Librarian like a gas station attendant


At the Cambridge Library/Headquarters, staff members enjoy having a monthly birthday coffee. Shannon made cards for the many November birthdays. This is mine. I particularly like it, because I see the services provided by library staff to be a valuable community asset.

This quote: “Librarian is a service occupation. Gas station attendant of the mind.” is from The Gold Bug Variations p.35, 1991. The author, Richard Powers (born 1957) is a novelist whose works explore the effects of modern science and technology. The Gold Bug Variations is an exploration of biology, computer science, classical music, and librarianship. From NoveList:

Librarian Jan O’Deigh researches Stuart Ressler’s past at the request of Frank Todd, Ressler’s colleague. Ressler, a promising young molecular biologist of the fifties, has disappeared from the scientific community and is now working as a lowly computer operator.

I do find it amusing that in 1991 (the copyright date) a computer operator is described as “lowly” in contrast to the career of being a scientist. Another sign of the times . . . it won’t be long until we have a generation that doesn’t know what a “gas station attendant” is.

The Gold Bug Variations is not available in the ECRL catalog, but it is in MnLINK, and can be requested via interlibrary loan.

Barbara Misselt, Director