Speak Out with your Geek Out

If you Google me, you find a number of websites and social media posts outlining my involvement with the games publishing industry. I’m open about my dorkier pastimes, but not everyone is or feels they can be. So when Monica Valentinelli, an author and game designer, responded to a recent online gamer-shaming kerfluffle with the idea of having a “geek pride” blogging week, I leapt at the chance to get involved. Though my plans went awry due to a cross-country move, I thought the subject worth pursuing.

We in the library field are pretty geeky ourselves (or nerdy, or dorky) and we have the luxury of being able to be open about our off-the-beaten-track passions without much fuss from our colleagues or patrons. Whether we’re knititng enthusiasts, balletomanes, comic book fans or even just diehard Twitterers, most if not all of us are geeks of some kind. We live in a world of information that offers us a universe of possibilities. We are smart and dedicated, and channel our passions in a myriad of ways.

In my first month as a reference intern during library school, I was approached by an undergraduate student doing work for a 200-level class on Slavic history. The assignment was a fairly simple book review, but she was having trouble translating the assignment into a set of criteria she could use to find something in the library. Fortunately or unfortunately, she got me at the reference desk. My last course as an undergraduate was an absolutely outstanding advanced history course on Byzantine history gave me a serious geek love of Slavic and Byzantine history. I’m pretty sure I overwhelmed her a bit with my suggestions (though my supervisor assured me that most new librarians do that at some point), but I was excited not only by the chance to share what I knew but also to introduce her to a field she’d barely been aware of before.

As a librarian, I am immensely lucky to be able to pursue that feeling of wonder and excitement in the world around me. Whether it’s the challenges of arts metadata, the intricacies of digital mapping projects, the vast promise of the semantic web or just the simple joy of learning something during a reference interview, the information universe is forever showing new vistas to me.

If that makes me a geek (and I’ve been assured it does), then so be it. I’m a geek.

And I’m proud of it.

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