“Today, 83 percent of librarians are women, but in the 1880s men had the edge, making up 52 percent of the 636 librarians enumerated. In 1930, male librarians were truly rare, making up just 8 percent of the librarian population.”
(An analysis using 120 years of census data via Librarians in the U.S. from 1880-2009 | OUPblog)
P.S. Don’t forget to take part in our National Library Week 2013 Photo Contest to share how you are celebrating this week (and for a chance to win a laptop for your library). Plus, get access to the OED and Oxford Reference all week for free!
On 14 April, Oxford will announce a universal login, on the OUPBlog, that will allow everyone in North and South American to access the entirety of the OED and Oxford Reference for the duration of National Library Week. We will also be announcing a special contest, just for librarians, here on Tumblr which will bring attention to the events that libraries hold during National Library Week.
Holla OUP! This is such cool news. What will you be doing for National Library Week?
There is nothing, it seems, that the Internet loves so much as … well, cats falling off draining boards, but second to that, it’s abbreviations. As technology and social media expand, and communities continue to grow across the Internet, so language and language use develop and adapt to cater to new situations. From Twitterati to netiquette, a whole raft of new words (often created from existing words) have sprung into being.
We recentlyasked youwhich word you would use to describe a librarian on Tumblr: offering the optionstumblrian,tumblarian, andtumblrarian.
Lots of you responded, the clear forerunner being tumblarian. It’s a still a fair way off entering any Oxford dictionary (here’s our inclusion policy) but that obviously doesn’t prohibit us using it out and about on Tumblr.
And when TheCommonLibrarian reblogged us, adding ‘This is Tumblrilliant!’ (why, thank you very much) she handily gave us another example of the portmanteau word. For that is what Twitterati, netiquette, and tumblarian have in common, and it is a trend which is often seen across social media.
A ‘portmanteau word’ (or simply ‘portmanteau’) is ‘a word formed by blending sounds from two or more distinct words and combining their meanings’. Which is precisely what you were doing with ‘tumblarian’.
There are plenty of examples of portmanteaus in everyday use, most of which remain in the ‘slang’ or ‘informal’ categories. Frenemy, for example, (‘friend’ + ‘enemy’), fantabulous (‘fantastic’ + ‘fabulous’), and a word which has recently been added to Oxford Dictionaries; flexitarian, from ‘flexible’ and ‘vegetarian’. Some have entered wider, non-slang language use, though, from smog (‘smoke’ and ‘fog’) and vitamin (‘vital’ and ‘amine’) to Oxbridge (Oxford and Cambridge Universities).
As we said, the Internet loves a good abbreviation. It leaves more time for reblogging GIFs of sneezing pandas, you see. Many Internet-related words we take for granted started life as portmanteaus: blog, an abbreviation of ‘weblog’ (‘web’ + ‘log’), emoticon (‘emotion’ + ‘icon’) and even pixel (‘picture’ + ‘element’). As communities develop, so methods of identification evolve alongside. Those ‘in the know’ can refer, say, to the Twitterati (‘Twitter’ + ‘literati’) or their tweeps (‘Twitter’ + ‘peeps’, for people), in the same way that aficionados of Justin Bieber are Beliebers (‘Bieber’ + ‘believer’) and fans of, ahem, Barry Manilow are Fanilows(you probably don’t need that one explained).
More and more of these portmanteau words are likely to develop; some will catch on and others will be left behind. Eventually some are likely to joinsmogandOxbridgein theOxford Dictionaries. We can’t promise anything for the future oftumblarian, as far as theOEDis concerned, but we’re glad that we’re a step closer to deciding quite what to call librarians on Tumblr.
Sometimes, it’s the small decisions which really matter.
An abridged version of this Oxford Words post.
OUP knows how to treat a Tumblr community right.
Mary Eileen Ahern, (1 Oct. 1860-22 May 1938), librarian and editor.
Throughout her life, Ahern devoted much of her enormous energy to organizations. She attended every American Library Association conference from 1893 to 1931, serving on its council and a variety of committees. From January to June 1919 she served as publicity coordinator for the association’s Overseas Library War Service in France. Her articles describing the distribution of books to soldiers in hospitals and camps appeared in such publications as the Chicago Daily Newsand theChristian Science Monitor. A charter member of the selective American Library Institute, which was founded in 1905, she also served as its secretary for many years. She was elected president of the Illinois State Library Association in 1908, 1909, and 1915.
WithMelvil Dewey she organized the Library Department of the National Education Association in 1897 and became the department’s secretary. She repeatedly urged her readers to promote the library movement by participating in library associations. Carl Milam, the longtime executive secretary of the American Library Association, gave her “a very generous share of the credit for the increased size and vigor of American library organizations.”
Image credit: Informal full-length portrait of George Alexander and Mary Ahern holding lawn bowling balls, posing in a ready position at the Lakeside Lawn Bowling field in Chicago, Illinois. DN-0085741, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago History Museum. Via Library of Congress.
OUP is killing it with these My Daguerreotype Librarian submissions. If you’ve got some radical / awesome / spiritually-intellectually-and-or-visually babely librarians from history that you’d like to share, hit us up!
Well, hello, we’ve joined Tumblr!
We’ll be sharing content from across our academic publishing here at Oxford University Press. You’ll find our word of the day from dictionaries, quotations and misquotations from literature and life, snippets from our latest publications, podcasts on the lives of notable people and classic literature, some choice bits from the OUPblog, videos from our authors… the list is endless.
We’ll also be delving into the OUP archives to show you all sorts of interesting ephemera from OUP’s long history and give you an insight into life at OUP today.
Follow us on Tumblr, or find us on your other favourite social media, to be part of our community.
Oh OUP, you are my favourite.