Wednesday, December 2, 2009


“Wine is bottled poetry.” -Robert Louis Stevenson

A recent cover photograph on School Library Journal has attracted a number of comments because it portrays a group of librarians...seated at a bar...raising their glasses in a toast...presumably drinking (gasp!) alcohol.

While I agree that educators should be good role models, I fail to see why adults consuming a legal beverage in moderation deserve censure.

One of the most pleasant evenings I spent in Charlotte, N.C. for the AASL convention involved a visit to a wine bar. Our small, congenial group shared some exceptional food and drink while getting to know one another better. No one overindulged, nothing embarrassing or unprofessional happened. We talked and laughed and, yes, sipped wine. Lunch at a local fast food restaurant - pizza, salads, and Coca Cola - was also fun, but relaxing in an adult setting with adult beverages was a special treat.

Lawyers, doctors, and other professionals are photographed at elegant events where alcohol is being served. When the President of the United States hosts a formal dinner, wine and champagne are in evidence.

Please read some of the comments shared on the School Library Journal site and then decide for yourself: Are teachers and librarians being held to a higher standard? Should they be?

“Moderation is the silken string running through the pearl chain of all virtues.” -Joseph Hall

A glass of wine - Rauðvínstár" by Onzth
"State Dining Room" Wikimedia Commons


gwyneth a. jones said...

And what about when the President calls a meeting with two arguing factions and serves beer? you said, are we not all adults? Silly people that kind of attitude is what makes us librarians look like the proverbial bun wearing shushing sticks in the mud that we're supposed to be! I say, Cheers to cutting edge 21st Century Librarians!

Laura W said...

I agree with you. It's almost funny to me that I never even thought someone would question the cover. The audience for SLJ is professionals--ADULTS--and the cover shows them enjoying themselves. How controversial.

diane said...

Gwyneth and Laura,

I found, when interacting with students, that teens did not believe adults who claimed they never drank alcoholic beverages (even if that were true). We had much more fruitful conversations when the topic was the benefits of moderation as opposed to the dangers of over-indulgence.

When certain behaviors are censured (or strongly discouraged: some districts and even unions advise educators not to blog or have social networking accounts), it speaks to me of a lack of trust in the individual. If I can't be relied upon to behave appropriately in my personal and professional life, I shouldn't be interacting with children. Period.