Sunday, January 15, 2012

New Year, New Look, New Title

The Auld School Librarian in her natural habitat...totally not posing or anything

I have recently received notice from San Jose State that I have officially graduated!  Now that I am in proud possession of an MLIS I can call myself a librarian.  This is a big milestone for me, so I thought it merited a re-branding of my blog.  I only came up with the "Sassy Shelver" moniker because I couldn't call myself a librarian at the time and because between my jobs at a library and a book shop I was in fact doing a lot of shelving.  Now however, I rarely shelve books so it no longer seems right to call myself by that name.  So after a Skype conference with my good friend Laura spit-balling some ideas I came up with "Auld School Librarian."

I like this name for many reasons.  Firstly, I do like to sew, write letters, play backgammon, and engage in other pastimes from, well, the past.  I enjoy retro clothing styles, I shun contacts in favor of glasses, and I wear my hair long and often in braids.  Secondly, in many ways I am a stereotypical 'old school' librarian: I wear the aforementioned glasses, I have a cat, I am shy around strangers, I generally dress conservatively and sometimes even wear my hair in a bun.  Thirdly, I work in an elementary school so I thought it would be clever.

I was going to use 'old school librarian,' but there was already a blogger blog with that name (and one post from 2005, but still crouching on the domain) so possibly because it was so recently the new year with the annual singing of 'Auld Lang Syne' I thought of solving my problems with Scotch.  In the end I'm glad that someone was crouching on the 'old school librarian' name because 'auld school' is more unique and it gives a little nod to my Scottish friends.  I've visited them the past two summers for about a month each time and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  Both because of the company and the country.  Hopefully I will visit them again this summer.  The picture I'm using as the background (and the one at the top of this post) is actually a picture of me in Scotland, at my favorite castle, Dunottar.  So even though I am not myself Scottish I feel at least slightly justified in using a Scottish word in my title.

I look down my glasses at you!
Outside of Amsterdam's public library.
The title is in some ways self-mocking because I know I'm old-fashioned and have been teased for it.  Many librarians are trying hard to dispel the librarian stereotype, so admitting to being old-school is not really in vogue in the profession at the moment.  I do appreciate their efforts and follow the blogs of many librarians who absolutely shatter the stereotypical image.  I have worked in libraries for many years now (or at least what qualifies as many years to a twenty-something) and have met a wide variety of librarians so I know as well as anyone that the stereotype is false.  At the same time I believe in staying true to who you are and I like my long hair and retro dresses and glasses.  I really don't think my personal habits are important enough to have an effect on the image of the library profession as a whole so I don't see the point in changing myself to look more modern.  Besides, I don't think any of the librarians with edgier looks would advise me to do so anyway.  Librarians are all about helping people pursue their passions and their interests whatever they may be--not forcing them to conform to an ideal.  That's why librarians are so varied and why I am so proud to finally join their ranks.  That's why I feel free to embrace my old-school style.

Finally, I know from reading That Book Woman by Heather Henson to classes that old-school librarians are actually pretty tough cookies.  The pack horse librarians of the Appalachians traveled miles by horse, mule, and foot across rivers, mountains, and rocky terrain to reach remote houses and schools.  Plus, Casanova was apparently a librarian.  So really, old-school librarians aren't the stereotypical shushers people seem to think of them as, and I am proud to number myself among their company.

My bedroom Senior year of undergrad.
Wearing my 'baby got books' t-shirt, sitting under my 'people who really love books read naked' poster, and generally looking stereotypical.
So that's the rationale behind the blog re-vamp.  I like it and I hope you will too.  If you have any thoughts or advice on what direction I should take the blog in the future, let me know in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. Yaay, it's live!

    You don't have glasses in the last picture yet, though! :D

    What I'd like to see:

    MOAR book reviews!
    More about the activities and such you do at school, like the puppet stage!
    Crafting projects!