Annoyed Librarian
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Inside Annoyed Librarian

Librarians Try to Reinvent Things, Again

On LISNews I ran across a blog post linking to another blog post referring to a discussion at another website about something called Reference Extract, which is apparently going to be another attempt by library folk to create another search engine that gives people results that librarians like. The sidebar of the site says, "Reference Extracts [sic] will be built for maximum credibility by relying on the expertise and credibility judgments of librarians from around the globe." The discussion point was whether librarians had lost the search war. The obvious response is, I didn't even know they were fighting it. That's not really a good sign for your side of the war when you're the only one who knows you're fighting it. The flies buzzing around the elephant probably think, "Oooh! We've got him this time!" Someone criticized the Reference Extract project for being a useless vanity project for library folk to feel good about themselves (I think I like that person). ...
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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone! Or, if you don't celebrate Christmas, Merry Whatever-Fake-Holiday-You-Celebrate-On-Christmas! I'm blogging from the ancestral manse, with chestnuts roasting on an open fire and Jack Frost nibbling on my toes. Come to think of it, that's probably not Jack Frost, but it feels good, anyway. Christmas is my favorite holiday, what with the presents, the food, the family, and the neverending chorus of Perry Como and company wishing me a Merry Christmas throughout the house. Since I can't be annoyed on Christmas, I thought I'd share some of the things I like about being a librarian, the positive stuff I don't talk about the rest of the year. Some poor readers occasionally ask things like, "AL, if you hate librarianship so much, why don't you do something else?" That of course assumes I'm capable of doing something else, but in the generous spirit of the holiday, I'll try to answer the question. I don't hate librarianship; I just don't like what stupid ...
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Telling Off the Patrons

This series of articles came out a month ago, I know, but somehow I missed it. Fortunately, a kind reader sent it on to me. "Top 20 things librarians in public libraries wish patrons knew or did" can more or less be summed up in considerably fewer than twenty things: Shut up, listen to us, don't waste our time, don't smell bad, and remember we're here for you! But five points and eighteen words couldn't have filled four (!) separate articles spanning an entire week. I'd tell those Examiner people that brevity is the soul of wit, but I think we all know that would be the pot calling the kettle black. It does my heart good to see librarians breaking away from the puff pieces the ALA likes to see and really tell people how it is. This is almost like librarians talking amongst themselves about the things that annoy them. We always do that at the Annoyed Librarian, but normal people don't read the AL, just librarians. What do the librarians polled by the author want the public to ...
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Librarianship: the Best Career

When I became a librarian, I didn't know what I was getting in to. Certainly I knew I'd entered a profession with low enough standards that it was easy to shine brightly with little effort, and that outrageous success and a corner office were mine for the taking, but other than that I was clueless. For example, I never thought about the librarian stereotypes. Since I wasn't one of those people obsessed since birth with becoming a librarian, I didn't develop all the typical librarian habits, I suppose, and thus get annoyed both at the stereotypes and at the people who insist that we forget the stereotypes. Despite all the protest, they're about as likely to go away as the stereotype of the "crazy cat lady."  The latest reference to the librarian stereotype comes in a very annoying article in U.S. News and World Report. The article tells us that Librarian is one of the "Best Careers" of 2009. I'm glad they're so optimistic for the future, because it hasn't been ...
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Libraries and Parental Control

Via LISNews comes this story from the Golden State. The writer of the story (a man, of course) seems a bit too fixated on Sharon Stone's naughty bits, but it concerns what minors are allowed to charge from libraries. "A new proposal pushed by county Supervisor Bill Horn would require parents to mark a box indicating whether their child could check out R-rated DVDs and videos from [San Diego] county's 33 libraries. The policy now allows patrons of all ages access to all library materials." The board voted unanimously for the idea, and the libraries now have 60 days to figure out how to implement it. Maybe they'll come back and tell the board of supervisors it's impossible to implement, but all that would do is show the board how stupid librarians can be. The "intellectual" "freedom" "mavens" in California don't seem to be protesting, at least not the head maven, though her response was a little strange. From the story: "In general, ...
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Do You Want AL in Print?

Should AL be in print? If we're talking about the Annoyed Librarian, a lot of people have very clearly said yes, and a lot of people just as clearly have said no. However, I'm talking about the other AL: my dark twin American Libraries. The ALA is trying to go greener, and someone suggested that they give ALA members the option not to receive American Libraries in print, which would save on paper and presumably other energy costs associated with transporting physical items. There's also the added benefit of saving me and countless other ALA members the effort of moving American Libraries straight from the mailbox to the recycling bin. The AL Inside Scoop didn't like the idea, though. The writer there sensibly believes that it's "time to stop characterizing print AL as the sole perquisite of membership in ALA," which I've always found amusing and annoying. The pity is that it's true, which shows us the perks are small beer. But check out the main rationalization for keeping ...
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