If you were to do a quick google image search for “librarian” you would find several images portraying the typical librarian–glasses, cardigan, pushing a cart of books through dusty stacks. I can assure you that that is NOT the standard-sometimes there are not any carts available and I have to carry the books.
Let’s look at other librarian and library worker stereotypes and dispel the myths.
The second event of the Scare Games in Monsters University takes place in the campus library. In this game the students must capture their team flag without disturbing the librarian. Unfortunately one team can’t stay quiet and the librarian plucks them up and tosses them into the nearby creek.
The Chickasha Public Library understands that life happens above a whisper. We do ask that customers keep conversations quiet.
If the librarian on TV isn’t aggressively shushing a person for daring to speak above a whisper, they are meekly tiptoeing about the stacks afraid of their own shadow. Although if I encountered a ghost like the New York Public Library librarian Alice did in Ghostbusters I would gain a healthy fear of turning corners while shelving.
In reality most public library positions require, well, public interaction. Each day here our staff interacts with customers in person, over the phone, and online. This includes weekly programs we host like Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance and Virtual Preschool Storytime or special programs like the Bookmobile that you will see out at an about on April 7th. Two stops are scheduled one at Shannon Springs park 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and one at the Washita Valley Community center and park from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm.
Ruth Brown was a librarian who was not afraid to take on a challenge. Miss Brown was the head librarian at Bartlesville Public Library in 1950 when she came under fire for her support of the Civil Rights movement. She conducted Storytime for African American children and allowed students from the Douglass school to use the library. In 1950 she was let go from her position. You can read more about her here at the Oklahoma Library Association website.
Stereotypes are useful in media to help the audience quickly identify a character and move the plot along. However in real life every person you meet is an individual and will not perfectly fit into any one particular role. The staff at your public library is an eclectic mix of people happy to serve the needs of our community.