What’s more lovable than a librarian? Koala bears? Free hot dogs? Unassuming photos of corgi puppies? In our opinion, librarians are second to none in lovability – after all, can a koala bear locate the last disk of the show you’ve been binging on all month? Do free hot dogs satisfy your unquenchable thirst for obscure books of modern poetry? Can those corgi puppies host an interactive story time for your preschoolers? Librarians are a rare breed, and with the Public Library Association’s 2014 Conference just around the corner (!!!), there’s no better time for a little librarian loving. We’re kicking off the celebration with five reasons that librarians run the world.
1. They always have the answer. Or if they don't, they know where to find it.
Certified sleuths of the worlds we love most, a librarian never leaves you empty handed. Even when you’ve combed the shelves ten times over, librarians effortlessly laser in on the object of your desire in seconds. Wielding magical powers only granted to creatures of the librarian world, they’re here to help mere mortals (or should we say muggles?) access the wizarding world of libraries.
2. Their wisdom and guidance is free.
The best things in life are free. And according to Mango’s Best Of list, librarians take the cake. In public libraries across North America, there are gurus of all disciplines stocking shelves, taking questions, and creating opportunities for their communities to learn, explore, and grow – all for the low, low price of zero dollars. No smartphone apps, magazines, or television shows could replace the expansive, personalized knowledge dispensed by your local librarian - unless they designed it themselves. Can we make that happen? Moral of the story: befriend your librarian, visit them often, and support your local library. Your brain will thank you.
In movies and books, librarians pop up as a variety of caricatures: hushing noisy children, warily peering out from behind a book, sporting glasses on a chain – there's even the occasional monocle. In reality, there are over 150,000 professional librarians in the United States alone, and each person offers their own lovable take on their profession. Experts in a variety of fields – be it archaeology, children’s literature, or technology – librarians rep a range of identities, interests, and storied histories. Jacks of all trades, they're known to wear a variety of hats – but with style like this, who needs a hat?
4. Librarians encourage us to be rebels.
“Yes, books are dangerous. They should be dangerous – they contain ideas.” Author Pete Hautman, who is clearly one of us, points to the inherent edge of the library world and its keepers. Librarians aren't afraid to live dangerously in the name of promoting access and education in their communities. Case in point: library activists and the ALA are responsible for Banned Books Week, celebrating the freedom to read and write. Rebels with a cause, they keep us on our banned book game year in and year out.
5. They keep us warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Two words: temperature control. Public libraries belong to the people, and library cards are free to residents. See all those happy Arthur characters? They're free to wear whatever they want, because they're in a library. Layered sweaters, knee high socks, rolled-up shirt sleeves – come as you are. With the community’s best interest at heart, the public library remains a safe haven from the wild weather of the outside world, despite rain, shine, sleet, or snow. Switch off your space heater and head to the library to warm up the old fashioned way: cuddled up with a good book. We’ll see you there!