Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Catty Librarians...

With my supervisor having left the library completely last week and the youth services manager on annual leave this week, my branch had to ask for outside help. We ended up getting 6 different librarians from 3 other branches to cover some shifts.  I've been around the system so I was only unfamiliar with just 2 of them.  Yeah, I get around.

Two of the librarians covering shifts applied for my supervisor's job and were turned down, they probably didn't know that I knew.  They both wanted the job pretty badly because they talked to me about how much they like the new building and would really like to work here.  They both asked me what I knew about the guy who got the job.  I really didn't have anything to tell them, I don't know the guy.  They would just get this sad look on their face.  Awkkkwwaaaarrrddd.
When I told my friend from another branch who would be the PIC on Saturday she warned me that "she's a complete b."  Whenever my friend has run into her, she only gets attitude or completely ignored by this other librarian.  My friend described her as young, well-dressed, and stuck up.  So my impression about her from my friend is that she doesn't get along with other females.

I am sure that this happens with female coworkers in other work environments but if you haven't noticed by now, this is a blog by a public librarian.  The library is a woman's world, if anything, this might be happening more often than not.  This is not the first time I have seen this happen.  When I was working Sundays for the city library, my supervisor did not get along with one of her regular weekly coworkers.  That's pretty much an understatement, they HATED each other and everyone knew about it.  The few times it was brought up in conversation, I never really understood how it started, it just happened.  Then again, I was the only male staff member on Sundays and the other female coworkers would bitch to me about our supervisor, who is also young, well-dressed, but I can't personally say she was stuck up, she put up with my stupid antics.

My first desk shift was scheduled with my friend's nemesis.  Since it was my first time ever meeting her, I asked her the usual questions I ask every librarian: How long have you been in the system?  What other branches have you worked at?  Do you like your branch? etc.  She seemed friendly enough and talkative.  I worked the whole day with her and talked to her quite a bit.  Since it was her first time working my branch and she was the PIC, she kept asking me questions about the branch since I was the only Info person who works there.  I did notice something from the other librarian covering that day.  Near the end of the day when we were working the desk together, she noticed the PIC walking around the branch and she turned to me and said, "What do you know about her?"  There was a little something in the tone of her voice.  I mean, both of them were working the whole day together before I started my shift and had yet to talk to each other... weird.  It just confirmed that she gives other female coworkers signals that she isn't friendly.

The next day my friend emailed me asking for my opinion on her nemesis.  I know she was looking for validation for her not liking her, but I honestly did not get that feeling from her.  So I told her that she was nice to me, and that she probably doesn't get along with other females.  My friend pretty much said my opinion ended up not counting because "you're a young, cute, well-dressed male."  Well then, we'll just have to rerun the experiment with a female.


  1. I think every job has a bit of this in it, but somehow the library environment does seem to foster this behavior. Some people thought they would sit around reading all day and are upset when others do the work and have some success. Others are just threatened by the new kid. Still others have feelings of rejection. There is also at least one person that thrives on conflict. Keep the scissors and library spears away from this person.

    1. Yes, librarians do love their library drama and gossip. As for the library-xenophobia, I blame it all on the Biddies.