Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Librarian Action Figure

We all know that Batgirl was a Librarian, right? But even I was surprised to see this: Librarian Action Figure.

In tracking down one of these 'must have' be-cardiganned figurines 'with amazing push-button shushing action' I discovered the librarian it is modelled on: Nancy Pearl was an inspiring Seattle librarian whose projects included 'If all Seattle read the same book'... (...what? it would end up in tatters... that's what), radio broadcasts and a highly successful series of 'Book Lust' reading guides.

Nancy Pearl says the largest problem facing libraries now is:
"We have yet to balance the three important functions a library has in a community: information access, providing people with books... and offering quality programs for our patrons. The pendulum swung way over on the information access side and has yet to right itself. We graduate people from library schools... knowing how to build a website, but not knowing how to recommend a book..."
Wirral Libraries have merged, not entirely seamlessly, with the Council's One Stop Shops. It's not hard to see the logic - I come across a far greater number, and wider range of local residents since working in the library than I ever did in 'Public Relations'. I just hope, as librarians are whittled down, book ordering is farmed out to external agencies and we un-qualified minions are retro-fitted as 'customer service assistants' that we don't turn over too many pages at once and lose our place.

So maybe we need to unleash our special powers - not just the shushing action, but a but more stamping and putting things back into order.

And, of course, we're going to need special outfits...


  1. Nancy Pearl is right. "The pendulum swung way over on the information access side and has yet to right itself." There has been a huge push in recent years, to add more weight to the professional qualification in librarianship. If you ask me, the merging of the Library Association with the Institute of Information Scientists didn't help. Speaking as an Information Scientist, that is. Special outfits are, of course, a must if the profession is to be rebalanced in the interest of the public!

    1. And yet people qualifying are lucky to even get a job as a library... sorry 'customer service' assistant.

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