The Incognito LibrarianWhile it is most certainly our jobs as librarians to have photographic recall, the same can not be said of those around us. Take me for example.
I realized this morning as I left the house, I did not really need to bring my fabulous vintage tortoise shell sunglasses with me. The sun is not up when I leave the house, and it has already set by the time I drive home in my gas friendly mid size SUV.
However, every day on my lunch - I stroll around in a near by park, so as to whet my appetite for my well packed lunch. Though the sun has almost completely disappeared from this part of the world, at noon, it is shining brightly. Of course, I need my sunglasses - to prevent me squinting, possibly ruining my caramel colored eyes for the rest of my life; as well as preventing premature wrinkling in the form of crows feet.
Why, despite the fact that this behavior could actually have a clock set to it, does no one recognize the man in the camel overcoat with the tortoise shell sunglasses? I must admit, I wonder.
The security guard stops me and asks to see the contents of my bag everyday. I pull my badge on a lariat out of my coat, to which he always replies "OH! It's you!"
I know understand the concept behind Clark Kent/Superman. It really does work.
It assures me of a peaceful walk around the park. I am masked even as I sit on a park bench and fill in pages of my Moleskine with a fine nibbed Waterman fountain pen.
On entering the building, the usual barrage of paparazzi like hello's fails to buzz in my ears - because I am so well hidden.
Now I do admit, wearing sunglasses inside the library on my way in and on my way out may seem a bit over the top. At first it was practice for being a celebrity librarian.
Now it is essential. I am given an entire hour of lunch, in peace and quiet. No more adoring fans stopping me. I am not elite, I do say hello to people on my way out, as well as when I enter.
I recently learned, thanks to my reality TV obsessed partner, that good supermodels wear sunglasses all the time, because when photographed, they do not have to worry about their eyes looking funny.
The last thing I want is my mug showing up somewhere on the "Lifestyles" page of Library Journal, looking like I just got out of bed. My G-d, the talk in the community would be awful.
My suggestion is that all librarians wear sunglasses when they are not in the building. A scarf is not a bad idea either - safe for both sexes, while helping shatter the myth of the awkward, ill dressed librarian. It is a trans-seasonal look. Fedora in the summer with a fitted denim jacket, ladies, hat with brim and a chiffon scarf.
Moral of this blog: We are public figures, my dear readers, whether we like it or not.