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Inside Annoyed Librarian

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love OCLC

To use a prison metaphor, it’s clear that librarians dropped the soap decades ago.

The bibliotek blogosphere is abuzz with chatter about how OCLC and its evil minions are trying to "steal" our libraries. (If you want to explore the issue ad nauseum, visit this site.) When I first saw that line, I wondered if OCLC was planning to pull up a big truck out front and start packing our books into it. I’m not sure I’d have minded, because some of the areas are getting pretty tight and could use a good weeding.

Instead, it seems that OCLC is planning to change its policy on the use and transfer of WorldCat records, and we know how librarians hate change. The sticking point seems to be number four: "Reasonable Use. Use must not discourage the contribution of bibliographic and holdings data to WorldCat or substantially replicate the function, purpose, and/or size of WorldCat" [emphasis added]. I read this and tried unsuccessfully to suppress a yawn. Some interpret this as a move to shut down projects like Open Library. That’s how Aaron Schwartz of Open Library sees it, but then again he’d have to, wouldn’t he. He’s the one who thinks that OCLC is trying to steal your library. Karen Calhoun of OCLC responded to that post, and he responded to her response. The vitriol is flying, if that’s what vitriol does. Whatever vitriol does, it’s doing it right now.

OCLC wants to claim ownership of all the catalog records in WorldCat and control their use elsewhere. Some naive librarians are horrified that OCLC isn’t more amenable to open source projects that compete with their product. OCLC just can’t understand why anyone would be upset by this, and has an apparently highly paid VP out spin-doctoring the issue. Librarians are aghast that a company started by a librarian in a tiny office in the sixties is now a big bad corporation with a huge complex and lots of money. It’s really a fun debate, and this is the most I’ve ever managed to read about cataloging without falling asleep.

I don’t like to play prognosticator, but I have a feeling I know who’s going to win this: OCLC. Why? Because OCLC is a lot smarter than you.

Think about it. OCLC charges libraries for the privilege of uploading catalog records that librarians created. Then it charges them again if they want to download any records. OCLC charges both ways and sits back in Ohio chuckling and rolling in cash. Any company that can get away with this in the first place is obviously a lot more clever than mere librarians. The natural next step is to say that it controls all the catalog records that it never created in the first place. And why not? Perhaps it’s better to have those records in control of a smart corporation instead of  libraries that paid to give away their catalog records.

OCLC is just another smart corporation that shows librarians for the suckers they are. They’re sort of like the big companies that publish scholarly science journals, like, um, you know, Reed something or other. Those companies get universities to pay people to do scientific research, then they package it up and sell it back to the university libraries. They can do this because academics are suckers, too.

Let’s face it, librarians are suckers. They pay actual money to get a "master’s" degree in librarianship that they then use to find low-paying jobs in which they go out of their way to help people who often as not treat them badly. Not exactly a testament to cleverness, if you ask me. They also have a long history of selflessly providing service for little reward. Then they get upset when they’re taken advantage of by corporations run by people smarter and more ruthless than them. Of course rapacious corporations are going to take advantage of librarians. They know the librarians like it; it allows them to appear more selfless and altruistic.

As for this OCLC "power grab," what can libraries really do? Stop using OCLC records? Unsubscribe from WorldCat? Boycott OCLC altogether? Not bloody likely.

Instead, there’s a petition to sign. Next thing you know there’ll be an ALA Council resolution and OCLC will get their way for sure.

Librarians dropped the soap decades ago, and they’ve been paying the price ever since.

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Comments

  1. soren faust says:

    It’s the George Bailey and Mr. Potter argument. Does this mean librarians are on the edge of a bridge ready to jump?

  2. CatalogMe says:

    Actually, a library gets a credit if they contribute a record to Worldcat or add value to existing records. The library must be a member to do that, of course, and with their subscription service I can’t tell what the base rate for membership is anymore.

  3. Anon E Mus says:

    Please, more posts about OCLC. Fascinating stuff.

  4. Mr. Kat says:

    I agree, but I disagree!

    I got my start in this field as a freshman in college working in technical services; my main task was fixing MARC Record Errors!! The bane of my existence included duplicate record entries, a limited numerical system that made listing publisher, printer, and distributor difficult, and a complete lack of standards in how Author names should be written. As anyone here in database management might agree on, ALL data of One Type should ALL be formatted the SAME WAY!!! I found no less then FIVE different standards in use for author formatting. IT MAKES ONE QUITE BATTY AFTER AWHILE!!!!

    There is a solution emerging in a place you wouldn’t have ever guessed: the PUBLIC LIBRARY! Glendale Arizona has taken their library collections in a few public library branches and recatalogued them using the Bookstore Classification System. OCLC Problem SOLVED and ELIMINATED!!! Libraries no longer have to buy their catalogs from OCLC!

    Instead, they simply sign up with the publisher of their choice, fill out a simple “Community interest inventory,” speckle it each month with community special requests, and let the bookstores do the rest. And just what do the bookstores do? Well, they send you a box each month full of new books, complete with a little disk or even an automatic FTP Upload/Download Software update, which automatically updates the holdings in your library. Collection Development and Cataloging are outsourced SIMULANEOUSLY and in PERFECT UNISON!!!

    This OCLC change should be a sign to you, AL, that OCLC is in trouble! Any time an organization has to make a change for the worse, or more restrictive for the end user, or become more stringent, signifies a crisis within the business model. In this case, OCLC is still rooted in the proprietary MARC Record environment. The real world, meanwhile, has flown to MARS and back, developing a system that is far more robust then the creators of MARC could have EVER imagined. The Bookstore upstarts had to be innovative to survive, and thus they are rooted in the new HTML/JAVA/PHP/PERL/SQL environment; Metadata is their baby.

    OCLC has another BIG problem right now; they have a rather large number of records that are incomplete, records that are unique duplicates [two records for the same book, both records different by at least 50%], and a file structure that has been vastly superceded by the Wikipedia [public knowledge]/ Amazon [reader reviews] business model. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that libraries across the world have cut their cataloging staffs, the people who in short were actually working FOR OCLC this whole time!! There’s simply no one left doing the work!

    I was at first apprehensive about the BCS classification method. However, the more that I think about it, the better this actually is for Libraries, even if it’s terrible for librarians. The truth is, our catalog systems are grossly outdated, whereas the new modern library catalog SHOULD resemble a Wikipedia Page. The public should be able to visit this page and add both descriptions of the book along with their personal reviews and ratings. If librarians want to practice LCC Cataloging, they will simply have to learn how to write out the full headings instead of using those cutesy little letter-number combinations, because the public doesn’t get arcane codes anymore and computer systems now allow for full verbal expression.

    Yes, I actually did learn something in Library school. Unfortunately I learned is that the Librarian of 2008 is nothing more than an over glorified Bookstore Clerk. But hey – change happens. Those who refuse to acknowledge that change has happened, and refuse to see the problems developing due to the clash between the old way and the new way will be in for a rather sad surprise when they get laid off without even a pittance of a severance package..

  5. A Rube says:

    And to think that OCLC is non-profit too.

  6. annoyed more often then not says:

    The real issue to be annoyed about is the fact that OCLC took factual data (title, author, ISBN), added their OCLC accession number to it, and then were able to copyright it. Factual data cannot be copyrigthed, but they were able to copyright the ”

  7. annoyed more often then not says:

    factual data by adding an accession number and puting it in a database. Wow. How original. The behemoth should have been stopped years ago, now it’s too late. Just bend over and grab your ankles, ladies and gents.

  8. librarEwoman says:

    The record structure of MARC is an implementation of ISO 2709, also known as ANSI/NISO Z39.2. MARC records are composed of three elements: the record structure, the content designation, and the data content of the record. The record structure implements national and international standards (e.g., Z39.2, ISO2709). The content designation is ”

  9. Anoid says:

    MARC records, accession numbers, classification standards – ooh I’m tingling with excitement over this discussion. Librarians must make fascinating party guests.

  10. Mr. Kat says:

    Don’t grab your ankles. Grab OCLC by the scruff of the neck, and THROW IT OUT! Learn how to innovate!!

  11. Greg Brady says:

    Don’t get mad at OCLC. They are just a business operating like they are supposed to. If libraries started thinking like a business, they would start making better decisions.

  12. OCLC Hater says:

    “Don’t grab your ankles. Grab OCLC by the scruff of the neck, and THROW IT OUT! Learn how to innovate!!”

    Yeah!

    Right On!

    Let’s form a committee and get everybody together. We will form an alliance and create library standards and how everyone should cooperate.

    In, let’s say, fifty or so years, maybe we can agree on the shape of the table we should use for negotiations.

  13. Regional Service Provider says:

    I’ve been to the “Death Star” in Dublin and faced the evil empire first hand. There isn’t a librarian in sight, only software engineers and various administrators and VPs. Their ultimate goal is to control every facet of library science and to convince all libraries they are valued “members” of the cooperative. They wield monopoly power, yet maintain they are a not-for-profit (Ohio law exempted) enterprise and not subject to anti-trust regulation. The sooner libraries move to Open Source and away from OCLC, they better off they’ll be. Ever notice how messed up OCLC records are and only certain “validated” catalogers can “fix” master records? Ever wonder why RDA is taking years to come out?

  14. librarydude says:

    “Ever wonder why RDA is taking years to come out?”

    No.

  15. No one special says:

    I don’t care… as long as Lorcan Dempsey tells me to do something in that lovely accent of his, I’ll DO IT!

  16. Bill Gates says:

    OCLC is the Microsoft of the Library World. They will not be happy until they control EVERYTHING

  17. Robert says:

    Libraries and OCLC, A Strangelove indeed.

  18. Major Kong says:

    It is the end of the library world.

  19. NOT For BookStores says:

    I have hated OCLC for a long time. But I must worry a bit by the post from the person who is all for letting a bookstore decide — based upon some simple paperwork — what our library needs in a collection. Jeez talk about giving away the store.

    Glendale AZ is not yet the top of the world, so I might sit back a while to see how this “I wanna be a bookstore clone” thing works out.

  20. What me worry? says:

    OCLC will be just fine for a long time. Most people really don’t care how the title, author, and or general subject of a book end up in a catalog. Get as upset as you want, but the average library would much rather just subscribe to OCLC rather than reinvent the cataloging wheel.

  21. Alfred E Newman says:

    Along with most libraries subscribing to OCLC, many of our fine librarians, some even edumacted at the fine Library School in Boston, wouldn’t know what to do with a MARC record unless it came with a turntable and could be played at 45 RPM.

    Catalog Utility?
    Please, most librarians are more concerned with blogging and drinking martinis.

  22. soren faust says:

    Libraries should just catalog according to number/word mystical theory.

  23. Barnes-n-Noble says:

    Libraries should just be like bookstores. They need to drop the special treatment tag and come back to the real world.

  24. Sidney says:

    I’m one of those people perfectly happy to use library catalogs without knowing how they work. And I’m sure I’d rather drink a martini than read a MARC record.

  25. clear and open mind says:

    OCLC saw a need and they filled it. Business 101. Libraries could learn a lot from successful businesses.

  26. W says:

    OCLC is not a business per se, it is ” a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world’s information and reducing the rate of rise of library costs” (from their website).

    If they were in it for the money it would be a much better organization.

  27. carptrash says:

    It started with
    “To use a prison metaphor, it’s clear that librarians dropped the soap decades ago.”
    And by the time we got to,
    “grab your ankles.”
    I had totally lost track of what we were talking about.
    What was your question, again? eeeeeek

  28. A. Mouse says:

    eeeeeek

  29. Elisa says:

    I went to an OCLC annual conference held in my area last month. It was really good!

    If I need to quickly consult a bibliographic record for a book, I prefer LC’s online catalog.

  30. Gene A. says:

    Greatest first line of an article about libraries ever.

  31. Brent says:

    Does that mean libraries should learn from businesses how to (cough) advertise/market itself?

  32. RL says:

    Who uses OCLC? We shelve our books by size and color.

  33. LET the bookstore decide says:

    Hey, I don’t think we need a masters degree and lots of courses to realize that the latest Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel, Nelson DeMille, Michael Connelly, John Sandford, etc. etc. are going to be ordered by pretty much every public library with a book budget. You could safely sign over 90 percent of your fiction budget to them and 25-50 percent of your non-fiction budget. Yeah, yeah someone has to order something other than travel books, biographies, craft books, cookbooks. By and large most of ”

  34. LET the bookstore decide says:

    Hey, I don’t think we need a masters degree and lots of courses to realize that the latest Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel, Nelson DeMille, Michael Connelly, John Sandford, etc. etc. are going to be ordered by pretty much every public library with a book budget. You could safely sign over 90 percent of your fiction budget to them and 25-50 percent of your non-fiction budget. Yeah, yeah someone has to order something other than travel books, biographies, craft books, cookbooks. By and large most of ”

  35. academicdude says:

    The masters degree isn’t meant for public librarians.

  36. Doctor Library says:

    “The masters degree isn’t meant for public librarians.”

    You need at least a PHD for that.

  37. I heard you the first time says:

    Bookstore; You’re being redundant. you’re being redundant.

  38. Auntie Nanuuq says:

    Just goes to show you what we learned in SLIS! We were never taught that OCLC is a big bad wolf! We were taught to venerate the inform they provide us!

    Such CRAP….This is when it is time to step up to the plate and create an alternative cataloging database….maybe using LOC as a source and a large system group, such as NYPL or CoLAPL as a source for Dewey classifications.

    Do we dare boycott OCLC? A multi-million $ corporation, huh? I’ll be horn swoggled! The things they don’t teach you in Reference Services 101!

  39. Mr. Kat says:

    I like LOC. LCC is reallyquite nice too. BCS will in the end do nothing more then reinvent the LCC wheel, as more sections get added to the growing library stacks. Dewey Decimal itself is actually proprietary, as in, you have to pay a licensing fee to use it. Glendale has left Dewey partially for this reason. But the main reason they moved to the BCS method is because the public is familiar and comfortable with this organizational method, and thus this library has decided to do an experiement of simply giving the public what they want: a Bookstore with circulation priveleges!

    OCLC is best left in the dust. Open Source is the solution – a solution where we can each meet at the table of our individual choice and yet appear at everyone else’s table too, simultaneously.

    The table looks like a simple 80′s oak behemoth on your screen and it looks like a hewn and carved mahogony masterpiece on my end. The information on that table, however, is seemlessly connected, integrated, and one with our worlds. The function of the information takes does not direct or dictate the form of the data. You and I can use different parts of the same database, make a completley differet catalog, and even change the format of how things appear – like listing names as fname iname lname or lname, fname iname or titles with the Article in the front or at the end and still have the title properly indexed. OCLC MARC Records try to put too much information in too few fields, resulting in the chaos that is their headache.

    I want you to imagine Mr. kat’s Perfect Library catalog database. If you search for an author, you will get a page that looks like a wikipedia page. This page will have a complete biography of the author, complete with annotations connecting his life timeline with his authroshiip timeline. You would see a picture of the autor, his family, or those things that had a profound influence on this author’s work. and you will see a complete list of materials – not jsut monographs but manuscripts and other archive amterial as well – on that HTML page. And you the patron, having one more piece of knowledge about that author, will be able to open that page for editing, tack on your little piece of informaiton, and make the world of literature that much more complete. At the bottom of the author page would be a pile of comments about the author; These comments would be reader reactions to this author, in short, a review.

    When you click on a book title, you are taken to a page that completely describes the book in a manner that biography page describes the author. This page would include with it a complete list of subsequent printings and republictions of the book. In short, if youw anted to know who was printing “The adventures of Tom Sawyer” in 1985, you could visit this page and get that information in a single record!!

    I was initally excited about worldcat – it’s a step in the right direction. However, I feel it is too little, too late, and in this day and age, “control” is the last word we use to describle [now that's a pretty cool misspelling! :D] Information Management!

  40. Mr. Kat says:

    Naturally, when I get my database up and running, I will have positions for no less then ten people to check my work for spelling errors and other grammatical omissions!!! We each have our strong suits – some of us specailize in architecture, some of us specailize in editing, and we make the world a better place together!

  41. Bad librarian says:

    OCLC is rather stupid… I’m sure it’d be a mistake for them controlling WorldCat since most of the records in WorldCat are outdated information…kind of like owning “Dead Souls”…

  42. Remember says:

    OCLC may make tons of money, but they are non-profit so all that money goes into important things.

  43. Keep Posts Short says:

    “OCLC may make tons of money, but they are non-profit so all that money goes into important things.”

    I hope this was meant as sarcasm.

  44. Remember says:

    No sarcasm here. People at non-profits have to make enormous salaries so they are not drawn off into the public sector.

    Or in the case of libraries off to the tenured and martinied world of academia.

  45. S R Ranganathan says:

    Are forcible an*l s*x jokes metaphors really the best way to make your point here. Apologies for the asterisks, LJs comment box only takes “nice” words apparently.

  46. Unknown Comic says:

    I think that the Annoyed Librarian is on a comic roll.

    I am hoping the next thread has some yucks about gang rapes and forced prostitution.

  47. No Bun says:

    “Let’s face it, librarians are suckers. They pay actual money to get a “master’s” degree in librarianship that they then use to find low-paying jobs in which they go out of their way to help people who often as not treat them badly.”

  48. carptrash says:

    I don’t know much about (tho am learning more all the time) about the Glendale cat. system, but I love the coppr tree out front.
    Aslo, Kat, whum u saide ”’ then ten people to check my work for spelling errors and other grammatical omissions ”’, I’D LIKE TO tTOsss me hate into the rung fore on off those 10 possitisions. eeeeeeeeeek

  49. RL says:

    “No sarcasm here. People at non-profits have to make enormous salaries so they are not drawn off into the public sector.

    Or in the case of libraries off to the tenured and martinied world of academia.”

    Did we go from sarcasm to fantasy? Not all of us work as academic librarians. We don’t get tenure or martini’s. I can’t afford the olives. However, lets bring on the business model. I’m looking forward to getting bonuses when I meet or exceed my goals. In fact, if we’re going on a business model, I’m looking forward to getting my bonuses even if the library tanks.

  50. Remember says:

    I understand that a lot of readers here are in the real world and not that rarefied atmosphere of academia. A lot of us work for a living.

    My thrust was that OCLC is supposed to be non-profit, member driven, so how come when they make money it goes to them and is not distributed amongst the members.

    Oh wait, members are libraries and librarians don’t like to make waves. Nevermind. Carry-On.

    SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

  51. carptrash says:

    “librarians don’t like to make waves.
    Well some (many?) of us are employed by the same folks in whose bathtubs these waves would happen. Call it “biting the hand that feeds us” or “drowning the one that writes the paycheck”, either way, not (opinion) a good idea. eeeeeeeek

  52. The Grinchy Librarian says:

    Well some (many?) of us are employed by the same folks in whose bathtubs these waves would happen. Call it “biting the hand that feeds us” or “drowning the one that writes the paycheck”, either way, not (opinion) a good idea.

    And librarians wonder why people chortle when they call themselves “professionals”.

    We work in bookstores catering to illegal aliens and video game playing punk teenagers. We are not a profession.

  53. professional hitman says:

    And librarians wonder why people chortle when they call themselves “professionals”.

    No, it’s because like you they don’t know what is the definition of professional.

  54. Mr. Kat says:

    In the business world rocking the boat is part of how you get ahead. If you can’t rock the boat, you get your resume and fine a place that will pay you more – and then when you get the new job offer, you tell your boss “yep, I’m leaving in 30 days!…UNLESS you care to beat my competitor’s offer!”

    Then you can truely find out how important you are!!!

    If making waves will sink the rest of the people in your pool, maybe you need to get in a new pool – one where the people in it are actually secure within themselves!

  55. AL says:

    The idea of libraries being run like businesses is ridiculous. People who argue that don’t know how businesses are run. It’s like the people that put up a poster advertising a new library service and call it “marketing.” Or people who think that there can be a librarian shortage without librarian salaries rising.

  56. someone says:

    I’m tired of hearing that library catalogs should be like bookstore databases.

    An effective library catalog or bibliographic database returns search results based on multiple criteria that the database structure facilitates and the searcher can choose.

    An effective bookstore database returns searches according to one criterion that in a profitable (e.g. successful) bookstore is prioritized over all others: *WHAT THE BOOKSTORE WANTS YOU TO BUY*.

    If you can’t or don’t want to discern a fundamental difference there then please do not work in a research library. You don’t belong there and will not help the people who are trying to use it.

    As for public libraries, their catalogs, and users…well, do whatever floats your (and your users’) boat I guess.

  57. trimyourposts says:

    Businesses are run with an eye on the big picture. They don’t try to please everyone. If they don’t succeed, they go under, so they are very motivated. If libraries fail, they just get more tax money so there is very little motivation. When libraries start acting like businesses, they will learn a lot about themselves and what it takes to be successful.

  58. RL says:

    “We work in bookstores catering to illegal aliens and video game playing punk teenagers. We are not a profession.”

    Wow.. so if we catered to better, well-heeled folk, we’d be a profession? If doctors or nurses work with punk teenagers that do they no longer work in a profession?

    Hopefully you no longer work with the public.

  59. RL says:

    Oh good God.. I wish we could edit our past posts.

  60. Mr. Kat says:

    Google has kind of proven that many fields are not necessary to accomplish successful searches. They have further gone and reduced the amount of search lingo you need to do proper BOOLEAN searchs. And they went and removed that weakness of library catalog search routines that match every thing word for word starting with the first leter you type and only in that specific field type you have selected.

    The only criteria you need in order to find something are the few keywords you already know; the only search term you need is the one that gets you the specific material you are looking for. Amazon goes one step further by including on the page with the item you’re looking for a list all those things people who bought that item were also interested in addition to those materials that are of the same subject. But instead of merely seeing titles, or authors, like you see in our stupid library catalogs, you see pictures of the books! And the titles that appear with the books are LINKS that take you to a PAGE that tells you ALL ABOUT THE BOOK!!!!! AND THERE’S READER REVIEWS!!!!! [That's 2.0! cough cough hack hack - I see why we have to make new ideas "special" campaigns like "2.0"; librarians are incapable of grasping ideas unless they become bandwagon movements!]

    Now TEN minutes on that page and you can maybe even determine you don’t need that book afterall – and you might even find a better one!

    If you want fielded searches on a database, that is not a problem – you just have to go to the “Advanced Search” tab and do a more “refined” search.

    And this is from someone who used to work as the research technician for a research lab in a research librarian role. I did not use the library databases; I used Web of Science, which my lab personally had to purchase access to because the library did not have a license to it at that point in time, and I used Google. the Library was a great source for the physcial materials, but nothign more. All the databases describing the materials or indexing the matierals or providing the materials, tasks that SHOULD BE DONE BY LIBRARIANS is now doneby third party commercial enterprises. Academic Librarians have in a sense put themselves out of business by refusing to compete at tasks they are actually very good at. For Shame!

    I am not there anymore because the budget shrank and I was not a master’s in geoscience student, so they sent me away – but they paid for my library school when they sent me away!

  61. trimyourposts says:

    Oh good god. I wish we could edit other people’s posts.

  62. AL says:

    I can edit everyone’s posts, but it’s more fun not to.

  63. Herself says:

    Reading MARC records makes me ”want” a martini.

  64. Herself says:

    Whoops, sorry about the wiki code format there. Should read _want_ a martini… hic…

  65. Mr. Kat says:

    Hey, if I could edit my own posts -I WOULD!!!

  66. Snoop Dogg says:

    Hey, if I could edit my own posts -I WOULD!!!

    It is easy to do.

    a)type them in word, notepad, wordpad, . . . any text based editor program

    2)Review, revise, and edit to make sure that it is grammatically correct and that everything is spelled right and that your logic holds up.

    III)Delete the whole thing and spare us your drivel

    Have a nice day! : )

  67. librarEwoman says:

    “III)Delete the whole thing and spare us your drivel”

    That’s the most useful comment I’ve seen yet on this blog. Thank you.

  68. soren faust says:

    Come on! Give Mr. Kat a chance. At least he tries to add something of substance to the discussion. In fact, I think you have it all mixed up like pasta primavera: it’s drivel you want and nothing more.

  69. Free Bird says:

    Quantity doesn’t equal substance. Conciseness is a virtue that should be practiced in all methods of electronic communications.

  70. soren faust says:

    Quantity doesn’t equal substance

    True enough, but overall, I think he has had some interesting things to say, although I certainly don’t agree with him on some issues. Perhaps, he should be more concise, but with all other nonsense that passes for commentary on this blog, it is refreshing to read someone who isn’t afraid to put ideas out there. And, he’s not too politicized like some on this blog are, which is doubly refreshing.

  71. Anonymousse says:

    “Conciseness is a virtue that should be practiced in all methods of electronic communications.” Who says? And why? Because it hurts your poor little head to reading more than two sentences?

  72. Free Bird says:

    Conciseness isn’t the same thing as the number of sentences. That is a narrow-minded view of my suggestion. Please think more broadly.

  73. carptrash says:

    “We work in bookstores catering to illegal aliens and video game playing punk teenagers. We are not a profession.

    Hmmm. Speak for yourself. Drop the “we.” “bookstore” We don’t sell books except for are Used Book Sale – which is a better alternative than taking pick-up trucks full of books to the dump.
    “illegal aliens” _ I live in an area that is around 66% Hispanic and no one has moved for 300 years and we gringos are the aliens.
    “video game playing punk teenagers” don’t exist here (unless we need to argue about the “meaning of existence.”)

    “If making waves will sink the rest of the people in your pool, maybe you need to get in a new pool – one where the people in it are actually secure within themselves!”
    It is great pool, just very conservative in some respects and way-out-there in others. I can only effect how secure I am within myself. The rest are on their own.

    “Businesses are run with an eye on the big picture.”
    Yes, like the Wall Street (and other) folks would are bringing us the current CRASH?

    “Oh good god. I wish we could edit other people’s posts”.
    It’s called “censorship” and basically, as librarians, I understand that we are not in favor of it.
    eeeeeeeeek

  74. Matt says:

    Carptrash: I was right with you up to the end of your post. What’s with the eeeeeeeeek at the end everytime? Is it supposed to mean something? It’s kind of weird and annoying.

  75. Frogger says:

    “Carptrash: I was right with you up to the end of your post. What’s with the eeeeeeeeek at the end everytime? Is it supposed to mean something? It’s kind of weird and annoying.”

    You know the kids who are always doing something to bring attention to themselves? Same thing.

  76. jmo, mls says:

    *But instead of merely seeing titles, or authors, like you see in our stupid library catalogs, you see pictures of the books! …AND THERE’S READER REVIEWS!!!!! *

    Heck, even little old me at our little old library can freely incorporate cover photos into our little old OPAC. Lest you think that is too embracing of 2.0, let me diss Amazon’s reader reviews, which are oftentimes utterly useless. 1/3 of them are partisan bickering, 1/3 of them are brainless “fanbois” [there's some 2.0 slang for you], and the rest are reviews are dolts incorrectly using the venue to complain about Amazon’s return policy or 3rd party used-goods vendors or somesuch nonsense. I especially like the reviews for items that have not yet been released. I know that they don’t hand out advanced review copies to that many illiterates.

  77. Mr. Kat says:

    So you can incorporate photographs of the books into your library database? SO WHY HAVEN’T YOU ALREADY DONE IT YET???

    It’s not the quality of Amazon’s reveiws that is the issue here! It is the USER BASED FEEDBACK that is the issue!!

    As in, THEY HAVE IT AND LIBRARIES DON’T!!

    Librarians could effectively manage these comments, removing the 1/3rd that are complaints about library fees and leaving behind the last two thirds which MIGHT ACTUALLY HELP OTHER PEOPLE DECIDE IF THEY WANT TO READ THE BOOK!

    Arg….You see, this is why the public LEFT the public library back int he late 90s! Libraries Refused to keep up with innovation!

  78. Forever Anon says:

    Mr. Kat, I don’t understand the need to capitalize every other sentence. Sure, you’ll claim it’s for emphasis, but it just comes across as ranting and screaming. And my library’s catalog has pictures of the book, book reviews (not user-generated though), and an annotation section that is easier to read than most Dewey subject headings (for books in a series, character names, subject, author, like authors, etc.). The catalog is available online, so a patron can log onto the site anytime and search and they can also place reserves on items regardless of the library’s physical operating hours. How’s that for keeping up with Amazon or Google? Sure we lack the user-generated content, but we do provide clear, concise information about the books for the patrons to make an informed decision. Isn’t that what we are supposed to do?

  79. carptrash says:

    Matt:
    It’s like those guys who pick their teeth in public or constantly “adjust” themselves or women who file their nails while chatting with you or play with their hair. It’s just a thing with about 50 years of history. Don’t let it bother you at all.
    And thanks for the analysis Froggy. Do you need my address to send the bill to? eeeeeeek

  80. carptrash says:

    Forever Anon:
    You are making me somewhat envious.
    We still use cards and a STAMP for checkout and our www provider does not have enough space (or something) for us to put our catalog on line. There are many Americas out here. I love mine, but yours sounds pretty inviting. eek

  81. Matt says:

    Carptrash: so it’s o.k. for you to be annoying because a lot of other people do gross and annoying things? You might want to try the self-help section of your library. And using eeeek on a blog has a 50 year history? Whatever.

  82. carptrash says:

    It’s a bigger world than just the blog one, and annoying, like so many other things, is in the eye of the beholder. Get over it or die annoyed. Your choice. eeeeeeek

  83. Julia Child says:

    It’s not worth the effort Matt. Some people are just so into themselves that they don’t care if they are annoying. We just have to learn to live with them.

  84. carptrash says:

    Thanks Julia:
    I just knew that you would undertand.
    eeek

  85. carptrash says:

    I want to apologize for my earlier posts. My 12-year-old brother was using my nickname. The earlier posts made under this nickname in no way reflect my level of maturity. Thanks for understanding.

  86. jmo, mls says:

    *So you can incorporate photographs of the books into your library database? SO WHY HAVEN’T YOU ALREADY DONE IT YET???* How do you know I haven’t? And put down the megaphone, for pete’s sake.

  87. jmo, mls says:

    *It’s not the quality of Amazon’s reveiws that is the issue here! It is the USER BASED FEEDBACK that is the issue!!

    As in, THEY HAVE IT AND LIBRARIES DON’T!! *

    More shouting and more inanities. Many libraries already allow user feedback on the items in their OPACs as well. Most libraries are so pitifully staffed that they’d have to hire someone to work 40 hours a week “removing” bad patron reviews or moderating each and every comment, most of which would be nothing but SHOUTING and “eeeeek”.

  88. Mr. Kat says:

    The Internet world has learned that the best way to moderate is to have some of the posters do the moderation. Those people who LOVE being on the website and posting reviews, for example, are perfect. They do it for the self gratificaiton and because in some ways they are full of themselves and becasue they have nothing else to do.

    So your library simply has to make their online user interaction [2.0 for the yuppies] website a really big thing and then identify key people who are matrue responsible adults – and then give them moderation power to hide the garbage posts. I say hide so if there is ever a dispute about moderator abuse, which DOES happen, there is a record.

  89. carptrash says:

    ” The earlier posts made under this nickname in no way reflect my level of maturity.”
    The above post was not by me. If there were a 12 year old in my family it would be my grandson and not my brother. Life. What a place to live. eeeek

  90. Mr. Kat says:

    Library Journal needs to get on the ball and upgrade. I guess they never had the circulation or public interest to learn about abusive comment posters!!!! And you neevr would have thought there was such a thing as combatant librarians!!!

    Just watch, we’ll now get a commetn in from some Military librarian who serves as a member of our military!! but then most of those positionas are all civlian now! Ha!

  91. WebbyGrl says:

    There are no Military librarians…in any of the services. You are correct that they are all Civil Servants now. But many are prior service and remember their battle skills. FWIW, I love the BCS model. One day when I’m in charge of my library, I will implement it. And while it is a medical library, I’m sure a picture of the Body Human on the front covers will pull in the readers.

  92. Darryl E. says:

    OCLC does as much good as bad. And nobody likes cataloguers except other cataloguers.

  93. Alfr says:

    I am a cataloger and I don’t like catalogers. Of course I don’t like anyone, that is why I became a Librarian. Now, SHHHHHHHHHHHH

  94. Neelima says:

    I am Annoyed at my supervisor, who is so full of herself that she talks at you as she is walking down the aisle. It is not anything polite. She is just so rude in the way she barks at one, and sort of talks down as if we librarians are no more peons, just there for her to trample.
    How do you tolerate and “grin and bear it” this kind of disrespect, year after year. I am just biding my time… But, no employee should have to put up with disrespectful treatment from his/her supervisor. There should be some kind of a law against these kinds of ongoing insults.

  95. Mr. Kat says:

    There should be some kind of law against whining librarians. Let me guess, you work in a public library?

    {~I’m Kat!}