October 14, 2013

Librarians confess all!


The role of librarian comes with a strange moral burden attached — maybe it’s just the effect of hoary old stereotypes, or the fact that the job description demands a certain amount of patience and self-sacrifice, but there’s a sense that librarians are good people, nice people, people with few-to-zero dirty secrets.

Well, there’s another myth shattered. Because a Tumblr now exists called Librarian Shaming, and it’s full of librarians — ruled paper held up in front of their faces, protecting their identities — confessing all their library-related sins. And some of them will make you drop your circulation cards.

By far the majority of the confessions are about not returning library books on-time, which is pretty shameful when you consider that librarians work where the books are supposed to be returned to. Other tame-ish crimes that crop up regularly are surreptitiously returning overdue books without paying fines, writing in books, dog-earing pages, and reading library books in places like the bath and the toilet. A couple of individuals admit to the reference librarian-sin of doing their research for reference questions on Google and Wikipedia, and not on specialized library databases… which we always knew…. but it’s good to see them say it.

There’s also a surprising number of librarians who confess to benighted pasts when they never used the library and didn’t even know how to (and sometimes, benighted presents—a couple of posters get all their ebooks off the internet, because borrowing them through the library is too much of a pain–OverDrive might want to look into that). Some benighted pasts have a happy end:

Snarky comments are made about patrons, like this one:

But actually, the snark about patrons remains fairly minimal; one librarian admits that she loves the patrons, but just hates other librarians.

The theoretically squeakiest clean of them all, children’s librarians, have their say too. They’ve never read Harry Potter and don’t intend to, they never took their own children to story hour, and then there’s this person:

Other librarians have an extremely precise understanding of their deep and unforgivable transgressions. For instance,

HOW COULD YOU???? I mean, nevermind, I have no idea what means. No idea. I am impresssed.

Some disclose an underground universe of library antics: did you know you can turn the way people pronounce “library” and “library” into a drinking game? Well, it’s clearly going on out there. Also, this lady, posing before the scene of the crime:

And some, inevitably, are just adorable:

Bad to the bone!


Sal Robinson is a former Melville House editor. She's also the co-founder of the Bridge Series, a reading series focused on translation.