John Allison loves Libraries

Somehow it has taken me years …FIVE years, of reading John Allison’s many amazing comics to find his personal blog, which is just as delightful to read. Here’s an entry/cartoon he wrote at the beginning of this year in support of libraries! 

On behalf of librarians everywhere, thanks for your support, John Allison! One thing I really like about this comic is that it charmingly evokes so many librarian stereotypes (the silence, the glasses, the Dewey Decimal System…) which I think will remain entrenched in the concept of “librarian” forever.  (A fun exercise that totally upholds this idea is to search “librarian” on Etsy.)

The Dewey Decimal System in particular seems like it will stay in the public mind for the long haul, quite possibly because it is the formative cataloging system lots of people learned in elementary school, but also because it is not an obscure acronym. (To be fair though, I can’t tell if this librarian is raging against the Bran Flakes because the metadata on the cereal box is not Dewey Decimal, or because somehow it is.)

Based on what I’ve found in various Guardian articles, it seems like public libraries in the UK are having an even worse time than libraries here. So sad, but there’s some comfort in the fact that they’re receiving support from so many authors. It may lead to good things in the long run. It’s intimidating to think about entering this field at such a mutable time, but ever optimistically I would like to think this low point is just part of a societal/cultural sine wave that will eventually have an upturn once we figure out what role libraries can best play in the new terrain. Push on, librarians!

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