Tuesday, February 25, 2014

On Fangirling and Chilling

I've been sitting on the idea of this post for a while because I don't want anyone to be insulted, but I keep coming back to the idea so here it is: my thoughts on fangirling/fanboying out in the library world.

I'm closing in on the eleventh anniversary of my MLIS, and because I become more opinionated the longer I'm in this profession, I spout off from time to time. (And by "spout off" I mean "put some thought and even some research into my ideas, write about it, let it sit for a bit, edit it, and then publish it on my blog.) Because of this and a few conference presentations, despite my protestations otherwise, people are starting to pay attention to me. Not that people scream and chase me when they run into me, even at conferences, but there have been minor moments of fangirl/fanboy floppy happy freak outs. I try to calm people down, because really I'm no big deal - put my pants on one leg at a time and all that - but also because it's a little disconcerting. I supposed I could start making people kiss my imaginary ring, but that seems a bit excessive.

I decided finally to write this post because I've felt those fangirl feels. Sweet Baby Buddha knows I've been nervous meeting a couple of my librarian heroes. A couple of friends were made responsible for keeping me from freaking and fangirling at a recent conference, because I wanted to keep cool and to treat my heroes like people - because that's what they are.

The point is that I'm trying to scale back my own floppy happy freak outs because I have now been on the receiving end of them. I love that people appreciate my work. Hearing "I came to your presentation because I love your blog" put a grin on my face that lasted for over an hour. But people telling me I'm famous? Oh my, no. I might have achieved some notoriety with this blog, among a subset of librarians, but that's not famous. I'm really just this weird, thoughtful, occasionally introverted, wisecracking person.

Let me be clear: it's not that I'll get all snobby if you get floppy happy freak outty when you meet me, it's just I'd rather someone say, "Hey, wanna go for a beer? Coffee? Can I chill with you after this panel?" And because we should be the change we wish to see in the world, that's what I'm going to do from now on. Inside I might be all

But outside I'll be more like

The thing is, I know I enjoy learning that people love my blog, but I'm happier still when it's a chill conversation. I've learned that if I act normal sauce, people are more likely to talk to me. And so I'm passing my learning onto you.

(Thanks to Jake Berg for the idea of using that Wayne's World clip.)

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