People who are very bright, and assertive can do a lot of damage to each other, sometimes without meaning to. In order to get along, sometimes just in order to live with each other after arguments, there must be understood, if unspoken terms of proper behavior. Lawyers in court have rules of procedure. Librarians, especially law librarians, can be fully as argumentative. But we have no formal rules. How do we manage to get along?
It has occurred to me lately that it is a lot like a group of very dangerous animals, dragons, say, getting along together. I started thinking about this, frankly, regarding my teenage daughter. We are rather careful of each other, quite aware of how much we can hurt one another. Then, I realized that, on another level, this accounts for a lot of the cooperation in the law library community. We are kind to each other precisely because we are capable of being so dangerous to each other.
Lawyers don't have to go out of their way to "make nice" with each other. They have codified rules of procedure for their professional battles. Law librarians, on the other hand, have no such rules. We have to make overtures of friendliness and cooperation lest in vigorous argument, we ruin professional and personal relationships beyond repair.
Whatta ya think? Do anything for our reputation? Roar!
The shield with a heraldic dragon is from
www.grace-collection.com (I passed up all the fabulous dragon art on the web for something a little more traditional European).