Library Juice has two very good articles this issue, a short outline of the Radical Reference project from last week’s DNC and. Even better, he has written a longer piece about the “librarian image” told from the personal point of view of someone who hits many of the librareotype bullet points [as I do, as many of us do] and doesn’t think it’s all bad.
In a sense, I am saying that we should embrace our stereotype in order to emphasize its positive aspects (without allowing ourselves to be reduced to that stereotype, as that would rob us of our individuality and diversity). The stereotype fits only a few of us perfectly, but anger over not being represented fairly by it shouldn’t lead us to deny the ways in which we do fit the traditional understanding of what a librarian is like, because there is much that is true and positive in that idea. We should be proud of being librarians according to what the word “librarian” is commonly understood to mean, and should assert our value on that basis – not on the basis that the public has misconceptions about us….