What is it about librarians?


Bumping this up from a comment.

From the Oelibrarian blog, an entry entitled Just desserts on bare feet.

The author is “a fairly new, tenure-track faculty librarian.” The author also hates bare feet, saying

If you are a follower of this blog, you know I am virtually militant about the no bare feet in the library issue and don’t hesitate to tell students they need to wear shoes while in the library.

Whatever for? Who cares? Why should you care? What problem does such a ban solve? None. None at all.

It seems like librarians are among the worst authoritarians for telling other people what to do for no other reason than that they like to order them around. Libraries, more than any other governmental entity, seem to like to ban bare feet. I did an internet survey a while back (using Google and other search engines to find libraries’ codes of conduct). Approximately 2/3 of public libraries have a shoe rule, and approximately 1/5 of college libraries do.

In the comments, the author adds that no bare feet is a campus-wide policy. I really have doubts about this—I have never heard of a college or university with a campus-wide barefoot ban. What do they do in the dorms, for instance? By the way, the author’s part of the state university system of New York, which makes me doubt it even more.

PS. My daughter is a librarian, so this is no knee-jerk antipathy to librarians, just those who are more impressed with their own self of self-importance and who succumb to their authoritarian impulses.


2 Responses to “What is it about librarians?”

  1. oelibrarian Says:


    I completely respect your opinion. But I do think it is unfair to say I hate bare feet, and maybe my choice of words should have been different. I don’t hate bare feet and would like to go bare foot more often.

    And while you can doubt that there is an institutional policy, I can assure there is one. And I think we could all question the validity of it. Hmm, what are the reasons for? Also, it is a shirt and shoes policy for the buildings, excluding the dorms of course and I’m sure some parts of the gym. And of course eveyone is free to go barefoot outside.

    And it is very unfair to accuse me of being an authoritarian that likes telling other people what to do. Well, as far as this librarian is concerned that is far from the truth.

    As for ‘impressed with their own self-importance and who succumb to their authoritarian impluses,’ I say these are unfair accusations. I’m a bit confused. I’m really not sure how to reply to this because I am simply not impressed with my own self-importance. In the grand scheme of things I don’t see myself having much importance at all (only maybe a little to my few friends and family). And authoritarian impulses? I have so many other things to worry about in my day to day life that such ideas never cross my mind.

    Really, by mentioning the policy I am more compelled by making sure these kids don’t incur some kind of painful foot injury. However, if they are reading a blog like yours (and me too) we could learn how to avoid such issues.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I hope you are giving me no more thought and enjoying your barefoot lifestyle.


  2. More: What is it about librarians? « Society for Barefoot Living Says:

    […] What is it about librarians? By Bob Neinast Oelibrarian made a comment about the last entry, What is it about librarians? I’m going to answer it, and try to explain […]

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