The Library: Not What You Think


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The Library: Not What You Think was a presentation given as part of Ignite Lansing 3.0, held March 5, 2010.

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  • Stereotype –a preconceived and oversimplified idea of characteristics which typify a person or situation. Hi, I’m David I’ve worked in construction, run nightclubs, worked as a bouncer and have 2 black belts. I’m Heidi. I’m 22 play in a band, have 3 tattoos and 2 dogs. When most people meet me they think I work as a barista, bartender or sales associate. First impressions of me are that I’m in a profession similar to my previous jobs..However.We’re librarians. Tonight, we’re going to talk to you about some misconceptions people have regarding our profession. (Cue the SS)----------------------------------------------------------------------------------IgniteLansing 3.0 Speaker Rules:There MUST be 20 content slides, 1 title, and 1 closer.  This comes to a total of 22 slides.You may not change the master template. You may add as many images as you wish, but do not completely cover the red or black portions of the slide.Content Slides will be run at 15 seconds.  Timing is already included in this PPT, please do not change it.NO video/animation is allowed within the slides. You may have background music, but you must provide that as a separate MP3 or audio-cd (preferred).You will be allowed as much time as you need for the title slide. Signal to the booth (Nick) when you are ready to go to your content slides.
  • When most people find out what I do, the response is “I love books. I wish I could read all day”. It makes me want to pull my hair out.
  • No longer are we sitting in some dark room cataloging books. We work with people. We’re making suggestions about what to read, watch and listen to; teaching your children to read; writing columns for the newspaper; meeting with community leaders.
  • From your childhood memories, real or just from cultural suggestion, is this what you think a librarian should look like?She has on sensible shoes, maybe a pleated skirt, drinks tea in the afternoon and has several cats.
  • Some of us actually do fit the stereotype, and we’re proud of it!All of these people all work a block from here at CADL’s dowtown Lansing location.
  • Say nothing.Dave: Shh!
  • In fact, our children’s section is always full of life, we’ve got music concerts & movie screenings, videogaming and so many other activities.
  • My days are spentstudiously filing, stamping books, searching tomes for the GDP of Uzbekistan and staring into the distance pondering Pre-Darwinian conceptions of heredity in the British novel…
  • On any given day, I could file a police report, help someone land a job, call the paramedics, connect someone with GED resources, and at the end of the day, I feel more fulfilled than I have ever felt in my life.
  • When you meet a librarian do you expect them to know Babe Ruth struck out 1330 times, that our founding fathers slept sitting up, as was the fashion of the day, that the largest flower in the world is the Raffelesia which weighs up to 15 lbs and stinks of rotting meat.
  • Dave here has worked as a reference librarian for years. He just knows were to find your answer.. Because he has a Master’s degree in Information Science.
  • You have means of your own. You have a decent job, get your news online, know where to find health and tax information, and can buy a paperback for vacation. What do you need the library for?
  • Even if you don’t need the library, your community does. We are the one place where knowledge and opportunity are available to everyone
  • Being under 40 without kids, there’s nothing for me at the library. I’m not going to Tuesday morning story time. I don’t want to meet Clifford, and if you expect me to go to Wii gaming for seniors, you’re out of your bleeding mind.
  • I’m 22, I don’t have any kids that I know of, and there is so much for me to do at the library. We’ve got our Brew Pub Book Club at the MBC, Graphic novel discussion group at Gone Wired, and The Time Traveler’s Wife author is coming in a few weeks.
  • There’s also a lot of stuff at the library that you would never expect to be able to check out. It’s all free. Audiobook and eBook downloads, access to insane music boxed sets through the Michigan eLibrary, Blu-rays and DVDs.
  • My job at the library is actually to manage our social media and online content. I post items on Facebook, YouTube & Flickr; I Tweet, check in a Foursquare and blog. I never in a million years thought that I’d be so lucky as to Tweet for a LIBRARY for a living.
  • Now, I do have one favor to ask of you all tonight. We’re about to break the 1000 fan mark on Facebook, but more importantly, we’re trying to get more Facebook fans than the Ann Arbor District Library. With all of your help tonight, I think we can do it. Could you guys help me out?
  • Print is dead. Everything is on the Internet. Why would you ask a librarian anything when you have Google?This is from a Google image search. What else will you ever need to know about cats and dogs?
  • We ARE the original search engine.Even Bing, who accuses Google of Information Overload is hard to use. Librarians are the most thorough. We present you information in an organized way, and no search engine can offer you that.
  • Stereotypes take all shapes and forms. Some border on fantasy. Reality is often much harder and nuanced than a simple web search.Hopefully we’ve successfully let our hair down and taken you behind the glasses today, and shown you what our world is really like.
  • For more information regarding programs, stereotypes and materials you’ve seen here today, check out or our Twitter feed. Thanks so much for having us!
  • The Library: Not What You Think

    1. 1.
    2. 2. Myth #1<br />Librarians read all day <br />The Library: Not What You Think<br />Capital Area District Library <br />
    3. 3. FACT<br />WE BARELY HAVE TIME <br />TO READ AT ALL!!!<br />Capital Area District Library <br />
    4. 4. Myth #2<br />We all look like this:<br />The Library: Not What You Think <br />
    5. 5. FACT<br />Librarians come in all shapes and sizes. <br />Capital Area District Library <br />
    6. 6. Myth #3<br />The library is always silent. <br />The Library: Not What You Think <br />
    7. 7. FACT<br />Capital Area District Library <br />
    8. 8. Myth #4<br />Library work is tedious and outdated.<br />The Library: Not What You Think <br />
    9. 9. FACT<br />Library work is dynamic and evolving <br />Capital Area District Library <br />
    10. 10. Myth #5<br />We know EVERYTHING<br />The Library: Not What You Think <br />
    11. 11. FACT<br />We just know where to find everything<br />Capital Area District Library <br />
    12. 12. Myth #6<br />Public libraries are irrelevant<br />The Library: Not What You Think <br />
    13. 13. FACT<br />We are the one place where knowledge and opportunity are available to everyone<br />Capital Area District Library <br />
    14. 14. Myth #7<br />The library has only books <br />The Library: Not What You Think <br />
    15. 15. FACT<br />Programming<br />Capital Area District Library <br />
    16. 16. FACT<br />Collections<br />
    17. 17. FACT<br />Online Content<br /><br />Capital Area District Library <br />
    18. 18. The Library: Not What You Think <br />
    19. 19. Myth #8<br />All you need is Google <br />The Library: Not What You Think <br />
    20. 20. FACT<br />Capital Area District Library <br />
    21. 21. Sorry if you were expecting something like this:<br />Capital Area District Library <br />
    22. 22. @cadl<br />Visit for more info<br />