How to earn your librarian stripes: a practitioners guide.

Score yourself one stripe for every thing that is applicable to you. Please note… If you can tick two things off on this list, then congratulations you have earned your librarian stripes.

1. Own a cat. Bonus stripes if you own more than one

2. Cardigans. Remember everyone the exact number of cardigans a library worker needs is nCardigans + 1

3. Have seen Firefly, serenity or other cult TV shows. Loving Doctor Who also gives you a stripe.

4. Have gone too or presented at a library conference/seminar etc. Bonus stripes if you have networked or gone to a dinner/tweetup etc

5. Have a customer service focus. Note this does not require you to be public facing. It just means that whether you are in cataloguing, collections, research or other support services in either public, academic or special libraries, you put the customer at the centre and their needs inform your practice and decision making.

6. Regularly talk about smashing the patriarchy, the evils of capitalism and democracy. You must work in a library and or hold some sort of library degree at any level for this to count.

7. Engage with your professional association. This could be as a member, sitting on a committee or through PD programs.

8. Secretly wanted to work in a library because you love books. I know this one is controversial but if you thought you’d sit around and read books all day and now find you have no time to read, this is definitely stripe worthy.

9. You’ve been burnt out by libraries and pushed through. Those of us who started out as eager puppies, got broken but are still here, that’s definitely stripe worthy.

10. Have more books from the library at home than you can possibly read.

11. Regularly talk about how libraries are for everyone

12. Found a book on a shelf that a customer definitely said wasn’t there. See also the obscure references to weird stuff that customers want

13. Posted a meme on the library’s social media platforms.

14. Bemoaned the state of catalogue, cataloguing or library systems.

15 Have a password that is 25 characters long, has a capital letter, a number and a haiku. It regularly changes for security purposes.

16. Looked sternly and said libraries just aren’t about books or shushing you know to anyone who says “isn’t it all just on google”.

17. Visit libraries when on holidays.

18. Like Gin

19. Realise that real librarians and others are required to do all sort of work in libraries and being customer facing is just one aspect that doesn’t make you more librariany

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