Las Musicas de los Rock

Today’s title was inspired by an album by Pussy Galore, diligently based on a well-teased series of Spanish compilation albums. I’m pretending I knew all that, by the way, when in fact, I had a vague recollection, and sussed out details on La Internet, just now.

It’s great to be an information junkie. How could there be a better time to be alive? Though it’s probably better when it’s your job or when you don’t have anything else to do.

And you know who’s job it is? Librarians. I discovered an interesting thing in the course of working on my WRFL oral history project: Punk rockers are quietly taking over the library. Did anybody notice?

There’s a lot more tattoos in LIS than I imagine there were 20 years ago. It seems perfect really; despite some misunderstood trouble-making ne’er-do-well stereotype, many of the punky people I’ve known over the years we in fact quite introverted — when not located in or near the slam pit in front of some high-octane live band like Active Ingredients.

And as the world of zines and other underground literature gave way to the much much bigger world of the Web, it’s probably no surprise that these folks got pulled in, finally finding more kindred spirits than the couple of dozen (maybe) that they’d found in their hometowns.

Which brings us to the New Wave of LIS people. Just as punk gave way to new wave in music (because the musicians couldn’t help but get better on their instruments, despite not really wanting to), maybe that idle fascination turned into a career for some.

This is a good thing. The library is one of the last great institutions in this country, somehow not yet sponsored by Microsoft or General Mills. It makes good sense and is comforting that the people running the show be enormous iconoclasts, because maybe we stand a better chance of not losing the library concept, in their hands.

So be extra nice to librarians. Who knows what tattoos are lurking underneath those practical, mildly conservative workclothes?

By the way, you know who is a terrible example of a good librarian? This lady.

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