Annoyed Librarian
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ALA Responsible for Every Society on Earth!

I'm sure glad I'm not on the ALA Council, if in fact I'm not on the ALA Council. (I just checked the roster and am pretty sure I didn't see "Annoyed Librarian" on it, so I think I'm safe.) It's not that there aren't many fine people on Council. I can't think of any at the moment, but there must be. It's that the Council is constantly subjected to the political harangues of people in the Regressive Librarians Guild. The RLG librarians just love to harass people who don't agree with them. If you, for example, think that the American Library Association shouldn't take stands on political issues that have nothing to do with American libraries, the regressive librarians start attacking you as a "conservative" or "fascist" or whatever other nonsense pops into their heads. These people are so wacky they think anyone who isn't a Marxist is a fascist, and they really hate it when people point out how ridiculous they look, marching around in their drab grey clothes ...
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The ALA Wants to Diminish My Social Life

The ALA doesn't want me to spend a couple of weeks socializing with my librarian friends from across the country, and they're doing everything they can to prevent it. All during ALA, I was hearing the portents of doom. It seems next year they're planning to shorten that Annual Conference by a day, supposedly to tempt people to run for ALA Council by saying they don't have to spend an entire week listening to dull speakers at Council meetings. They'll only have to spend 6 days! Good luck with that. Or there are those people who can't come anymore because their funding has been cut because, you know, we're in an economic crisis. Personally I think that's just an excuse from people who didn't want to come to Conference in the first place. Many of those people have long wanted to become "virtual" members of ALA committees, and the ALA was all excited about it until they discovered the definition of "virtual member" was "member who doesn't do any real ...
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Hi! I’m Your Audience Development Officer!

Supposedly everybody loves libraries and librarians. We hear this all the time from the desperate among us who find our worth in the opinions of the masses. Until now, I really did think everyone except librarians was at least happy with the title librarian. After all, I've never heard anyone outside the harried ranks of librarians suggest that librarians should be called cybrarians or (shudder) human search engines. I suppose there's the general category of information professional, but I don't think anyone would really go into a library and ask to see the information professional. That would just be weird. It's always librarians who want to add pizazz to their sad lives by pretending they're something they're not. Until now. All I can say is, I'm glad I'm not a librarian in Edinburgh, Scotland. Check out this article sent on by a kind reader: Librarians to be renamed 'audience development officers.' There's only one word to describe this. Yuck! Why, oh why would anyone think this a ...
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Denver is My Oyster

Woo hoo! I'm here in the Mile High City gearing up for the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Appropriately enough, on the flight out yesterday I joined the Mile High Club, which might be a first for a librarian. I haven't been to Denver in years, maybe since that ACRL conference was here a few years ago. Can't remember the year. Anyway, it's been a while. And I'm happy to report that it's just as small and dumpy a "big city" as it used to be, and that it's still a major pain to get from the airport to the city. I have a question for these cowboys out here in Colorado. Trains to the airport: ever heard of them? Amtrak? Subway? Metro? El? Something? And if you haven't heard about them, have you ever considered moving your airport adjacent to the city so the cabs weren't so damned expensive? Ever considered that? I swear, does anyone outside the coasts and Chicago know how to run a city? Sure, they have a train inside Denver, but Denver is about the size of a postage stamp. It hardly ...
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Obama Wants Your Library Records

Somehow I missed this the other day. I was so busy getting pelted by firehoses and nibbled at by police dogs that I didn't read my feed. The Library Link of the Day was to a San Francisco Chronicle story: Under Obama, feds may still snoop library files. "President-elect Barack Obama's nominee for attorney general has endorsed an extension of the law that allows federal agents to demand Americans' library and bookstore records as part of terrorism probes, dismaying a national group of independent booksellers. Eric Holder said at his confirmation hearing Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee that he supports renewing a section of the USA Patriot Act that allows FBI agents investigating international terrorism or espionage to seek records from businesses, libraries and bookstores. If not renewed by Congress, the provision will expire at the end of 2009." Hmmm, that would certainly seem to put a damper on yesterday's celebrations by many librarians. Actually, I'm not ...
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Please Help This Poor Student

This having a holiday during the week when ALA begins is a terrible idea. I hope for next year either MLK Day can be moved to a different Monday or ALA can come a week later. Either one is fine by me. To celebrate MLK Day, I always travel down to Dixie to participate in the march in Birmingham recreating the historic events of 1963. We interlopers link arms in solidarity and walk the streets chanting provocative slogans and feeling good about ourselves. The natives blast us with fire hoses and turn police dogs on us. Thus, there is a little something for everyone. A fun time was had by all, but I'm glad Chip was there as my bodyguard. He blocked the jet from the fire hose with an unconscious German Shepherd while several of us escaped the pandemonium. And of course we have another historic celebration tomorrow, but I don't get off work for that one. Barack Hussein Obama is being sworn in as the 44th POTUS on Lincoln's Bible. I think Lincoln would be very proud of him. My only wonder ...
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