Thursday, August 22, 2013

On librarians...(and my talk at the Library of Congress)

I used to think librarians were weird.  I've said so many times, getting others to laugh at their expense.   Librarians are at the very least mean and rigid.  Am I right? Once, I tried to check out a book and since the librarian was available, and since there were no people in line, I smiled and walked straight up to the counter.  She told me to go to the front of the line and pointed to the red arrow hanging from the ceiling.  She watched me walk the 8 steps there.  Then she called me up.  WHAT?!  Plus, those librarians...they're always shushing you.  

View from the Library of Congress
In my gardening/food speaking engagements, I've talked with many different groups of people and after speaking at the Library of Congress twice now, I can say that hands-down, my favorite audience is comprised of the group there.  And most of them are librarians!  I'm not quite sure where that OCD librarian I encountered in my past came from.  And all the mean ones from my childhood must have retired because this group of people was excellent.  Intelligent, excited, eager to learn, eager to share their own knowledge, polite, and just an overall joy to meet and talk with.  Among the participants were several librarians and one kind woman brought to share about 40 copies of a booklet comprised of resources on the topic of food preservation.  Leave it to a librarian to show up to a presentation with a freaking bibliography!  Jokes aside, it was really awesome and I so appreciated it.  

Also, what a wonderful place to work.  Each day, there are numerous events going on at the Library of Congress, with programs of a ridiculous range of topics planned throughout the year - many of them open to the public.  These programs are often held during lunch so employees can participate.   It's quite an agency that is based on knowledge, thrives on sharing knowledge, and encourages further knowledge.


  1. You are too funny! How cool is that to speak at the Library of Congress. So tell a little more about your outline. (pretty please)

    1. Super cool! I went through freezing, drying, pickling and canning. You would love to give this talk! People like us could talk about this topic for days.

  2. Funny, I have met several librarians lately and have been surprised that they were young, hip and fun! I must have been suffering from the same misconceptions you describe.

  3. We have a fairly decent library here but I want a Library of Congress like yours. With a view of The White House. How cool. I'm so glad you've had your (well-meaning and understandable) stereotype of librarians erased. Librarians rock!

  4. I think that stereotype got out of date once computers replaced the old card catalogue. That librarian who made you walk the 8 steps must have been a control freak. I think it's wonderful, Wendy, the way your public writing and speaking career has blossomed in the last couple of years. I hope you do an international tour some time and come to Melbourne.


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