
This is the best post I’ve read in a long time! Love it! Thank for so much for the afternoon giggle and enlightenment!
I love when a serious conversation about gender and racism devolves into LULZ. Internet high fives!
a) it devolved a long time before and the two are not related except that similar words were used IE “Rockstar”
b) this blog post isn’t actually about that thread at all, the use of the term reminded me that I drafted this a while ago when the whole rockstar thing went around for the hundredth time just before ALAMW. It’s actually probably more of a response to Bobby’s post if I remember correctly
c) Its definitely not about you… Sorry.
d) The gender thing came from a post and mostly the comments on a post about the use of the word rockstar that evolved into a discussion about gender in libraries
In the words of Judge Judy, don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining.
I don’t know all the back story to this whole steel cage death match (and don’t want to), but I did enjoy the post. I’ve never called anyone a rockstar to deride them. It’s always been a natural extension from saying “You rock!” Librarians who do cool shit should be recognized. Billboard doesn’t always agree that a music artist rocks, and Library Journal (or whatever “industry standard”) doesn’t always agree that a librarian moves and shakes. Who the F@#$ cares? If I think someone has done/is someone awesome, I’ll lay down whatever praise I want – which may or may not include calling them a “rockstar.” BTW, there is a possibility that I MIGHT know some librarians who are not from a landmass on Earth. They’re still rockstars, so that attempt to avoid the label might have fallen down already.
I love this. Thank you.