This here post delves more into the first aspect of being a Punk Rock Book Jockey (PRBJ): rebranding yourself. This isn’t to say that you MUST create a new library worker identity for yourself if you’re pro-PRBJ – so if you’re cool with being a Library Aide, Paraprofessional, or a Library Worker, then cool!
One of the questions that surprised me the most when I first posted about Punk Rock Book Jockeys was about whether or not someone with an MILS could give themselves that title. My answer? Heck yeah! By taking that name (or any other name that you come up with), it shows that you both support and respect those of us without an MILS.
As soon as I began working at a library, I realized that “name calling” was a super-emotional topic. It’s when I learned that within the profession, only those with a Masters in Library Science were to be called librarians. That was a shock. And for a long time I had a negative insta-knee-jerk reaction about it. But over time, as I’ve made dear friends on both sides of this divide, I’ve come to the realizations that we all have much better things to do than continuing to stress or be upset over it. It’s good to have these sorts of conversations, but it easily gets into the overly-emotional defensive realm where opposite views are dismissed a little too harshly.
I respect and downright love many library workers regardless of their background. What I care most about is their library passion and that they bring their talents to their libraries/communities. I’ve had the honor of working at my library with a future veterinarian, artists, writers, bakers, and even a future biological systems engineer (who changed career paths because of her time with us – she became a nurse instead). I’ve had the pleasure of working with and being mentored by amazing librarians who challenge me to be not only a better librarian, but to be a better human being. All of these library workers have inspired me in countless ways, and I am so grateful for each and every one of them.
Ultimately I hope that we remove the stigma of, for whatever reason, not having a master’s degree. If we work together, then our profession as a whole will strengthen and grow in ways none of us could imagine. LIBRARIANS AND PUNK ROCK BOOK JOCKEYS UNITE!!!!!
Okay, now for something fun to end this on: a brainstormed list of alternative Punk Rock Book Jockey names!
- Info Wizard [it’s an unspoken requirement that this must be sung like “Pinball Wizard”]
- Truth Detector
- Knowledge Ninja
- Free Speech Defender
- Idea Sharer
- Master of Media
- History Keeper
- Community Cultivator