It would be truly wonderful if the Internet could be all lighthearted memes and live giraffe birth monitoring streams. However, if you’ve actually used the Internet for more than five seconds, you know that it has a sizable dark side. I’m not talking about unseemly content; I’m talking about the people who use it. They’re mean. And many of them aren’t afraid to spew meanness at everyone and everything. The existence of such virtual vitriol is disappointing, disheartening, and demoralizing. It can also be really funny.
Like most things when handled deftly, Internet hate can be leveraged into levity. A great example is Jimmy Kimmel’s Mean Tweets bit, in which celebrities read aloud mean things actual* Twitter users have tweeted about them. They can be pretty crude, so I won’t link to them here, but they are easily findable on YouTube for those who’d like to check them out. While celebrities are some of the more popular targets of keyboard commandos, average Joes and Jolenes of all walks of life and professions certainly aren’t spared. Not even, shocking as it may be…(gasp) your friendly neighborhood librarians!
As it turns out, there’s no shortage of mean tweets about librarians and libraries, and the good-humored folks of the Invercargill City Libraries and Archives in New Zealand have decided to lean into them with a Mean Tweets video of their own featuring librarians reading the nastiness directed at them. Watch it at this link:
Brilliant stuff. There’s a second edition in existence, but due to some slightly risque language, I’ll refrain from linking to it. Some quick Googling will bring it up, and if you enjoyed the first video, I do recommend watching the second. Well done, Invercargill Library. As far as I’m concerned, you’re the best thing New Zealand has produced since these guys.
Hopefully, none of our BPL patrons share the sentiments of the mean tweeters. If you do, feel free to Tweet it, but we hope you’ll also tell us directly so we can work on serving you better…or on being less onion-y and dead inside.