Monday, March 21, 2005

Slam at Children's Librarians

Whether you like or dislike Laura Bush efforts as "librarian-in-residence" at the White House why does a discussion of her role have to invoke a slam against children's librarians?

Just the same, some librarians said they feel the first lady perpetuates an incomplete and outdated stereotype of their profession, which is increasingly high-tech and specialized.

Said Blake Carver, a New York librarian and Web site operator, "We are not all gentle creatures who read books to children."
Why does Carver make that sound so ... distasteful? Echoes of baking cookies and giving teas.

Goodness, I am perpetuating an incomplete and outdated stereotype because I read to children. And here I thought one of my roles was to make reading seem like the most wonderful past time in the world, to fire-up imaginations and to touch hearts with stories. I cannot imagine a higher profile job than that.

To be a children's librarian is like a vocation. You have to be PASSIONATE about the books or the kids see right through you. Well, I guess I am not really a "gentle creature" after all.

Petrified Truth had a good take on the comment:
Leaving aside for now the ongoing paranoia of the library community about the Patriot Act, this thought occurs: it takes a deep insecurity to single out reading books to children as an example of lack of status or professionalism.

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