A friend of mine recently said in exasperation, "Librarians are so stupid in their smugness." She was referring to what I call Listserv Divas. Divas is not gender-specific, by the way.
This is a real problem with listservs of all kinds, not just library ones, but I think it's particularly irritating in library listservs. Why? Because we are all trained in the same things, and belong to lists that (usually) reflect our interests and skills. And when I say we're trained in the same things, I'm talking the SAME THINGS...who hasn't read Michael Buckland's What is Information article? Or Arlene Taylor? Or the AACRII? We're all riffing off the same playbooks here.
I promise I'm not trying to be bitchy. But my friend has such a valid point. On two fronts.
Firstly, you have the people who assume that the people on the listserv are novices or idiots or something, and answer questions with built-in smugness and condescending attitudes. Mostly just an annoyance.
Secondly, you get the people who post questions on listservs simply to be validated against their peers in the real world. It's actually the second one that makes me more frustrated. "I said that it was this way, and my [stupid] colleague said it was this way, and I want you all to validate me and make me feel good about myself. Thanks!" What a freaking waste of my time. I read listserv posts because I think I might be able to help, not to break up cataloger schoolyard fights. And anyway, local practice dictates so much of what we do....if you want validation, go read the AACRII and then argue about it in the real world with your real peers. Having me tell you that you're right (or wrong) doesn't really solve the problem for you on a local level. Theoretical posturing doesn't get the work done.