Annoyed Librarian
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Inside Annoyed Librarian

Happy Halloween!

A short one for today, because I have a big party to go to! Every year my library has a big Halloween party and all the librarians get to play dress up and walk around passing candy out to the students.Yay! Later we all attend a big bonfire and drink a lot of punch. Yay! Last year I dressed up as a librarian, but everyone complained that I just wasn't getting into the spirit of the thing. So this year I'm going as a Naughty Librarian, because it was the most cliched costume I could think of. I can't wait for the bonfire; I'm getting a bit chilly in this costume. I hope you're all dressed up, too, and doing fun, scary library activities. Happy Halloween! ...
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Cuddly Kitties Make Libraries Popular

It seems to be animal time in libraries the last couple of weeks. The library news is chock full of animals. This story seemed to raise the ire of some librarians who were just appalled that some poor rube objected to a book in a high school library - The Book of Bunny Suicides. I feel a bit sorry for this poor objectionable woman, just like I do for some of my critics. It must be hard going through life with no sense of humor whatsoever. "Anderson said her son, who usually brings home books about motorcycles and dirt bikes, checked out the book because his friends told him it was funny. But after reading the entire 80-page book, Anderson disagreed. 'None of it made me laugh,' she said." QED! I think that's how some of my earnest critics must feel about the AL. Animals abound in libraries apparently, and not just fictional bunnies. By now I'm sure you're all familiar with Dewey the Library Cat, the little creature who not only warmed the cockles of many a cold Iowan ...
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Librarians, Amuse Us to Death!

All along I've noticed that a lot of librarians resent my criticism of the lowest-common-denominator, give-'em-what-they-want, bread-and-circuses approach to public librarianship that so many librarians seem to desire. Sometimes it seems that I'm the only librarian who believes public libraries should have some sort of purpose larger and more important that subsidizing the puerile entertainment desires of the mass of people who can't afford Netfllx or videogames. Some naive people think that the masses should provide their own puerile entertainment and public institutions should contribute to the public good. Before you start complaining, I'll come out and admit I'm old fashioned and a bit idealistic. When I think of public libraries, I think of institutions that exist to serve the public good. I really want them to have a worthwhile purpose. If I were a librarian, I'd want to be inspired. I read this line from the Boston Public Library and actually am inspired: "The ...
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Plausible Deniability

Some people are just obsessed with the shadowy figure(s) behind the Annoyed Librarian. This bold wag claims finally to have unmasked the AL and asserts that the Annoyed Librarian is written by none other than Michael Gorman - the brilliant, talented, former ALA president, critic of silly blog people, and author of several acclaimed books making significant contributions to the field of librarianship, including Our Enduring Values, The Enduring Library, and the recent Our Own Selves: More Meditations for Librarians (all, you should note, available for purchase from Amazon.com). You think you're soooo smart, don't you, Mister Man? Well, let me tell you, despite the coincindence that Michael Gorman and the Annoyed Librarian are never seen in the same room together, Michael Gorman does not write the Annoyed Librarian, and you can't prove that I do...er...that he does. So there! ...
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"Urban Fiction" @ Your Library

There sure are fun things going on in libraries these days. The New York Times has been reporting lately on some of those things. Doesn't this sound like fun: "And then there’s Angel, a Versace-clad seductress who shoots her boyfriend in the head during sex, stuffs money from his safe into her Louis Vuitton bags and, as she fondles the cash, experiences a sexual frisson narrated in terms too graphic to reproduce here." Sounds like a date I had once. Not that this is going on in the library, but instead within a book that's part of genre called "urban fiction," and some librarians are eagerly snapping this up, despite, as the Times notes, that "it’s not the kind of literary fare usually associated with the prim image of librarians." Then again, neither is this blog. At this point, you're thinking, oh, not again, the AL is going to criticize librarians buying crappy books for the library. Well, you'd be wrong. I don't care what libraries buy. ...
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Gaming with the Very Special Librarians

"Language most shows a man," wrote Ben Jonson. "Speak that I may see thee." If for "man" we substitute "librarian" (or perhaps "guybrarian") and for "speak" we substitute "write," then we arrive at the subject of today's post. Oh, and maybe for "thee" we should substitute "you," for those uncomfortable with archaic diction. I have a feeling such diction makes the gamey librarians uncomfortable, and they don't need anything else to make them uncomfortable. They already have the Annoyed Librarian. What an exciting time it is to be a librarian! How lucky we all are! What great fun we all have! What wonderful opportunities we all have! How exciting it is to be us! Do any of us really get excited by all the supposedly excited librarians around us? Or do we just wonder what meds they're on? This false enthusiasm just comes off sounding stupid (and perhaps even more stupid if it's not false), as if ...
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