Tumblarians, or Tumblr Librarians

In my long-standing love for all things social media, tumblr has been a constant source of online community, news, memes, fandoms, and cute pictures of cats. But only recently did I discover “tumblarians” as a tag used by tumblr users who happen to also be librarians. A quick search of this tag leads to everything from the personal accounts of being a librarian, to news articles about librarianship, to things like What the Librarian Wore, a personal favourite.

One post that recently caught my attention was relating to an exhibit at Ellis Library Colonnade. Relating to my recent post on post-WWII depictions of librarianship, this post by the Special Collections & Archives at Mizzou shows posters from World War One and Two in the “Libraries at War” exhibit.

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From Special Collections & Archives at Mizzou

The overall message from this post is that books are important tools, or “Weapons in the War of Ideas.” How cool is it that at the time, books were likened to the brave men fighting on the battlefield? From the author of the post:

The Library War Service was created in 1917.  It was directed by Herbert Putnam, then Librarian of Congress, and administered by the American Library Association.   In an enormous effort to send books and other reading material to the American forces, the ALA distributed about ten million books and magazines; collected five million dollars from public donations; supplied library collections to more than 500 locations, including military hospitals; and with the financial help of Carnegie Corporation, established 36 camp and military base libraries.  During the Second World War more than seventeen million books were collected through the National Defense Book Campaign launched in 1941 and better known as the Victory Book Campaign.

Books were frequently regarded as powerful ideological tools. President Roosevelt wrote: “No man and no force can take from the world the books that embody man’s eternal fight against tyranny.  In this war, we know, books are weapons.”

 Another post that caught my attention on LibrarianProblems:

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The GIF is awesome, because Parks and Rec is awesome. But the message stopped and made me think. I love social media as a form of personal expression, professional connection, a source of news, etc. But the question posed by this post (What do you do when a patron sends you a friend request on Facebook?) does seem like a tough one. Information organizations, like any other profession, have to deal with issues of personal and professional space. One aspect of the job search will be finding out what different information organizations have policies against this sort of online presence. Does having patrons on Facebook and other social medias influence your professional practice? For better, or for worse?

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