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Life sans banana slicer

Dear somewhat-still-new librarian who did not receive a banana slicer (per a recent realia-based meme in which Some People were anonymously mailed banana slicers), was not anointed as a Mover & Shaker, has not been tapped for Emerging Leader, ran and lost for an association office or didn’t even get nominated in the first place, has been too busy raising a baby/goat/library/career/yurt to blog, tweet, post on Facebook, and publish all over the place, and at times feels a wee bit Uncool:

Banana slicers are hard to clean.

Many, many, many of those chosen over time to be Movers & Shakers are wonderful librarians. But statistically, not all.  (Please, M&Ts, do not read this as Free Range Librarian Is Trashing Movers and Shakers. It’s just a natural law of population density that if you gather enough people in one room, at least one will be a doofus.)

Emerging Leaders: see above, Movers & Shakers. Yes, it’s a wonderful wonderful initiative! Yes, it helps the young’uns grow strong librarian bones twelve ways! But the law of population density is immutable.

Lost an election? Didn’t even get nominated? Dodged that bullet!  (I grin over the fact that I serve on the ALA Nominating Committee… have been elected to ALA Council three times… and yet have never been nominated to run for Councilor at Large.) A colleague told me that Norman Horrocks,  one of the most significant, larger-than-life librarians to have roamed our world, ran and lost for ALA President more than once.

A lot of published library literature is simply terrible, and far too many bloggers are unacquainted with Mr. Apostrophe and Ms. Comma.  When the time comes to publish, you’ll have years of wisdom under your belt and far more patience with fiddly citation rules.

The odds are you’re amazing anyway.

Posted on this day, other years:

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18 Comments

  1. Pete wrote:

    This is true, true, true. Thanks, Karen.

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink
  2. Heather wrote:

    Thank you for this.

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 11:12 am | Permalink
  3. Anna wrote:

    I’ve worked with an ALA President. If that’s the type of “leader” they want, consider yourself lucky to never be elected.

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink
  4. I’m a M&S and a total doofus. Ask anybody.

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 11:37 am | Permalink
  5. Don’t need no workshop invite card,
    Don’t need no election to the boards;
    Don’t need no ribbons on my lanyard,
    Don’t need to win no cheesy awards.

    All I want, I just want tenure,
    All I need, I just need tenure.

    Don’t need no plastic banana slicer,
    Don’t need no badges, no moving or no shaking;
    Don’t need no trying to be all chummy and nicer,
    Don’t need to maintain, a net life fakin’.

    All I want, I just want tenure,
    All I need, I just need tenure.

    Don’t need no bloggers, no flickrs or no tweeters,
    Don’t need no shitheads on AutoCat;
    Don’t need no pervs, no weirdos or creepers,
    Don’t need a totebag of conference tat.

    All I want, I just want tenure,
    All I need, I just need tenure.

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 11:44 am | Permalink
  6. Kirsten wrote:

    Thank you for this. Really.

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink
  7. Ms. Dorothea! I have for years been in awe of your wonderfulness. No doofusness whatsoever.

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink
  8. Alison King wrote:

    So glad this was shared by INALJ because this has been bothering me lately. I feel like I’m already so far behind in my career, when, hello, I am two quarters away from actually finishing my Masters program at the ripe old age of 24. There’s so much pressure to be innovative and get published ASAP, which are both fabulous feats that I hope to accomplish some day. But that’s not the only sign of success!

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink
  9. Lauren Comito wrote:

    Awards are weird. I’ve gotten a few, and I’ll say I think I’ve always gotten them for both working my tush off, and shamelessly promoting said work. And the thing is, I’d never just do any of it to promote myself, but I guess it kinda comes off that way. I do it to promote my organization(s). Because I believe in what we are trying to do, and frankly, if no one notices a not for profit, how do you even fund it? Now none of that means that everyone else should try to do what I’m doing (just ask my husband) and none of the awards that I’ve gotten mean that other people’s work isn’t important and awesome, and worth noticing. Of course it is! I just wish that when I got one, I didn’t have to be told I didn’t deserve it, or that someone else deserved it more, or that I should feel guilty about it. That hurts a lot. (And yes I know that’s not what this blog post is saying, I just felt the need to say it)

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink
  10. It’s true, the banana slicer is hard to clean. I was amused that I ended up one of the Some People, but now it sits idly in a drawer taking up space…

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Permalink
  11. You are doofus-proof!

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Permalink
  12. Jean Armour Polly wrote:

    Lol, you and I were movers and shakers long before they thought of anointing any! Plus, I keep a tiara in my office just in case youth services throws a princess party.

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 9:41 pm | Permalink
  13. Lauren, you seem to have ambivalence about promoting yourself. Let go of that! And as for the Pissy People, let go of them too. I got catty comments after a (non-library) award and you know, it’s the cost of doing business.

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 10:28 pm | Permalink
  14. 24 years old and no banana slicer? LIFE IS OVER. GIVE UP NOW! But seriously… focus on learning your job extremely well.

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 10:29 pm | Permalink
  15. Sarah Clark wrote:

    As a Librarian who’s been too busy adapting to her new leadership postion and working on her PhD research (and having a Real Life) to blog much about how busy she is, this was a lovely bit of reassurance. You have to write your tune before you can toot your horn, and that’s what I’m focused on at the moment. Nice to be reminded that’s OK. :-)

    Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 10:23 am | Permalink
  16. Dorothea wrote:

    I’m actually totally okay with being a doofus. It means I don’t have to get into body-part-measuring contests; I just concede them and move on. It means I can recognize and respect people who are better at stuff than I am — or, perhaps more tellingly, people who are objectively more successful than I am — without it turning into a horrible ego hit. It means I can even MAKE people more successful than I am — and I have done! — and it’s a win for me, not a loss.

    Being a doofus is aight. I recommend it.

    Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 12:26 am | Permalink
  17. Meredith wrote:

    Fantastic post! I’ve kept this as unread in my Google Reader as it makes me smile every time I look at it. There are great librarians (and terrible librarians) who never get wider recognition. There are terrible librarians (and great librarians) who do. Worrying about being in on the cool “in joke” or getting recognized by Library Journal or some other group just isn’t productive. None of it should be seen as a true reflection of how awesome (or not) someone is. I’m far more proud of some things I’ve done that haven’t received recognition than some I have (creating a wiki? really??? This isn’t rocket science). I know it’s hard not to let stuff like that define our sense of self-worth, but it’s really a bad measure, says the girl without the banana slicer (who also happens to be allergic to bananas). ;-)

    Friday, April 26, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Permalink
  18. Rita wrote:

    Thanks Karen – I needed this.

    Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 11:50 am | Permalink

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  1. Yes, we have no bananas. | Impromptu Librarian on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 11:19 am

    [...] all this, I was delighted to read Karen Schneider’s take on the issue.  Thanks, Karen.  We needed [...]

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