“Librarians Can’t Spell.”

Whatever your brand is, you will lose followers if you say you are great at something but you actually don’t deliver. Even seemingly trivial mistakes can alienate the public. A fly in a soup at a restaurant can be catastrophic (because food is their brand). A misplaced gas tank in a Pinto? some might say that was the beginning of the end of Ford’s credibility (because cars are their brand).

For librarians who claim a special knack in literacy and research, basic spelling and grammar errors do not bode well. I looked at the site in question and there doesn’t seem to be errors “abounding” (maybe in the comments?), but the principle is still the same. Be good at what you claim to be good at or expect to be marginalized.

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3 Responses to “Librarians Can’t Spell.”

  1. Jen says:

    Well, that blog post was a bit awkward sounding grammatically, but it wasn’t written by a librarian. LibraryThing is for “book nerds” not just librarians so it’s not unusual for typos or errors to abound.

    As for your message, I’ve been trying harder to correct typos when I’m doing chat reference. My typing skills are really poor. Patrons don’t seem to mind but one can never really tell.

    • Gerrit says:

      Jen, I agree that judging LT was a little strange–not sure if the tweep really knew what LT is for, like you said. Chat ref is tough since we can easily mistype and hit enter so quickly. I am sure that the patrons don’t care (I think it is part of the whole IM experience actually; endearing in a way)–I sure don’t care when they have typos :)
      I think more than simple typos on our webspace our patrons care about timely research help, good service and access to relevant materials. Those are what we really emphasize and are known for. If we struggle in these areas we are in trouble.

  2. […] and how eager we are to help…but then we aren’t around to do it. I have written before about doing a service well, if we claim to do it well. As a service profession, we really need to […]

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