Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Rising Generation Views the Library

Inadvertantly, I came across a random blog post from what appears to be a 17-year-old Australian student who severely criticizes librarians (though I'm sure there are American examples of this kind of criticism). This is one (obscene) paragraph from a pathetic and incoherent longer entry by a member of the rising generation who calls hereself Linnypooh:

"Hmmm... I have a stupid geography assignment on Bali dued soon... T_T really - why Bali? I really hate going online - most, if not all, of the information online is bogus! And libraries - i don't do libraries! I hate how its all quiet.. the atmosphere in most libraries feel weird =/ (maybe i'm just weird haha) I HATE THE LIBRARIANS! rude and obnoxious bitches! Gosh i swear they sit there on their fat asses talking on the DAMN phone!! When you need their bloody service they give you the biggest dirty! Man i'd love punch them in the face x_X they all deserve black eyes!"

This seems too aggressive for someone named Linnypooh, if you ask me. It's reassuring that this person doesn't just trust everything found online, though the claim that most of the information is bogus shows a decided lack of information discrimination. Perhaps those librarians should bibliographically instruct her. Her observation on the size of librarian bottoms is, it seems to me, spot on.

But I love the next sentence--"I don't do libraries!" Considering the hostility of the final sentence and the threat of face-punching, I think we can all rest easier about her antipathy to libraries, especially those of us working in Australia. [For my Australian readers: Her profile has a photo of her. If you see her coming, keep your guard up. Unabridged dictionaries are almost guaranteed to stop any punch. Hold one up in front of your face at all times.]

It's interesting also to see the unexpurgated ranting of a disgruntled library patron, considering all the ranting librarians do about annoying patrons. I don't do much of that myself, of course, but there's plenty of good stuff by the Happy Villain or the Bitter Librarian to keep you company. I'm trying to imagine the humorous, vindictive, and yet occasionally touching post the Happy Villain might write if Linnypooh punched Lily or Celia. (Sorry to indulge. Happyville is my favorite library soap opera.) However, to be fair, the annoyed librarians among us are usually pretty specific about the annoying patrons. This girl hates all librarians.

Still, if Linnypooh is at all representative of the rising generation, the "nextgens" that some librarians are always trying to persuade to use libraries, then the librarians definitely have some hard work ahead of them. On the other hand, if you can persuade her, you can probably persuade anyone.

The most disturbing thing is not the danger to libraries, but the inevitable fact that, as the politicians keep telling us, the children are our future. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Hell.


Bunny Watson said...

Just think what happens as those techie, with-it, let's join the users in their spaces librarians start invading social spaces like MySpace and Facebook. I picture these librarians' astonishment at the hostility the way I imagine the intelligentsia acted when the Bolsheviks turned on them after the Revolution.
"But, wait, you can't do this! We helped you. We gave you power, and now you turn on us?"
And the heartless "nextgens" will either slaughter us or send us to the far reaches of the gulag.

Anonymous said...

All that is old is new again.
This is funny oh-oh, but not funny ha-ha.

Linnypooh would probably get along famously with my irascible 91-year-old father-in-law since they seem to have similar opinions on the usefulness of libraries and librarians (well, if they ever got past generational issues of hairstyle and skin art, but that's another issue...).

I recently asked if he had gotten a library card yet (he just moved to town) and he grumped that "...I hardly ever went to a library in my life", that "...I just don't like 'em...", but “…I guess they're all right."

The attitude isn't new, just the wrapper.

So, how *does* one reach out to folks like that?!

Dances with Books said...

It may be why I stay away from those spaces. Hey, if the techies who "get it" want to go into those places, I say let them, and let them get eaten by the wolves while at it. The heartless may take them, but they are not taking me. I am doing all I can to subvert and cheer them on, hehe.

Happy Villain said...

I'm ... struggling. I want to thank you for the reference to my soap opera blog of insanity... but... the thought of someone punching Lily... or Celia... or anyone else in MY LIBRARY is overwhelming my brain. Can't think! HULK MAD!

We have an annoying little shelver who works with us. Pretty much can't stand her -- pathological liar, needy, hypochondriac, always needs attention. Tonight some teenagers threatened her because she reported them for something they did, and the librarian downstairs threw them out. When I found out about it, despite my feelings for this girl, I went out of the building looking for them and wanted to call the police.

Do not mess with a librarian when I'm around! Linnypooh? Bring it on!

Me said...

Linnypooh would probably get along famously with my irascible 91-year-old father-in-law since they seem to have similar opinions on the usefulness of libraries and librarians

Or my 48-yr-old brother in law. Same attitude, different wrapper indeed.