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People wonder how can you make your reference desk and cheerier. Well how about put a cute little stuffed animal on the desk. One place I work has a reference/circulation desk and right in the front one of the staff members left a small stuffed bunny with a pull string coming out of its booty that makes it vibrate. At first I thought it was little weird until I put it on the desk and saw that it made the bunny scoot up and down. Now how can your frown Not turn upside down when you see it skipping on the desk. Sometimes I will pull the string and every time the students cannot help smiling.

I really want to out a sign underneath that says” We are hoppy to help you, ” but do you think that is a little cheesy? Probably, just a little!

Being a millennial and a librarian, I get noticed. In my geographical area I work in I am one of the youngest academic librarians that I know of. To some I seem to represent the new wave of change because of my age. Most of my friends I similarly aged comrades are not in the librarian field and tease me for a certain stereotype. After laughing it off, I start to ponder about the stereotypes we librarians face on a daily basis. I have come to this conclusion…

People are obsessed with our clothes.

Seriously now people say things like, “She is so dressed like a librarian, ” or “She must be one of those hipster librarians they are talking about, ” Or (my personal favorite)” Why does she not dress like a librarian, does she think she is cool or something?”

Last July the New york Times brought younger librarians to light in A hipper crowd of shushers (sorry to bring this article up again, but it demonstrates part of my point). This article if you had not read it (I think you are the only one on the planet that has not) is about the next wave of librarians and how different they are that the current ones.  now in the library field this topic has long been discussed, so much that it has almost become a stereotype in itself. Now two librarian images emerge one of a cat lady with a bun and glasses and the other of a youngish generation x librarians with piercings and tattoos and fabulous clothes. Now the reason stereotypes exist is the fact that some parts are true. However, everyone does not seem to fit the mold. It seems like a battlefield has emerged that pits the ones in the times article with the Nancy Pearl figures. Now while I do love a good shoe sale, I am certainly not as cool as the one documented in these types of articles. However suddenly, I am the spokesperson for them because I am around their age. The other thing is the librarians in most of these hipster librarians articles are Generation X. I along with a new crowd are Generation Y. Typically Generation Y are a little different, because most of us went into this profession right straight from high school to college, and some of the hipster librarian I know did something different before deciding to become a librarian. In the future this will probably be looked at because we are a different species. However, some in the library field seem to lump all young librarians into the group of those who cannot be trusted. I have heard some in the library field complain about how others dress.

Back to the clothes, I believe clothing is not the issue, it is only the battlefield. The true problem  is the notion of  changing of the guard. The previous generation worked so hard to make the profession the best that it can be, and are afraid the younger generation is going to undo all the work and toil they put forth. The fact of the matter is that us youngsters will find our way like our more experienced counterparts did, and it will be okay. As for wardrobe choices on both sides I would like to ask both sides this question ” Do you dress the same way now that you did in high school?” I know for myself that my style has changed over the years and know that it will continue to do so. There are very few professions to examine in detail what we wear. The point in all of this is we need to get past the clothing and see how can work together to help our patrons. The reality of the situation is that the stereotypes are an exception rather than the norm. Some of the hippest librarians I know happen to be older. A lot of younger librarians I know love to crochet and knit and embrace the Nancy Pearl image ( Yes, I do look like a librarian group in Facebook is 175 strong).

The moral of the story is that by working together we can do great things. Yes we can!