Friday, September 28, 2007

And the Survey Says

My survey on childhood popularity was slightly in jest, and I was surprised to see how many people commented. Like a lot of surveys conducted by librarians, I don't think we learned anything that wasn't obvious. Based on this rigorous scientifically valid survey, we've discovered that people like to talk about themselves. We've also discovered that all sorts of experiences lead people to become librarians, but that few of us were definitely part of the "in" crowd in high school. There seems to be a high correlation between being a librarian and not being in the most popular crowd in high school, but since this relationship works in only one direction, I'm not sure it tells us much, except that the popular kids rarely become librarians. I don't know what happens to the most popular kids in high school, but I don't think they usually end up in grad school. Maybe they all move to Hollywood with dreams of becoming stars and then wait tables for the rest of their lives.

Thanks to my exhaustive analysis of the data, we have also discovered that rarely did our formative years lead us directly to librarianship. That was certainly true in my case. Had anyone told me in high school I would end up a librarian, I might have cried, and not with joy.

Perhaps I'm getting soft in my old age, because I enjoyed reading the comments and don't have anything to satirize about them. It was an interesting psychological slice of the profession, and thanks for contributing.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you get eight more librarians to serve as co-authors and add about fifteen tables and charts filled with useless statistics, you might have a "College and Research Libraries" article on your hands.

AL said...

Very tempting.

Anonymous said...

Not that it matters for anything, but I've been saying I wanted to be a librarian since I was a little kid and now I'm working for a library director who felt the same way. It's nice to do a job you're good at and enjoy. Some kids are wierd and can tell stuff like that early on. I don't think high school had anything to do with it, though. Neither of us blogs, though. :)

Anonymous said...

ugh, too many thoughs.

Anonymous said...

I had a high school teacher give me one of those "Do What You Are" type tests. Mine came back and said I should be a librarian. Quickly distancing myself from the results, I went to a public university and majored in history. When I had zero job prospects at graduation, being a librarian didn't seem so bad.

Anonymous said...

My step mom was a cheerleader and beauty queen pageant chick and became a children's librarian.

I was a complete anti-social and became an academic/IT librarian -- so maybe it's just the type of librarian we become?

Library Betty said...

1:22

I rode the 'special bus' to school. Maybe that is why I'm a Special Librarian.

Anonymous said...

Well, since my comment led to the last survey, howz about I jump on an ego trip and suggest several more ideas for blog fodder/surveys:

How many librarians:

Have worked or are working as staff personnel? (And the resulting trauma to their career)

Listen to NPR? (I bet most)

Vote Democrat? (I'd still say most, maybe a bit too touchy with today's political environment?)

Can name the kookiest and most unlibrary related job they've ever held?

Plan to stay in the library world past the next five years?

And on an on. Of course you can always ignore my suggestions; although as I look at the phone that never rings and wipe a tear from my eye, I realize everyone does.

Anonymous said...

Don't cry Anyman! I'll bite.

Worked as staff: Yes, it got me into librarianship

NPR: No

Democrat: Hell no, but not Republican either.

Unrelated job: Distance Ed Grad Assistant

5+ Years: Hell yes, tenure by 30 WOOT!

Flaming liberal NPR listening democrat said...

NPR's audience skews toward highly educated people. You could ask the same question of anyone with a graduate degree and I'd bet the results would be the same as those with a MLS.

Anonymous said...

... and thereby hangs a tale...

janitorx said...

How many librarians:

Have worked or are working as staff personnel?
* Grad assistant (pre-library school); several internships during library school. First professional job paid not much more than full-time library technical assistant in state where LIS is located.

Listen to NPR?
* Not that much. Didn't even know about NPR until grad school.

Vote Democrat?
* Usually. Sometimes Independent. Don't imply I am some limo liberal--I grew up working class.

Can name the kookiest and most unlibrary related job they've ever held?

I sold hair products in a flea market when I was 14. I was really good at it, too. I moved all kinds of overpriced products! Other jobs: Bartender/Doorperson. Pizza slinger. Telemarketer. Vitamin factory drone.

Plan to stay in the library world past the next five years?

Yep--on the tenure-track.

Anonymous said...

I guess I can also answer my own questions:

Have worked or are working as staff personnel?

Maybe it's better if I don't answer that one, suffice to say that having the door slammed in your face for having been a staffer with an MLS is very embittering. I guess I should have just stayed unemployed.

Listen to NPR?

Only while in grad school, I was amazed that my class mates and later co-workers all seemed to listen to it.

Vote Democrat?

Never! And at one place I also had it held against me that I didn't vote for Clinton. I think the next election I'll vote for the NOTA party (None Of The Above).

Can name the kookiest and most unlibrary related job they've ever held?

Probably either a tour guide for a children's museum or a telephone book deliveryman.

Plan to stay in the library world past the next five years?

I haven't worked in a library in two years and am too broke to go back to grad school yet again. (and what to major in *this* time anyways?) I really just post about libraries to vent at this point.

/fish said...

Ah, reminiscences.

When I was in school there was an area with loose bricks near to the library.

For occasional amusement I'd take a brick into the library and place it on the shelf. Then I'd find one of the student librarians and ask them if I could still take the brick out on my card if it didn't have an issuing card.

Every time a child is smart mouthed with me it's karma in action... so no, I didn't see myself going into a career in the profession at an early age.

Leo Klein said...

Anon@9:50am said...

If you get eight more librarians to serve as co-authors and add about fifteen tables and charts filled with useless statistics, you might have a "College and Research Libraries" article on your hands.


Actually if you end with: "our research indicates that more research needs to be done", you can publish it pretty much anywhere.

mdoneil said...

How many librarians:

Have worked or are working as staff personnel? (And the resulting trauma to their career)

Nope never did.

Listen to NPR? (I bet most)
Seldom, although I like Car Talk. I am more of a music guy.

Vote Democrat? (I'd still say most, maybe a bit too touchy with today's political environment?)

I don't vote the party line -any party line- but I've never found a Democrat that I'd vote for (that I could vote for - one guy for school board in the next county I would have voted for. Bart was the best guy for the job, and that is how I pick for whom to vote)

Can name the kookiest and most unlibrary related job they've ever held?

Cop -nope a librarian has to do that. RN - nope librarian too.
I was a dead woman in the movie Cocoon, and I picked up the dead form the medical examiner. Those are non-librarian.

Plan to stay in the library world past the next five years?

Hilarious

Anonymous said...

Who was born in a house full of pain
Who was trained not to spit in the fan
Who was told what to do by the man
Who was broken by trained personnel
Who was fitted with collar and chain
Who was given a pat on the back
Who was breaking away from the pack
Who was only a stranger at home
Who was ground down in the end
Who was found dead on the phone
Who was dragged down by the stone?

--R. Waters

Anonymous said...

Have worked or are working as staff personnel? (And the resulting trauma to their career)

As an undergrad and in library school, so no harm to the resume.

Listen to NPR? (I bet most)

I also worked at the campus (NPR) station as an undergrad. I'm even a member of my local NPR station.

Vote Democrat? (I'd still say most, maybe a bit too touchy with today's political environment?)

I'd rather not, they're too conservative, but yeah.

Can name the kookiest and most unlibrary related job they've ever held?

Clown.

Plan to stay in the library world past the next five years?

Yes.

Anonymous said...

AL - I just had to snip this, although the following words don't necessarily track with the remainder of the comment I took it from.

"We've also discovered that all sorts of experiences lead people to become librarians."

I'm not a librarian, but I've met many of them, of all stripe and variety, from school librarians to academics to library school professors.

I remember one, vividly. She had beem married to a Naval Aviator (dive bomber pilot) who was lost in the Mariannas attacking the Japanese. She became a librarian with the Armed Forces and spent almost all of her time in overseas front locations - - Army, Navy, Air Force - - trying to keep up a library where off-duty soldiers, sailors and airmen could spend their time between combat and R&R.

In addition to the books and magazines in her library, she had an extensive collection of Jazz, country western and bluegrass LPs and a turntable. She'd let her patrons select and play what they wanted to hear. She did her best to give comfort and a respite to the men and women who walked into her facility.ozmmaxv

Her library was open, 24/7, and she was always there for "her guys."

AL, That's what I call a librarian!ozuskjz