Karen Schneider, hip “old lady”

The biblioblogosphere is fluttering with talk about the fluffy librarian-image piece in the New York Times style section. On one hand, it’s one of those “Librarians: we’re cooler than you think we are” articles, and as those go, it’s not a half bad one. I mean, Jessamyn gets mentioned, so that’s one thing going for it right there.

But Karen Schneider calls out what’s lacking. It is, after all, the style section, and there’s a lot of concentration on cocktails, clothes, and tattoos. There’s also a glossing-over of some stereotyping that deserves examining and lack of attention to the things that truly make librarians “hip”. Karen writes,

Jessamyn is of the hippest of the hip not because she routinely uses instant messaging, but because she is such a tireless advocate for small libraries and poor communities — the unserved, often voiceless communities many of us (including me) forget about when we get hopped up about some new new thing.

Right on. And she goes on to say,

I am cool in my subversive old-lady tech-loving the-user-is-not-broken way, and getting cooler all the time, and I count among my friends and colleagues librarians of all ages, dress codes, and evening habits.

Karen, if you want to identify as “old lady”, I’ll support you on whatever you want to be. ;) But I have to say, also one of the coolest librarians I know of. Thanks for blogging.

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