Annoyed Librarian
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Inside Annoyed Librarian

Those Sledgehammering Librarians

Sometimes I feel sorry for library school students who want to become librarians. It’s not just the lack of good jobs available for graduates. Sure, it’s annoying that so many people get tricked into going to library school by idiots who keep claiming there’s a librarian shortage when there’s never a librarian shortage. It’s not even the mild embarrassment they'll face when entering a profession where a website for librarians requests people to send in photos of themselves in cat-themed clothing. No, it’s that they’re subjected to a steady stream of publicity claiming that libraries are irrelevant. If you want to be a librarian, that’s got to be a little depressing. Since I hadn’t had my fill of stupid articles about libraries with Forbes, I branched out to something called Fast Company, which published the absurdly titled article Taking a Long-overdue Sledgehammer to the Public Library. The title certainly works as clickbait for librarians, because I clicked on ...
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Those Pivoting Librarians

It’s almost as if Forbes deliberately pays people to write stuff about libraries that annoys me. If so, I want to thank them, because the Annoyed Librarian always needs stuff to be annoyed about. This time it’s an advertisement for something called Easybib in the form of an article about pivoting librarians. One of the many problems is that I can’t figure out who the audience is supposed to be. It seems to be aimed at school librarians and seems to consider school libraries as the norm. Are school librarians big readers of Forbes? Is that now the go to magazine for aspiring school media specialists? Is that where they go to be inspired by silly articles? Another annoyance is the pointless analogy of librarians and startups. Apparently, startups that are failing sometimes “pivot” to become something else entirely, and so can librarians, and who would want to be a startup more than a librarian? Unless we consider the evidence about startups. According to another bastion of ...
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If CDPs Told the Truth

In my last post, I suggested that librarians were being hypocritical about the political nature of their jobs and hiding behind collection development policies (CDPs) that our earnest homophobic crusader claimed were basically just aids to “banning” certain kinds of books librarians don’t like. Because the ALA’s arguments about intellectual freedom and diversity and censorship are an incoherent mess, the standard ALA line isn’t going to work trying to refute the homophobic crusader. Instead, let’s think about what public library CDPs really are. What are the actual policies rather than the policies they write down that try to sound fair and balanced and give them something to hide behind when the homophobes and the racists come calling? Next year, will the Schaumburg librarians display photos of empty shelves where books that challenge Leftist assumptions about the nature and morality of homosexuality should be (you know, pro-heterosexuality/pro-heteronormativity ...
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Another Problem with Banned Books Talk

One of the many problems with the ALA approach to so-called banned books is that it opens the door to easy criticisms by raging homophobes like this person. The general gist of the criticism is that while librarians talk a good game about intellectual freedom and are against “censorship” and “banning books,” in fact their entire collection development process effectively bans books that librarians disagree with politically. Libraries use Collection Development Policies (CDP’s) to determine which books they will purchase with their limited budgets. CDP’s hold that librarians should purchase only books that have been positively reviewed by two “professionally recognized” review journals. Guess what folks, the “professionally recognized” review journals are dominated by ideological “progressives.” That’s pretty hard to argue with, because she's right and we all know it. It doesn’t even mention that a lot of times it’s other librarians reviewing the ...
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The Myth that Won’t Die

The good news is that according to Wired Magazine your local library will probably have a makerspace soon, because it’s not just cutting edge cities like Chattanooga and Cleveland that will have them. A recent survey “found that 109 libraries in the US had a makerspace or were close to opening one.” Since there are only about 9,000 public libraries in the U.S., this is a definite trend. The slightly odd news is that a library in Canada is advertising for a "manager of welcoming initiatives," which is among the most unusual librarian job titles I've seen. Thanks to the Kind Reader who sent that one in. The bad news is that the notorious librarian shortage myth is back. I cringed at this headline in the Wall Street Journal: Help Wanted: Librarians, Sea Captains. “Oh, please, not again,” I muttered quietly. A report claiming that there would be a librarian shortage because it’s a slow-growing profession was released by some company called the Conference Board, because ...
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A Little Library Farce in the Golden State

I missed this one until a Kind Reader sent it in. I knew a few months ago that the governor of California had nominated an unqualified person to be the state librarian of California. Now it’s looking like the guy will be approved. A panel of five state senators has voted unanimously to send the nomination to the full senate. The story would make a potentially good movie, or at least a movie of the week. Supposedly the law requires the state librarian to be a “technically trained librarian,” which makes some sense. Being in charge of the state library might also require some experience in managing large organizations. So who better to be the state librarian than a reporter and blogger with no training as a librarian but great political connections? It would be bad enough just if the nomination was made. Handing out political largess to friends is how politics is always done. There’s nothing respectable about it, but there’s also nothing surprising. Rewarding yourself and ...
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