Alex Halpern, CityLab:
While I never intended to become The Angriest Librarian, a lifelong inability to hold my tongue—and my frustration with the permeating stereotypes of 1950s-era public libraries—seems to have made it inevitable. So, when I was confronted with yet another blowhard who couldn’t see the value his tax dollars were placing right in front of his face, I had no choice. Over the next few days, I picked up 15,000 followers and found myself in a position to become a public face for my besieged profession.
For far too many people, the word library conjures up an image of a dusty old building, full of dusty people reading dusty relics. For others, it’s the stereotype of the “sexy librarian,” the nubile authoritarian who shushes you into the stacks. In reality, what public libraries have become in the 21st century is a model for building community and enhancing opportunities for underserved and marginalized people. Those dusty books still exist, but today they’re side by side with technology, maker spaces, interactive learning environments, and librarians that are trained to teach their communities how to use them.
We are a profession in dire need of a makeover, and a new generation of librarians is absolutely killing it in the effort to make that happen.