Apparently there are a lot of librarians who aren’t familiar with the idea of holidays. I’ve been lounging around the ancestral manse gobbling turkey and teaching my nephew to play gin rummy for a penny a point. The good news is that if he ends up as successful as my brother, I can fund my retirement with my gin winnings.
While I’ve been doing that, pathetic morons have been attempting to destroy the discourse community that is my comments section. I mean, really, don’t you people have anything better to do than try to imitate other commenters? Or is it that you just don’t like free speech? Or perhaps you’re just too intellectually and morally stunted to behave any better? Probably a combination of all three. Oh well, there’s not much one can do with people too unskilled to write their own blogs that anyone would bother to read and too stupid to go head to head with a pseudonymous blogger. C’est, as they say, la vie.
Last week I wrote about the joys of libraries being run like businesses. This week I was going to address that silly "libraries are government agencies" argument, but then I discovered this press release: ALA seeks $100 million in stimulus funding as U.S. libraries face critical cutbacks, closures. This is probably old news for all you avid ALA followers out there, since it is a month old. But even Homer nods, and I missed it! If it hadn’t shown up in this article, which showed up as a Library Link of the Day, I wouldn’t have caught it. So for all you readers who saw this and didn’t send it on, thanks for nothing!
Honestly, when I suggested libraries should act like real businesses and seek government bailouts, I hadn’t seen this. In retrospect, I can see that the ALA was way ahead of me, or at least three weeks ahead of me.
The opinion writer in Ohio who wrote about it had this to say:
"The American Library Association has issued a press release calling for ‘$100 million in stimulus funding’ for America’s libraries. If you aren’t convinced giving more money to libraries helps the local economy, scroll down to the bottom of the release, which cites ‘a recent Pennsylvania study.’ A ‘similar report from Florida’ says the same thing. I never knew footnotes were so easy when I wrote my term papers in college."
That’s just mean! The ALA has rigorous scholarly standards. They just hide them well.
But back to the "stimulus funding." It seems like We’d have heard something had the ALA been successful, so perhaps they got an even colder shoulder than GM. This is hardly surprising, as the ALA has been unsuccessful at just about every lobbying effort from CIPA to the Patriot Act. If you want to successfully get something done in Washington, just have the ALA lobby for its opposite and you’ll probably do fine.
So once again the ALA has failed to stimulate me. What a surprise. Now it could be that those mean old people in DC just don’t care about libraries, but I doubt that’s the case. Everyone likes libraries. The thing is, all those government committees don’t have former librarians on them; they have former investment bankers. And when those politicians and bureaucrats leave office, they won’t be going to work for libraries. They’ll be working for banks and lobbying firms where the big money is. I’m just pointing that out so the ALA knows what it’s up against. If they want to successfully lobby in DC, they need to be able to promise some swanky jobs for former politicians. This is where the ALA always gets it wrong. They go to DC holding out their caps like little Oliver asking for a few crumbs without realizing it’s a quid pro quo game out there and the big boys playing it don’t use libraries.
I think it’s time we moved this call for government handouts from libraries to librarians. Darn it, I want some stimulation, and it’s clear the ALA isn’t going to do it for me. I don’t care if people need public libraries to get resume help. If people need librarians to help them with their resumes, those people don’t stand much of a chance on the job market anyway, God bless ’em.
The Annoyed Librarian hereby calls on the guvment for some stimulation. She prefers a direct cash bailout plan. This is crucially important in these tough economic times. If the Annoyed Librarian goes out of business, just think of the economic fallout. Clothing stores, bookstores, bartenders: all of these would be seriously harmed if the AL went under. This isn’t just one librarian, people! This is a whole industry of flunkies that cater to my every whim. What would happen to Chip?
And I’m not the only Annoyed Librarian out there.
The ALA thinks only of libraries, but the Annoyed Librarian Association thinks of you, the individual annoyed librarian. Each of you needs some stimulation, and stimulating individual annoyed librarians has a ripple effect on the entire economy. Later, we can sign my petition. Whatever happens, I guarantee it’ll be as effective as anything the ALA does.