I read the Ottawa Citizen on Tuesdays for the EX column. If you don't know this column it is satirical and written about, by and for the bureaucratic lunacies we know as the workings of government. Anonymous, of course.
We librarians, AKA information specialists, AKA information managers, AKA anything -but-librarians- need our own EX column. Our own vehicle for dealing with the vagaries of the IM LS LAC LC, DDS, ILS, OCLC, load your favourite library acronym here "special" world we work in.
I want to call it a rant, but Rick does it so well on the CBC that I would be hard pressed to consider putting myself in that league.
But then again, why not? A 'you've got to be kidding', a 'you're killing me kind of column.' It needs a title. Help me out here would you dear colleagues? I decided I need to rant because of a meeting I attended the other day that has at least three columns worth of rants ready to roll. Let's start with the one that bugged me the most.
It's no small wonder we librarians have an image problem! I am not at all surprised - again! We continue to do it to ourselves. And frankly! it's no small wonder we don't get respect. Some of us, don't deserve it. And with the "young ones" in the room looking up to us as mentors. Please young ones - there are certain parts of the room I'd rather you NOT look! I shake my head in disbelief.
I am talking about comportment at business meetings chers colleagues. How we carry ourselves. One would think that this would be a no brainer. It appears I am wrong. Business meetings are for business. Business defined as the work we do. Business is not hobby time. Business is not catch up on e-mail time. Boring as the meeting may or may not have been - and that's a story for the next time - we *must* always conduct ourselves as if we are interested or at least we are perceived as being interested in the goings on around us. Particularly when it is one's boss chairing the thing. It's called behaving professionally - in a business like manner. Always!
What IS she talking about you might be asking yourself about now. I was shocked and appalled - yes appalled - to see a dear colleague KNITTING socks! Seriously! knitting socks! During a business meeting in a room full of at least 100 of my colleagues. Was it life or death with the socks? Knitting in front of two (well at least one!) high-flying, fast-tracking managerial types who I am sure don't have much use for the librarians surrounding them except to use as a stepping stone to the next managerial level. Knitting socks in front of the bosses at a large group meeting does not sit well with me. Ever. It is so NOT professional, and somewhat disrespectful and it continues to play right into our image problems. If you need something to do, pretend that you're making notes about the meeting even if you're only preparing your to do list for tomorrow, but please for the rest of us who are doing are darndest trying to break the image of the glasses wearing, bad hair, bad shoes, polyester wearing, knitting librarians - someone who has a career and not a job - get out of my way or even better - please stay away from meetings where there are people who matter! Be they the newbies we are trying to ensure *stay* in the profession, or the high flyers who believe they can manage our libraries better than we can or your dear colleagues who are trying to get the job done and have to deal with the high flyers and every thing else in a pressure cooker. It's very difficult to be professional and be taken seriously when you have "professionals" knitting socks during business meetings. PLEASE! Take the knitting needles, find a cat somewhere and leave the room so the rest of us can be taken seriously for the work we are trying to accomplish.
Do you have something that needs ranting about in your government/special library world? Send a comment in telling us what bugs you and we will rant on your behalf!