Once again one of the most controversial issues in bibliotek blogland is little old me. Everyone is so sweet to keep paying so much attention to me.
I’ve hinted for a while now that the Annoyed Librarian was finally going to be in print – genuine, old fashioned library 1.0 paper – and that day has arrived. There is now a special issue of the Journal of Access Services (Volume 5, Issue 4) devoted to yours truly. You can purchase the volume, or, better yet, just ILL all the articles and distribute the PDFs to your friends. The articles cover a range of standard AL themes, with some new stuff and some stuff from the blog brought together and revised into thematic essays. The final article is completely new, and has little to do with any of the regular themes. "The Regressive Econometrical Confabulations of Accessibility: More Access Means More Work for You" is my contribution to the scholarly library literature. It has endnotes and everything! Now all those library school courses that discuss the Annoyed Librarian (sad, but true; they exist) can assign real articles. Exciting stuff!
My now friend Wayne Bivens-Tatum guest edited the volume and wrote an introductory essay. He’s a real sweetie pie and was a pleasure to work with, so don’t give him too much heat about this. He’s been tortured enough by reading more Annoyed Librarian than any human should have to. (Of course if he hadn’t agreed to this project, I couldn’t have talked him into starting his own blog.)
As usual with all things Annoyed Librarian, the fact that a "peer-reviewed" journal about access services of all things published an entire AL-themed issue has a lot of people steamed. I’d link to some of these people, but they resent me so much I’m sure they would hate it if I directed a lot of traffic to their blogs. It’s the end of peer review and academic standards and the world as we know it! And all that sort of thing. Because of course we all know how great the stuff usually is that appears in these scholarly library journals! Librarians are so stuffy sometimes. I find it amusing to have a scholarly library journal dedicated to a blogger who has made fun of library literature. I get to make fun of library literature from within the library literature. The twists and turns are freaking me out a little bit, but a martini will calm me down and put things into perspective.
Some people are asking the question, Why the heck did a Haworth journal publish a special issue devoted to the AL? That question, I cannot answer. As with LJ, the Journal of Access Services came to me, not I to it. I just do what I do and let the world sit at my feet. Why did I do it? Mostly because I thought it would be funny. I couldn’t imagine anything more absurd than a journal devoted to access services publishing a special issue like this. That should be funny on the face of it, and anyone who doesn’t think so takes this profession way too seriously.
What are the details? It’s a long story.
Take yourself back to November 2006 (I told you this was a long story!). The AL was starting to take off but probably had only a couple hundred regular readers. It had actually just been mentioned in a guest column on "dissident librarians" in American Libraries written by Wayne, which is what brought him to my attention, even though I think he misinterpreted the AL as a "conservative" blog. (Some of you hostile political types might be interested in p. 595 of the journal issue, btw.)
The editor of JAS contacted me and wanted to devote a special issue to the Annoyed Librarian, to do something fresh presumably. Since this was to be a special issue from Haworth, it would also be published as a separate monograph, a habit of Haworth’s that annoyed me until it was going to work to my advantage. I agreed, recruited Wayne to edit, and for the next several months wrote much of the blog with the journal/monograph in mind. Wayne agreed to edit and write the introduction because he thought it was going to be a book and as editor he’d finally get his name in the LC Authority File.
We turned the manuscript in the first week of September 2007. Soon after, Taylor & Francis bought Haworth and suspended the practice of monographic reprints. We were not amused. In the early spring of this year, we heard from an editor at Routledge that they were going to be publishing the monograph. Happy days! Then in August, the same editor wrote that they were reviewing the manuscript again, because someone had finally read it and realized it probably wasn’t a scholarly monograph. Sad days. Then in October Routledge backed out because this clearly wasn’t a scholarly monograph. Sadder days. And now Wayne will never get his name in the LC Authority File until he writes his own damn book.
So there you have it. Much, I am sure, to the chagrin of my critics, the AL now has the imprimatur of a genuine scholarly journal (even if it is just a library journal). And if you think that’s bizarre, you’re absolutely right. The most exciting thing about it is that now I can submit twopointopia and twopointopian to the OED. You see, they only accept words that have appeared in print. One day I want to see those words in the OED, with the "Annoyed Librarian" quoted as the source. That’s even better than the LC Authority File.