The Shhh-ing Librarian
Wanted to share a picture of my latest tattoo - the shhh-ing librarian. I love what she represents - the complete opposite of how I operate my library! Growing up, my high school librarian was infamous for repeatedly yelling 'Shut up!' at top volume, officially making her the LOUDEST person in an otherwise too-quiet place. Then I worked with a librarian who greeted students with 'Where's your pass? Why are you here? No Googling, now go back to class;' needless to say, with that icy greeting we seldom had any students in the library...just tumbleweed blowing across the place. Sigh.
Once I got out on my own and had the chance to set my own tone, the shhh-ing librarian was no more! I do my best to welcome students with a smile and a 'How can I help you?'...and guess what? Even if they're not actually there to work, I'll let them stay and socialize if they're not seriously interrupting others trying to work. It's okay for the library to be a cool hang-out. In fact, it's better than okay - it's AWESOME. When students see it that way, they're much more likely to come to me for academic assistance or a book rec when they really need it. Some of the most animated conversations that have gone on in my library have been between me and students about books - the hottest male character in Y.A. lit being one of the most hotly debated topics (for the record, Augustus from The Fault in Our Stars just edged out Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door and Patch from the Hush, Hush series).
The shhh-ing librarian had her day, but in the era of engaged student learning and the library as a learning commons, let's put her quietly to rest - right there on my arm.