or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk

Damn It Feels Good To Be A Librarian

   February 1st, 2012

I had thought that by doing fewer posts per week, I'd end up with higher quality overall. However, not so much, exactly.

My friend Chris emailed me a link to the image below, which showed up on failblog under the "ugliest tattoos" category. This font wouldn't be my first choice, but I don't think it's so bad (although I cropped out the worst parts - click through to full size if you dare).


But this tattoo reminded me that, unlike my unmodified self, there are lots of librarians with tattoos, piercings, dyed hair, et. al., who probably hear "you don't look like a librarian" every time they tell someone what they do for a living. I have nothing specific to say about this, other than I'm glad our profession is as diverse as our collections, from the individual to the flickr group to the The Tattooed Ladies of Texas Library Association (or just search Google Images for tattooed librarians).

Also: while reading about tattoo librarians, I found a Jessamyn post pointing to a book project: author Shelley Jackson's project for her story Ineradicable Stain: a 2095-word story published exclusively in tattoos, one word at a time, on the skin of volunteers.

Now that is truly lib-core. Incidentally, the title of the post comes from the Geto Boys "Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta," featured in one of my favorite movies, Office Space (NSFW, literally and figuratively):

And in case someone doesn't follow my leap from this tattoo to gangsta, it's the font. Check out, homies.

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7 Responses to “Damn It Feels Good To Be A Librarian”

  1. Peggy Says:

    Damn, I feel good about being a librarian too. (just sayin)

  2. ksol Says:

    All I can say about the tatt is…. location, location, location.

  3. deirdre_lyon Says:

    What I assume is the inspiration:

    Maybe this guy is one of the archivists working with his writing?

  4. Jen Says:

    I enjoy working in the library too but I get an opposite reaction when I tell people who I just meet what I do. They almost always say I would make a good librarian. I just wonder what stereotype I am fulfilling with them when they haven’t even gotten to know me yet. Hopefully, it is a nice stereotype. However, when we start talking about hobbies, they are taken aback that I take karate lessons and hope to get my black belt at one point. Then the reaction is usually a small “oh”. Go figure.

  5. Brian Herzog Says:

    @Jen: funny, my experience is similar to yours. When I switched careers and told people I wanted to be a librarian, almost everyone’s reaction (despite the stereotype of librarians being women) was, “oh, yeah, that suits you perfectly.” But then people are surprised that I knit, so who knows.

  6. Elizabeth Says:

    “Why does it say paper jam when there IS no paper jam?!”

  7. Brian Herzog Says:

    @Elizabeth: My favorite is also printer-related: “PC Load Letter? What the fuck does that mean?” I loved that the printer we had where I worked at the time said that error message about once a day.