So there's been a little debate here at the AL in the comments section to the last post. If you're curious, you don't even have to go look at the last post, because I'll quote the relevant comments. After all, why should you have to click any more links than necessary. You don't have time for that. You're a busy and important person. That's why you're reading this blog.
One reader asked, "Why do many librarians who blog brag about their overall greatness, number of attended, etc.? Are there blogs written, for example, by pharmacists who self-promote or is this unique to librarianship? Care to psychoanalyze?"
Good question, to which another reader replied, "This was covered fairly recently; librarians tended to be the unpopular kids growing up and as adults the job becomes their 24/7 identity, hence the offense at any slight and the need to tell the whole blinking world that they are a LIBRARIAN. Yeah, whatever............."
Is this reader correct? Are all those self-promotional library bloggers compensating for being unpopular geeks as children? Is it sort of like all those novels and movies that seem to have spindly unpopular writers as romantic leads?
But then there's more. A third reader responded to the previous comment: "Maybe I am in the wrong field. I was neither popular nor unpopular in high school. I was a pretty good student, didn't drink much, and had a love interest. In fact, I was so middle-of-the road, it was kinda sad...sorta like Veronica Sawyer in Heathers.
Now as a librarian, I do actually have a difficult time socializing with many librarians I meet at conferences, etc. Who would have thought? I tended bar near a huge Big 10 campus and dealt with all kinds of crazy, drunk undergrads, stressed out med students, etc. For god's sake, I was in a stupid sorority!
Women present more of a challenge. I'm just not into the same things a lot of them are into and it is hard to find common ground besides being a librarian. Believe it or not, I've also found it difficult to gain entry into their clique."
This person suggested a survey, and I, always looking for blog fodder, thought it was a great idea. So my question is, were you one of the unpopular kids? And did this have any effect on you being a librarian? And does this explain the self-promoting library phenomenon at all? Does it help explain why so many librarians seem to immerse their identity in being a librarian?
I'll begin with my answer. In high school, befitting my status as a gadfly, I was on the very edge of the popular clique, mocking the pretensions of the most popular kids while still enjoying their parties. Before high school I don't remember the cliques being as powerful, and by college I was hanging out with all the other pseudo-intellectuals pretending I was living the life of a scholar, if by "life of a scholar" one means reading a lot of books, drinking a lot of coffee, indulging the occasional illegal substance, and talking about history and literature and life with a bunch of other people who didn't know any more than I did. Those were the days, which for me continued on for several years in grad school. Perhaps that's why I have such a stunted personality, but I'm not sure it has anything to do with me being a librarian.