Librarians no longer wear their hair in a bun: SLA candidates address misperceptions of info pros
Today I watched the videos on YouTube of candidates for
could change one misperception about librarians and information professionals,
what would it be?". As I listened to the candidates outlining their least favourite
stereotypes I was nodding my head in rueful recognition. As a librarian myself,
they were all misperceptions I’d encountered – things like all librarians love
books and reading is their favourite pastime, librarians are boring and sit
around with a bunch of dusty books all day, librarians are dowdy, old-fashioned, out of
touch and uncool. My all time favourite, the shocked “but you don’t look like a
librarian!” when someone encounters an information professional with style and
attitude was also mentioned.
I was impressed
though with the energy and passion with which the candidates rebutted the
misperceptions. I think Cynthia Barrancotto summed it up most neatly by saying
“We are much more than you think we are”. Her point was borne out by many of
the other candidates who highlighted the transferable skills of librarians that
could be used to help people in many different situations, that librarians are
at the forefront of embracing new technology, that we are dynamic, data savvy,
cerebral information experts, technically-skilled, progressive, innovative
thinkers, who can put people together with information.
While we within the
profession know our own value, is this filtering through to the wider world?
Are perceptions changing?