This topic this week in the MOOC : Atlas of New Librarianship is all about community and credibility. I was pondering the thought of what exactly makes a community and how the boundaries are defined for different environments. And what are the factors that make a librarian credible? There are certainly some things to think about and most of the discussion in the lectures and the text are about serving the library’s users. Librarians as a profession are a community, and librarians who work together are a small community, serving at least one community.
The first word that comes to mind when thinking about what credibility is, is the word “believability.” Like, is the resource or the link or the information I just gave the person on the phone believable? The information and resources people get from the reference desk or the library’s website, or from the librarian chat box, should be reliable, trustworthy, evaluated, and reviewed. The information and programs should be beneficial, not bullsh*t. Very often the first question a person will ask a librarian behind the reference desk is not the question they really want to ask. But what they are doing is first testing the librarian’s credibility and his or her overall power to be believable. Once a trust is established, then the real questions are asked and a dialog takes place. During the entire transaction, the librarian is establishing and having to maintain credibility and included in this credibility is a genuine concern for the needs of others. Which also gets me thinking, roving librarians seem to have more credibility than ones who sit at a desk.
As I read through the text and then some of the discussion, I found myself looking for the word love. This is the bridge that connects the community to its librarians. Librarians cannot serve their community effectively unless there is an element of love for it and its people. Love establishes credibility. When a librarian is genuine and sincere, he or she will do whatever it takes to meet a need. People know when they are loved and they know when they are being patronized. In a library group on Facebook, there was a post from a librarian making fun of the way a person pronounced the word ‘library’ and mocked the fact that he wanted a library card but his only form of identification was a jail ID. This librarian’s disregard for the community was evident and resulted in justifiable chastisement from her peers.
I’ve always thought that libraries are kind of sacred institutions. Michael Gorman said this so well in his book, “Our Enduring Values.” There is another book written on the sacredness of libraries, and I cannot remember the title. In a sense, librarians minister to the needs of the community. They listen and they seek out for a person what they could not find on their own. “The mission of librarians is to improve society though facilitating knowledge creation in their communities” (Lankes). When librarians are credible and when they love their community, they make the world a better place. The librarians that get lots of love from the community are the ones who love their community the most.
Some of the happiest memories I have of my previous workplace have nothing to do with the actual work, but with the people and the food that we shared with each other. And nobody minded being a taste tester amongthis group of gourmands. We did a lot of nibbling while we worked, which for us was much more practical than whistling, as you know, because we were supposed to do our work quietly. <clears throat>. I was thinking about one of my favorite colleagues in particular today and the breakfast cookies that she would bring in to share with us (a recipe originally given to her by the library’s UPS driver, Ellen, who makes these for when she goes hiking). Bacon and cereal are two of the main ingredients in this recipe, hence the name, Breakfast Cookies. Bacon just makes everything taste good…well…with the exception of bacon flavored microwave popcorn, and though it may be hard to imagine a cookie having bacon in it, the taste is truly unique. Just don’t expect the same taste as a chocolate chip cookie, though there are plenty of chocolate chip cookie recipes with bacon circulating around cyberspace, too. Oh, and bacon flavored popcorn. If you’ve not tried it, in my opinion popcorn is not one of those foods that is improved with bacon. We microwaved this and the aroma was a little overpowering after a few minutes, and somehow I couldn’t get past the idea that I was eating “beggin’ strips” for dogs.
I never was able to enjoy Terese’s Breakfast Cookies because of the flour, but I decided to convert her recipe to a gluten free version that I could eat. This is one of the easier cookie recipes to make, too. The original recipe did not include cheese, but as I was mixing it up, I wanted to add cheese. I stuck to the original instructions with this batch, but will try it next time. Enjoy, and thank you, Terese. xx The print feature does not function properly, so if you would like a printer friendly version, it can be accessed here: BfastCookiesGF
1 egg or egg substitute (1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed with 3 tablespoons water)
½ cup palm shortening (Spectrum)
1 cup all-purpose gluten free flour blend
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
1 cup cereal flakes
½ cup cooked bacon, crumbled
¼ cup cheddar cheese (optional)
Combine egg (or egg substitute) with shortening and blend well. In small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and xanthan gum. Add to shortening mixture and blend well. Add crumbled bacon. Stir. Add cereal. Stir until fully incorporated.
Place tablespoon sized scoops onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350⁰F for 15 minutes. Remove from baking sheet while still warm. Let cool on paper towels. Makes 18 cookies.
This Thanksgiving will be different from any other one that I have celebrated. A recent move to the east coast has put us far away from everyone that we know and love. We’re grateful to have been invited to celebrate with friends and I will be bringing a traditional gluten free pumpkin pie and my favorite sweet potato casserole. I also made a dairy free, crustless pumpkin pie.
The sweet potato dish is a made every year, both for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Special Sweet Potato Casserole is one of those dishes that even people who don’t like sweet potatoes will try. I think most people have learned to dislike sweet potatoes because of the syrupy marshmallow topping, that even as a child turned my stomach. Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet, and piling extra sugars on top is simply overkill. Most sweet potato recipes you’ll find on the internet call for at least a half cup of sugar, but this recipe only uses 2 tablespoons. I have made it without the sugar and I like it even better. To cook the sweet potatoes, simply place in an oven for about an hour on a foil lined baking sheet. Lightly coat with shortening or coconut oil to prevent skin from sticking. When cooked, the sweet potato will easily slip out of the outer skin or you can peel it off before mashing.