The Hipster Activist in the Library
Currently the most read story at the New York Times website is Kara Jessela's Sunday Styles report on the latest job trends amongst Williamsburg hipsters. According to Jessela, many of the (ironic) mustachioed boys and tattooed girls of Brooklyn—via Nebraska, usually—are turning to the library sciences to supplement their meager DJ incomes and finance their Goodwill shopping sprees. The librarian, says one interviewee, is becoming "more progressive and hipper":
Michelle Campbell, 26, a librarian in Washington, said that librarianship is a haven for left-wing social engagement, which is particularly appealing to the young librarians she knows. "Especially those of us who graduated around the same time as the Patriot Act," Ms. Campbell said. "We see what happens when information is restricted."
Ms. Campbell added that she became a librarian because it "combined a geeky intellectualism" with information technology skills and social activism.
Jessamyn West, 38, an editor of "Revolting Librarians Redux: Radical Librarians Speak Out" a book that promotes social responsibility in librarianship, and the librarian behind the Web site librarian.net (its tagline is "putting the rarin' back in librarian since 1999") agreed that many new librarians are attracted to what they call the "Library 2.0" phenomenon. "It's become a techie profession," she said.
But the unintentional comedy award goes to Ms. Carrie Klein, a newly minted librarian who has abandoned the record industry's filthy lucre for a more academic existence:
"I wanted to do something different, something maybe more meaningful," said Carrie Klein, 36, who used to be a publicist for a record label and for bands such as Radiohead and the Foo Fighters, but is now starting a new job in the library at Entertainment Weekly (emphasis added, though probably unnecessary).
(Photo: Random hipsters found via Google. I cannot guarantee that they are librarians, though I assure you that they are really annoying.)