“Balan whispered to the Wart, “Colonel Cully is not quite right in his wits. It is his liver, we believe, but the kestrel says it is the constant strain of living up to her ladyship’s standard. He says that her ladyship once spoke to him from her full social station once, cavalry to infantry, you know, and that he just closed his eyes and got the vertigo. He has never been the same since.” T. H. White. The Once & Future King.
One of the questions that comes up frequently, especially among librarians applying for their first or second job, is the question of social status. While we may not understand it, we all recognize it, especially when it is applied to us. Mostly it is seen when a librarian attempts to change the type of job he or she does in a library.
"It doesn't surprise me that there are problems of going from one aspect of librarianship to another. It violates class rules in libraries, and upsets the social order. Actually, there is an unnamed but very strongly identified pecking order in the class of librarians. Why are people getting so upset over this problem? Passions are heated because the stakes are so small. Actually, social settings are set up rather like a water fountain, with a number of different library jobs floating at the top, but fewer identified ones at the bottom."
While few people can agree about who all should be at the top, everyone agrees about who should be stuck in the bilge on the bottom. Like the definition of a lady, which few people can define but whom everyone knows who isn't one, librarians are set into a social hierarchy of class and station.
So here is my definition of the library pecking order based on my own limited library experiences. Individuals may disagree somewhat, but those who disagree the most probably are either set at the top of the list, or haven't had to look for a new job recently. -- Read More