My name is Christie Gibrich, and I have been in and around libraries since I was 8, when I was checking people out at the library where my mom worked in the small town where I grew up.
I hold a B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received my M.L.S. from Texas Woman’s University in 2003. In between, I have worked as a student assistant, page, clerk, library aide, and teen librarian. After earning my degree I have been a youth services librarian, an assistant manager AND a youth services librarian, a branch manager, a materials selector, and a tween and teen services librarian.
Since 2004, I have been very active within various American Library Association committees and Texas Librarian Association committees, and I have presented at ALA Midwinter Meetings, ALA Annual, a YALSA Literature Symposium, and the Texas Librarian Association Annual Conferences. Details can be found here.
My favorite YA authors include Scott Westerfield, Cory Doctorow, Kim Harrison, Ellen Hopkins, Ellen Oh, Malinda Lo, Marie Lu, and Jillian Larkin, while my favorite genres include steampunk, zombies, vampires, dystopias, and more to the fantasy side of science fantasy fiction. I have what may be unhealthy obsessions with various reality TV shows, comic book genre movies, video and board games, Doctor Who, and the Disney parks.
A Geek in Librarian’s Clothing’s mission is to share the geekiness with those working with tweens, teens, and young adults– which means anyone, anywhere. Tween and teen services are often where money and services get cut first in budgets, and there are a wide variety of staff working with these kids who need us. GLC was born from that passion to serve these kids, and to share ideas freely. Welcome to the geek side!
The word geek is a slang term originally used to describe eccentric or non-mainstream people; in current use, the word typically connotes an expert or enthusiast or a person obsessed with a hobby or intellectual pursuit, with a general pejorative meaning of a “peculiar or otherwise dislikable person, esp[ecially] one who is perceived to be overly intellectual”.
Although often considered as a pejorative, the term is also used self-referentially without malice or as a source of pride. Its meaning has evolved to connote “someone who is interested in a subject (usually intellectual or complex) for its own sake.
2. : a person who is very interested in and knows a lot about a particular field or activity
American culture has this ingrained opinion of librarians and libraries. You hear it everywhere: we have gray hair, we read books all day, we wear pilled and moth-eaten sweaters, and we’re constantly telling people to be quiet. We’re stuck in the past, want everything to be about paper books and our old paper card catalogs, and bemoan the fact that Wite-Out isn’t in in use any more. We don’t understand technology, and we definitely don’t understand trends. Or youth.
Ummm, not quite.
Yes, there’s a Master’s of Library Science on my wall, and yes, before that a Bachelor’s of Arts in English. And I read a ton. Yet inside the Librarian clothes that I put on every day to present myself as respectable, capable, and authoritative to the outside world, the geek is waiting just underneath.
The one who adores Doctor Who and British television. The one who’s been around computers since before they had disk drives. The one who has a collection of sarcastic t-shirts and villain bobble heads. The one who loves stores like Hot Topic as much as the retro remnants shop. The one who devours series like crazy, and loves to talk to anyone who will listen about it. The one who is genuinely upset about what is going on in the world, and feels that everyone needs a better place. The one who knows that life is not fair, and that the only way even to start is to add my voice to the others screaming into the vastness for change. The one who’s passionate about libraries and working with tweens and teens and young adults, and who has huge opinions about what is going on in today’s library culture.
Because the girl who wanted to be on Mission Control for NASA found her passion for libraries instead, and wants to use that passion to make the world better. That girl has changed, and wants to share everything that she geeks about, from programs and books, to movies and technology and everything in-between.
Because it’s time to embrace the geekiness in all of us. It’s there, you just have to let it out.