Molly! Howdy. Thing is, we are in agreement. Well, we are in agreement about some things. We might disagree about the part where you ascribe the stereotypes I am guessing at to me, and the part where you get all riled up and misread me.
You put up a great defense of librarians. Which speaks somewhat to my point. I don’t think librarians really need defense, you know? We know they are hardworking, cool people. Or, some of them are cool. And all of them are just people. If we have a misleading stereotype of them it stems from childhood (and probably TV, and then, as happens with these things, from reverse-engineering efforts to explode that stereotype) when all adults are a bit scary. I think I might have been terrified of your personal librarian as a kid, and I’m willing to bet you might have as well on the right day or at the right age. They are adults, living their lives, and so are a fathomless alien to some kids.
You are right to call the tone of my thing snobbery. But have you seen photos of me online recently? I look fucking TERRIBLE. My snobbery isn’t leveled at these contributors, but at people. I’m not saying that librarians look any worse than anyone else, or that they need to somehow be aloof. I’m dismissive of them in an effort to show that their normalcy isn’t in doubt. What I was saying, all I was saying (I didn’t run the thing on Melville because the point is so banal), is that librarians have the same foibles and affect as all of us, including myself. And if their photos online on hot dog couches make me sad, it’s only in the way that all photos of people make me sad. They are just adults living their lives like the rest of us, and if there’s anything more sad than that I’ve yet to hear it.
The fact that you feel the need to leap to their defense against a non-attack (although, granted, it sure sounded like an attack at times—self-loathing has its ways of creeping into generalized writing) is an indication of the persecution complex that infuses so much of the culture around librarians. Which, as you’d agree, is silly. I don’t think photos of their hobbies is a good defense against criticism, but neither do I think they NEED defense at all.
So, self: checked. Status: still doesn’t think ill of librarians, or at least, no more ill than of everyone. In fact, so sure that librarians are cool, I don’t believe they need impassioned and angry boosterism.
I am always riled! But anyway, I don’t think lookslikelibraryscience functions as a defense of librarianship, that just isn’t why it is out there. It has no agenda: it exists so librarians can share pictures of themselves with each other (which is, as you said earlier, what most of the internet is for). I admit I did jump to the defense of librarians qua librarians rather quickly and probably without warrant, but if there is one thing we here at Library Journal love it is rhapsodizing about the nobility of the profession. (I think its part of an elaborate, decades-old plan to build subscriber loyalty.)
I would argue against the universalizing the automatic fear towards all adults, because that doesn’t really jive with my memory of childhood, but who knows, really, which of us is the exception to the rule, if there is a rule. Also self loathing neither precludes nor discounts snobbery, and I say this as both a self-loather and a snob.
Anyway, I (clearly) feel very protective of this community and seeing the photos they take of themselves characterized as sad or desperate, whether because of their profession or despite it, makes me mad. But if you even think the hot dog chair is sad, then it speaks to a broader disparity in outlook that I don’t think can be bridged through reblogging. To me, that chair looks like such a delight! Roll around in it, pretend you are a hot dog! But, generally, lookslikelibraryscience’s bad lighting, bathroom mirrors, occasional cleavage, forehead sheen don’t get me down. That’s just how they are, and I like them for it.