I did a talk at a convention in Detroit a few weeks ago in which I encouraged people to become librarians. I started out with this quiz. Now it’s your turn.

Am I Geeky enough to be a Librarian?

Yes No
1. I enjoy acronyms.
2. I own a cat.
3. When confronted with a pile of books I think “Hmm…first I would sort by author, then by title?
4. I am obsessive enough to appreciate the difference between 345.065 and 345.605.
5. I possess a useless undergraduate degree.
6. Being surrounded by books makes me lather with delight.
7. The idea of someone preventing me from reading Orwell because they don’t like it strikes me as Orwellian.
8. I am comfortable with the Internets.
9. If my house caught on fire, one of the things I would grab is my favorite book.
10. I possess a useless graduate degree.
11. I can daisy-chain a herd of Ubuntu boxes faster than you can say FreeBSD.
12. These kids today. I swear. If they would just read a damn book once in awhile, they wouldn’t be blowing each other up so much.
13. I could find out the middle name of your high school boyfriend with just ten minutes on the Internet.
14. I could find out the first line of A Tale of Two Cities with just ten seconds on the Internet.
15. I know the first line of A Tale of Two Cities.
16. I am a disenfranchised intellectual.
17. The idea of arming the public with knowledge appeals to me more than, say, arming them with pitchforks and torches.
18. I would rather do something cool than get rich.
19. I possess a useless doctoral degree.
20. I can say “Colon classification” without laughing.
Under 5 = I think the “We hate libraries” meeting is down the hall.5-10 = You are geeky, but can you HANDLE the acronyms?10-15 = I’ve got some library school applications under my desk you big dork

15-20 = Quit your job immediately! Grab the nearest child and teach him to read! Oh, and start stocking up on acid-free paper.

59 Replies to “Quiz”

  1. Sorry to post twice – missed Hannah’s question. There are several library schools in England – Manchester, Newcastle and others. You could be really exotic and go to Edinburgh.

  2. Scored 11. I work at a rural libray and have something called a Community Librarian Certificate – no useless degrees here! As for sorting Smarties – two of my now adult children are obsessive in that way. My daughter spent a ridiculous amount of time on her holiday a few years ago organising 200 songs into a play list for her MP3 player. But, go figure, they are both chefs.

  3. Yes, I sorted M&Ms by color as a child. Do I get points for continuing to do so into adulthood? I got 16 points and would have scored 17 if I thought of English as a useless undergraduate degree as some poor fools do. And I should get extra points for multiple cats.

    As a point of pride, I would add that I have never dressed in separates that are kind of all the same color (like, say, purples that don’t match). Unless the mismatch was meant to be chic.

  4. 15/20… Not yet old enough to have a degree of any sort, and no idea what Ubuntu boxes are. But still, my word I wish there was library school in England (is there?)

  5. I am a freakin library aid in school! It’s so boring! They brag on me and say I do such a great job. Belive me it ain’t easy from cards getting lost, kids not putting the book where they got, so many books being out of order, cards getting lost, and having to put nonfiction books up! ~omg~ It’s what i get for being smart~ p.s They asked me to be a libary aid I did not sign up!!! WOW!! I know!Yeah best bet don’t be a libraian unless you really like books. I am in there everyday and aint readbut like three flippin books. Well thanx for reading this boring commment!

  6. Oh, dang! I scored 19 out of 20 (no PhD). I do have a BA & MA and have been teaching English at the community college level for the last 20 years. I want to change careers! Me, a librarian? I hadn’t thought about it that much, but I do like looking for answers and teaching the students how to use databases.

  7. I just found this reading ALDirect. I got 18–have no idea what a Ubuntu box, but used to have obento all the time in Japan; owned 2 cats that made it to 19 yrs each named Nefertiti and Sappho. Nefer used to read Virginia Woolf–what I wrote my diss on. Have 4 graduate degrees, but proving not to be too useless. I am not obsessive about the cataloging but can find you anything you want–and more because I often think outside boxes. Degrees in Comedy, cinema, popular culture–you got it–all over the place. I taught in college but got caught in the ugly politics; wish I’d gone to library school earlier in my career. And I’m getting at least one new cat soon from my sister who has seven(I’ve tried to encourage her to go librarian but she’s not buying it yet–and her degrees are more useless than mine). Jacques was a Katrina rescue and needs some loving since two of the others beat up on him. And I color code my M$Ms, AND eat them in that pattern–oh have to have the same number of each as well. Yeah a librarian’s life for me.

  8. Well, I don’t fit many of the stereotypes as posited in the Quiz. I dislike acronyms and classification schemes. I can’t organize my own record collection. Some are spot on, however: the disenfranchised intellectual, so I would like to believe; the useless undergraduate and graduate degree including a useless MLS, “cough” ALA accredited. (Hey Kids, don’t waste your time in Library School. Go study information systems or computer science or engineering or a hard science and become a librarian anyway.) I prefer Kerouac and Vonnegut to Dickens. I read a lot, but almost no fiction. Fiction is over. Mostly, I read on business strategy, and about information, technology, and culture. I collect guitars not books. I have them organized by wood type.

    I tried to get away from being a librarian, I went out and got an MBA (not useless) and I tried to go corporate, but corporate never accepted me, must be an attitudinal thing. And then with the beginning of this new millennium, I looked around and things started to get ugly in America. Having some desire to lead us back in the right (lower-case “r”) direction, the librarian in me has resurfaced. We are the carriers of the culture. That’s how I view it.

    Robert Forman
    New Mexico State Library
    My blog:

  9. Wahhh…I only scored 13…but my undergrad degree is a really geeky one, Classical Languages–can I have an extra point for that? (And, yeah, I already knew the first two lines of A Tale of Two Cities.)

    All the career aptitude tests say I should be a librarian; but so far, I’ve only been a library assistant. That, and I started and maintained a tiny library for a nonprofit group.

  10. Ooh I got 17! Just been accepted to library school so very excited! Have been a library assistant for 8 months and am keen now to enter the secret portals of librarian knowledge and begin my initiation.
    Is anyone else in the UK?

  11. I had posted a comment back in May when I was first accepted to library school and decided to revisit this site on the spur of the moment tonight while taking a break from my assigned reading :)

    Librarianship will be a second career for me and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

  12. 13/20 (I’m a library technician). One additional question could be “You find the MARC record page easier to read than the standard public-view page”.

  13. Just discovered this website today (through my weekly ALA mailer). My score is 17/20. That figures… I spent most of my undergrad years trying to figure out what to get my undergrad degree in. Just like high school, it was a somewhat pointless experience of occasional information gathering and frequent boredom, all of which was intended to prep me for graduate school. Fortunately, majoring in English requires spending many hours digging through piles of books.

  14. I just discovered this website yesterday (while working at the reference desk, thank you) and had to stop myself from snorting laughter in a very unladylike fashion several times. I love this site!! This quiz cracked me up. I’m between 15-17 (a few “maybes”, I just graduated with an MLIS in August, but my undergrad was pretty useless). I also sort my M&Ms and Skittles. I know the first line of Tale of Two Cities, though I’ve never actually read it. However, reading this post made me want to very badly. If I wander over to the 800’s and pick me up a copy, I wonder if anyone will notice I’m gone…

  15. Pingback: lo-fi librarian» Blog Archive » I Guess I’m Geeky
  16. I want to see the quiz…Am I Geeky Enough to be a Librarian?…..but can’t get it from your website.

    Any remedy?


  17. I only got ten and I was a public librarian for almost 39 years. Now I’m retired and I don’t know what a Ubuntu box is, and frankly, Scarlett, I don’t give a damn. My theatre undergrad major was not useless; it came in handy for doing story hours and book talks. And my husband and I have two cats sharing our household, so I get two points. My cats say so, and they’re always right.

  18. I scored 16! Yea! I’m already a librarian (high school) and taking a class at UIUC this summer. Very excited about that. Fun quiz and great site.

  19. I scored 15…which group does that put me in? I’m finally going to be a real librarian this summer…the (paid!) summer intern position I’ve been dying to have over the past 5 years I’ve been volunteering is finally mine! I start next Tuesday and I’ll get to be around books and the best coworkers in the world all day…I’m VERY excited! Someday I’ll get those useless library degrees…:-)

  20. I scored 16. I’m not telling which were my no answers. Will read a book in preference to watching TV any day.

    Problem is if I became a librarian I would probably spend more time reading the books than putting them away!

  21. I am in the borders coming in at 14. I would be at 15 if question two was worded correctly: “Have you been owned by a cat or numbered amongst its staff”

  22. this is hilarious and shows that librarians do have personalities and a sense of humour (contrary to public opinion) … i only scored a 5 – which goes to show i’m in the perfect job (holding a law degree, an MBA and studying a Masters in Public Infrastructure) … but i do own a cat (but i’ve never read a Tale of Two Cities)

  23. I scored a 15! I guess I am destined to be a librarian. I don’t need the applications any more; I was accepted to library school last week!

    I would have scored one point higher but I worked too hard going for my Bachelor’s in History part-time while working full-time to call my degree useless.

    And I have more than one cat (maybe there should be one point for each cat).

  24. Yeah I got 14 as well. I too am a wannabe.

    However I scored far, far higher than any of my collegues at work would…But sorry I don’t have a university edu-macation yet! (snark!)

    Why do people still get this degree? Why not IM? Why is this a qualification for most lisjobs? Get a clue…Govdoc’s, indexing, classification, (hehe) a joke.

    Hey let’s talk about podcasting some more!(snark)

    Realize imformation science is information science..get with the program..consolidate already.

  25. well, I’m geeky enough to think that any online quiz that does not actually show boxes or radio buttons is totally crap. ok, not crap but really user-hostile

    I had to get paper and pen to keep count of yes and no. PEN AND PAPER?!?! geeeze, maybe I should post this comment via pigeon? (see for details on CPIP, the Carrier Pigeon Internet Protocol)

    oh, I scored a 13. ;)

  26. Pingback: The Learning Librarian » Why I’m a librarian
  27. i scored a 14 – no doctorate, and only half way through my MLS (which i’m hoping will be very useful compared to my BA in creative writing). also, i have a dog, not a cat, but i do on occassion read outloud to him. so do i win???

  28. And I’m sure not going near any library with that Arun person! Eight! Probably doesn’t even adhere to the Code of the Librarians! Goes to work in Bermuda shorts and wears a pocket protector! Secret subscriber to the beliefs of both Rush Limbaugh and William Pierce! Hates it when patrons remove books from shelves! Away Spawn of Satan!

  29. Pingback: In the Stacks
  30. Pingback: heidi go seek
  31. Scored a 16 and I’m a librarian without a doctorate in site. I know what Ubunto boxes are but have nver been on a Linux system. If I were might be able to daisy chanin them. Interesting survey broke up my afternoon.

  32. Erica, Hi, I don’t usually read blogs, but yours is funny. I didn’t think your quiz would score so well with me, because I don’t have a useless undergrad degree, or own a cat. But, I am a librarian, and I scored a 12.

  33. Apparently, I need to quit my job.

    Hi, Erica, this is frank… from back in Flint. Used to wear a long, navy-blue labcoat all the time with a computer chip glued to the lapel, awkward in all situations, probably at least a little annoying? Yep. I just wanted to say hello, and I am glad things are going well for you. Mrow…

  34. 17, but only because I don’t have a useless doctoral degree, have no idea what an Ubuntu box… and, oh crap, I *do* know the first line to a Tale of Two Cities. That’s the one that starts with “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” Except, wait, I *don’t* know the entire 11-line stanza! But you know, I’m a librarian, and I can find Project Gutenberg with one arm tied behind my back… so here’s that first sentence:

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
    it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,
    it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,
    it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,
    it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,
    we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,
    we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct
    the other way–in short, the period was so far like the present
    period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its
    being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree
    of comparison only.

  35. 16 for me, and I’ll have my MSI by the end of the month. I sorted my skittles (someone once bought me a three pound bag and I sorted it in one go). It’s nice to be among my kindred….

  36. 11.
    Hey, can I add one?
    As a child, you sorted your Smarties (Or M&M’s, pick your candy of choice).
    I think I bring anal to a whole new level.
    : )

  37. I scored a 12. Guess I am not an uberlibrarian, despite having my MIS/MLS and generally preferring books to people. :)

  38. Eep. Never having posted before, I felt compelled to do so when this quiz basically hit me over the head with “GO TO LIBRARY SCHOOL. BECOME A LIBRARIAN.”

    But will I listen…?

    Dig the site, Erica.

  39. I guess you must HATE LIBRARIES! After all, the joke quiz that I made up at 4am is based on SCIENCE and can not be wrong. Subatomic particles were fused in the making of this quiz. Migrating groups of ducks realigned themselves along polar axes to calculate the verisimilitude of this quiz. Library-hater. Don’t come back to work until you get a cat!

  40. 8. And I just got my MSLIS. (Yeah, that’s what I got. Really.)

    Not all librarians fit the stereotype.

  41. 18 — All but two. I don’t have a doctorate and I haven’t the foggiest notion what a Ubuntu box is. (But I can find out in a few seconds on the internet!)

Comments are closed.