I am the second-youngest librarian on staff, saved from being the youngest only by our newest staff member, who is only slightly (like, I suspect, months) younger. Usually, this works either in my favor or does not register with patrons at all. However, twice this week, while working on the desk with one of our veteran librarians, I had the patron insist on asking the “older” librarian, because she knew more.

The “older” librarian did not, in fact, know how to answer the patron’s question any better than I did, but that’s not what upset me. The problem is that the two veteran librarians on staff have, for years, cultivated the air that they are experts in their particular areas and no one else can know things the way they do. I have no problem with expertise, and consider several areas to be “my” areas, but I do not, and would never, tell a patron that I am the only one who can help them in that area. I might know more about online reference sources than my colleagues, but they also might know some resource I don’t, or, you know, they could learn!

Being told by a patron that Veteran Librarian over there is the only one who knows historical records questions is annoying and insulting, because, 1. Veteran Librarian is currently busy and so Young Snarky Librarian is the one available,  2. Young Snarky Librarian does in fact know her way around the local history room, thank you very much, and would be more than willing to help, and 3. Young Snarky Librarian also knows that Veteran Librarian just wants you and everyone else to think she’s important. And she is, but not because she hordes information.

I am a librarian with a tattoo. My tattoo gets lots of attention in the library. It’s on the inside of my forearm, and is generally visible when I hand someone something across the desk or when I point them in one direction or another, which means often. Usually, older men gasp and ask what it symbolizes, younger boys ask if it hurt, and most women usually just say something along the lines of, “neat.” Last week, an older teen boy told me that I was the first librarian he’d ever seen with a tattoo and he thought it was cool. This made me very happy.

I am also, apparently, a librarian who is likely to be kidnapped by Dracula, though this has nothing to do with my tattoo. At least I hope not. The suggestion came from Sam, in response to my review of The Historian on GoodReads. In that book, (which I recommended to Sam before I’d reached – been disappointed by – the end) Dracula spirits away librarians to his secret underground lair until he finds the perfect one to catalog his collection. It’s odd and not nearly the most threatening thing Dracula could possibly do, but, when it comes down to it, I still wouldn’t want to be Dracula’s librarian.

Tonight, I am alone at the reference desk and closing the second floor by myself for the first time. If I see a bat-shaped shadow, I’m outta here.