Skip to main content

Et tu, Lego?

So, the good news is Lego, purveyor of fine, building brick based excitement, have released a "Librarian" minifig. Yay! Lego are a cool company, they're modern, and they make some great educational products, So, we'll be seeing a little figure of a modern information professional, a veritable ninja of knowledge: ready, willing and able to assist their users in any way they need, right?

Wrong.

Lego have gone with a stereotype of a librarian more suited to 1913 than 2013. Look - a book! A mug that says "shhh"! A cardigan, glasses, pleated skirt, frumpy hair and sensible shoes! Wow - this is really showing the face of the profession today!



“Shhh!” 
Books are just about the Librarian’s most favorite thing in the entire world. Reading them can take you on exciting adventures in far-off lands, introduce you to new friends and cultures, and let you discover poetry, classic literature, science fiction and much more. If only everybody loved to read as much as she does, the world would be a better place…and quieter, too! 
The Librarian feels that it’s extremely important to treat a book with the proper respect. You should always use a bookmark instead of folding down the corner of the page. Take good care of the dust jacket, and don’t scribble in the margins. And above all else, never – ever – return it to the library late!

As if their range of pink Lego for girls, which instead of encouraging the use of kids imagination to make all sorts of cool things, tells girls that we can make cakes and do makeup wasn't bad enough (and likely to reinforce the idea that subjects like science and engineering aren't for girls). Now we get this toy that still focuses on the fact that librarians are frumpy females, and libraries only have books, and the librarians just love those books, don't ya know? And, of course, that we all hate noise. *insert incoherent scream of (noisy) frustration here*

And yes, I am perfectly well aware that Lego are using a stereotype here, in the hope of making it recognisable. But really: no computer, either desktop or laptop? No tablet or smartphone? No CDs, DVDs, or an eReader of any type? Not even the slightest attempt to show the actual reality of the average role, or some of the items in use in a modern library, or that librarians give their users assistance with? The way to change stereotypes is by challenging them, and there isn't even the slightest hint of an attempt by Lego to move this stereotype along into the modern age.

At least their Computer Programmer figure got to hold a laptop and an emoticon mug, to go with his own stereotyped outfit of a geeky Argyle jumper, bad hair, bow-tie and a pair of taped-together glasses....

Actually, maybe that librarian minifig isn't looking so bad, in comparison...

Comments

Astitcho said…
Spot on! I'm forwarding this to my librarian boy friend NOW!
Heather Simmons said…
Library trivia: Oranges & Peaches = Origin of the Species. Moral of the story - always do a Reference Interview.
stupidgirl_no1 said…
This isn't at all realistic - my mug says "Fear The Librarian", as you know as you bought it...

Still - WANT!!!

Popular posts from this blog

A ladyfellowing

Well, in January this year, I submitted my Fellowship portfolio, and heard in April that it had been successful, making me now officially a Ladyfellow and able to add FCLIP after my name, yay!

Me registration fees were paid in September 2015, so technically it took less than 18 months from registration to submission. However, that doesn’t include the good few months before that, preparing my thoughts, talking to my mentor, and plotting out just how I would Get This Damn Thing Done, so realistically, it was more like a 2 year process.

So, how big a task was it? In a “dear god, what have I done” moment, I totalled up the word count of all items in the portfolio, and it came to approximately 30,000 words. That’s easily the largest piece of work I’ve ever produced (I’m a rubbish student, so I’ve never had to produce an academic dissertation). So yes, it turns out that reviewing your career and achievements to date, and reflecting on what you’ve learned from all of your experiences is quite …

Relaunching a library service

What do you do when you decide to do what is verging on library-based insanity, and basically scrap your current library service, and relaunch everything - physical layout, LMS, and classification system? In my case, spend a year, planning, developing, preparing….and then a frantic few weeks hauling stock!
The background to this apparent madness is this: when I took on this role I inherited a library using a layout that didn’t seem to make sense, a classification system I wasn’t familiar with, and an LMS that had been in place for 20 years but didn’t seem suited to our needs. As I was new to the library, a major part of the time I had available while settling in during my initial few months was dedicated to exploring how well these things were working, both for users, and library staff. I had the benefit of my colleague also being new to the library, only a few months after me, so together we looked at these issues with fresh eyes.We came to the following conclusions: The physical layou…