"Read the Sunday Times article*. Nice piece. But you look very serious."
"... Proud of you. Celebrity blogger."
To the first message, I replied, "Thanks. But that's me. Mr. Serious." To the second, I replied, "Celebrity? Ah, no. If more people use the library more often after reading the article they, I'd be contented".
Yesterday evening, I told my wife that my picture could appear in the paper (which I've yet to read). She said -- in what I think/ hope was mock horror -- that now people would know that we're that couple living in the block.
I think it's typical of city dwellers to be protective of their privacy (or should I say, anonymity). I'm no exception. Having my picture appear in the paper is a little discomforting, but the more I thought about it, I asked, "So what?"
I figured people will be quick to forget. Or they might just have a double-take, stare a little more out of recognition that anything else. In fact, it would be a good thing if people used the article as a conversation starter. I think that'll be nice.
"Hi, weren't you in the paper the other day?"
"Yes, I was."
"I didn't know you were a librarian."
"So now you know. And you can come look for me if you need any information on using the library. So, have you read anything good lately...?"
But wait, why can't I be the one to start a conversation, right? I know I could but it's not easy. In Singapore, people tend to think you're weird or up to no good if you suddenly start a conversation with a stranger. I do talk to my immediate neighbours but as a norm, most people are just strangers in the same block.
I'm also aware that I look intimidating. With my height, my close-cropped hair, the bland facial expression I always carry, basically I don't look approachable. Maybe that's why I blog -- to be approachable from that sense. What I find difficult to do face-to-face, I find it easy to do online.
So it's definitely not about fame and getting that celebrity status as a blogger. It's about the conversations and exchange of ideas.
If you've found your way to my blog from the 30 Jul 2006 Sunday Times article, feel free to leave a comment. Feel free to say "Hi", or email/ leave a comment if you have a question about the library and materials.
Oh, here's a plug for my employer -- check out these NLB blogs:
- High Browse Online (book blog, Public Library Services)
- ASK! (Advisory & Enquiry blog, Public Library Services)
- Programmes @ 100 Victoria (Programmes blog, National Library)
- Digi.Talk (e-resources blog from Digital Library Services, NLB)
* The Straits Times, July 30, 2006. "I thought it was just verbal diarrhoea - THINKING MEN WHO BLOG"
Related post: The Straits Times interviews this liblogarian (26 Jul 06)
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