By Will Van Sant, Times Staff Writer
Librarians have an image problem â€” stern face, thick round glasses, “shush!” â€”- which they parody with Web sites like Warrior Librarian, Macho Librarians with Guns, Librarian Avengers.
Now, harsh reality has swept aside self-mocking pretensions to comic book greatness and turned librarians into real, if largely unsung, heros of the recession.
Take mild-mannered David Stoner.
Trained to help adults discover the trial of Socrates and sixth graders track the Oregon Trail, he now spends half his time in the trenches of a battered economy. There his job is far more urgent: helping people who need jobs, food stamps or Medicaid.
“These days, it’s really social work in some respects,” said Stoner, who directs adult services for the Clearwater Public Library System. “And it’s really satisfying to see how much you are helping.”
Photo and article courtesy of the St. Petersburg Times.