Annoyed Librarian
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Inside Annoyed Librarian

An Opportunity for Guerrilla Librarianship

If anyone is interested in applying to what is sure to become the most pointless librarian job ever for the next 4-8 years, then here’s your chance. With any luck, or perhaps without it, you could possibly be a reference librarian and begin an “exciting career with the Executive Office of the President (EOP) providing support to the President of the United States.” Would you like to provide reference support for Donald Trump? Mike Pence? Oooh, Stephen Bannon? What librarian wouldn’t! I realize this job post was written when the normal rules still sort of applied, but after the election it just seems sadly amusing. The best example is the first demand of the job: “Responds to reference and research requests requiring provision of definitive and authoritative information. Uses primary and secondary sources to locate and select appropriate materials” Does anyone believe the EOP will be interested in “definitive and authoritative information” when they have a President whose ...
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Our Post-Perspective World

Forget post-fact, or post-truth, or whatever. Even the nitwits who claim facts don’t matter anymore wouldn’t want to drive over a bridge or fly in a plane designed by engineers who agreed with them. We are in fact(!) living in the post-perspective age, where everything is the worst possible thing that could happen because we can’t put anything into perspective anymore. People who rarely to never thought about the destruction the U.S. has wrought upon the world for decades woke up the morning after the election worried about the future under a dictator. Many are probably the same people who thought they elected a savior eight years ago, and who treated Hillary Clinton as the antichrist to Bernie Sanders’ Jesus for months. Post-perspective world. And they sound like the people who woke up eight years ago worried about the future under the socialist Muslim dictator, and who are still concerned that Obama will declare martial law and become a dictator before Inauguration ...
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The Disappeared School Librarians

If school librarians have a huge role to play in the war on fake news, then California is in serious trouble on the fake news war front. Does 785 students per school librarian sound like too few? Pity, because that’s the ratio that the California State Auditor thought appropriate six years ago. The current ratio? Approximately 7,373 students per school librarian in the state, with 841 librarians serving 6.2 million students instead of the recommended 7,900. Looked at that way, it’s easy to imagine the schools just got confused and think they’re almost on target. Just 527 more students per librarian to go! It’s so bad that “California has the poorest ratio of students to teacher librarians in the nation.” There are a lot of students in California, much more than in, say Vermont or Wyoming, but still. Some school districts don’t even seem to be trying. School districts are required to provide library services, but there’s no clear definition of library ...
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Children’s Librarians Corrupting the Youth

It’s no secret that science gets a bad rap these days. A majority of Americans are scientifically illiterate, and that might be true in other countries as well. One could point to a lot of reasons. Millions of Americans believe the earth is 10,000 years old because their religious tribe tells them to. Millions of Americans also believe that climate science is a Chinese hoax because their political tribe tells them to. And millions more believe in homeopathy, astrology, and crystal healing because who knows why. Who’s to blame for all this? Is it a bad educational system? General human stupidity? Well, if some scientists are correct, one of the problems is children’s books and the craven fools who write and promote them, including the evil children’s librarians who are trying to brainwash children. The headline is, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar Lied to You As a Child,” because the editor doesn’t understand what the word “lie” means. The subtitle is “Do children's books need ...
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A Press Release Too Far

When the ALA gets involved in politics, it’s always a mess. Every time the ALA Council passes a political resolution unrelated to libraries, you can be pretty sure whatever they’re against will happen. Someone forgot to tell the current ALA President to avoid the fray. First, at least I think it was first, was a press release from the ALA Washington Office last Tuesday. That one is entitled, “ALA offers expertise, resources to incoming administration and Congress.” Pretty bland stuff. In the press release she was quoted as saying, “We are ready to work with President-elect Trump, his transition team, incoming administration and members of Congress to bring more economic opportunity to all Americans and advance other goals we have in common.” That bit didn’t make librarians very happy, considering the sort of campaign Trump ran, because how could librarians and libraries possibly have anything in common with a President 60,000,000 people voted for? That was followed by ...
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Libraries and Fake Facts

One of the popular post-election stories is how fake news influenced the election, particularly as it spread through Facebook. Supposedly, Trump won because of Facebook. One purveyor of fake news on Facebook almost believes he’s single-handedly responsible for Trump’s election because Trump supporters never fact-checked the nonsense he peddled. The story is all over the place, and it’s becoming one of the convenient narratives to explain why 60,000,000 or so people voted for someone other people were sure couldn’t possibly win, along with maybe the narrative that all the voters are neoNazis. Those two narratives can combine into one, and the next story will be that America has 60,000,000 neoNazis and it’s all Facebook’s fault. The efforts to reduce the motivations of 60,000,000 people to one cause should strike us as ridiculous. Every article that tries to do that is fake news of a sort and should be treated skeptically. One problem with the Facebook Fake News Hypothesis is ...
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