Here’s a little secret: I’m a librarian. We don’t say a lot about ourselves here on Politically Slanted because both of us work in fairly public jobs and if the wrong person were to find out, well, we might be fired for our political leanings.
If you don’t know much about librarians, they’re a VERY liberal bunch. It’s extremely rare to find a conservative librarian, although a few do exist and write letters to the editors at Library Journal about how disgusted they are that the profession, which is supposed to be politically neutral, has become a liberal idea machine. They almost never sign their names, though. Because librarians are supposed to be #resisting, marching and uber woke social justice warriors.
Anyway, the gun meme has been making its rounds on the internet. I found it hilarious. I have my conceal carry permit and it’s appalling to me that our library administration won’t let staff carry. We can leave our gun in the trunk of the car. Patrons, however, can bring their guns in and many do. I don’t worry about those people – I worry about the crazies, like the 16-year-old who went on a shooting rampage in New Mexico last year, killing two library employees and wounding four others.
We see it all at the library. People hooked on drugs, drunk and mentally ill. Many people will tell us they just got out of prison and need our help with a resume. There are fights between patrons over computers, kids and adults vandalize our restrooms in the grossest ways, use them for drug deals and at my particular branch, a place to stash stolen goods after robberies.
One librarian was just recognized by Library Journal because she’s saved six people from opioid overdoses in her library branch and advocated to have their staff trained for future situations.
As the world changes, so does the library and it brings people from ALL walks of life through our doors.
Which is why I am pro-arming the librarians. Only if they want to be, of course. We’re sitting ducks otherwise and I don’t see this as being all that different from the opioid situation. They saw a problem in their community, they armed themselves with the right tools to combat it and the results were that lives have been saved because of it.
But not all librarians feel the same. After a Florida bill passed that allows school librarians to be armed, the American Library Association released this statement:
“The ALA and AASL support the efforts of Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME) and Florida Library Association to provide safe and accessible learning spaces for students and learners of all ages,” stated Neal and Yates.
“School librarians work with classroom teachers to provide instruction integral to the curriculum and offer additional informal learning opportunities for students. School librarians are invaluable teachers who offer an enriching learning environment for students and colleagues throughout the school. Firearms in our school libraries, as in any other classroom, will undermine the sense of security that is critical to students and divert school librarian attention away from the core focus of student learning.
“While we are all too aware of the gun violence that affects the communities that we serve, including our schools, we do not believe that allowing the arming of school librarians with guns is the answer to preventing violence and mass shootings. Schools need more resources, including the expertise of a certified school librarian for teaching and learning.
The comments on this School Library Journal article were about what you’d expect.
And from library Twitter:
Let's not forget shooting classes in MLIS (MLS/MIS/MISt, etc) degrees since they've also said librarians should be armed.
— Nicole Gauvreau (@nlgauvreau) March 18, 2018
Arming librarians with guns is not the answer. Arm our schools, libraries and teachers with resources, school supplies, mental health professionals, and de-escalation training. #armmewith https://t.co/JZuF427Q2L
— Vailey Oehlke (@MultCoLib_Dir) March 19, 2018
Can we all assume we've seen some variation of the 'Librarians would carry silencers' joke regarding guns in schools and just move on?
— Jules Faber (@Julesthe4rd) March 10, 2018
It’s sad it’s even come to the point where we’re discussing arming our teachers or librarians, but that’s where we’re at in society right now.
And as for me, I’d rather have an equalizer should someone try to come in and shoot up my place of employment. It’s too bad the rest of the profession doesn’t see it that way.