It’s not that unusual to get comments on very old posts, though I have to wonder why someone would bother to comment on a two-year-old post unless it was still relevant somehow, such as my post on the Cambridge Who’s Who scam, which still gets a couple of comments a month, but not necessarily from librarians.
But Courses I Wish I’d Had in Library School? I’m not even sure how people stumble across some of these old posts, but someone did this week, and they did not like what they found. Because I like making fun of people who don’t like this blog, I’ll quote the comment from "Anonymous" in full:
"I have been thinking of becoming a librarian, but after reading these posts and this exceptionally nasty blog, there is no way I would do so now. The Annoyed Librarian mistakes sarcasm and cruelty for perception.
If you really all hate your jobs so much, why don’t you do something else? Then again, stay where you are so I don’t have to deal with you."
I reread the post. It didn’t seem cruel or sarcastic to me. I really could have used those courses in library school. Nevertheless, I was trying to get into the mindset of the commenter. This is a person who’s thinking of becoming a librarian, but changes her (let’s just assume it’s a her) mind based on reading one blog, and one that is explicitly dedicated to criticism, satire, and mockery? What can we infer from this?
It could be that’s she’s not very careful about research and evaluating evidence, in which case we definitely don’t need her in the profession. If someone thoughtful was considering becoming a librarian, one would think they’d read more than just the Annoyed Librarian. They could go to all the Sunny Librarian blogs and find nothing but niceness and gooey-hearted handholding.
Or maybe it’s the undeniable fact that there are disgruntled librarians. Maybe this person works in some field where everyone is always happy andgruntled . If so, then my suggestion would be to stay with what you’re doing, whatever that is. Not all librarians are happy all the time. What a surprise.
Or maybe it’s that the AL gives these disgruntled librarians a space to vent. The very presence of a library blog that isn’t always perky and promotional seems to bother some librarians. They’re the ones who leave comments or email me occasionally angry that anyone would even write stuff like this, because, you know, it’s so negative, and we wouldn’t want that. If this commenter is the kind of person who doesn’t like dissent, then it’s just another reason we don’t need her in the profession. There are already enough librarians who try to stifle their opposition. And frankly, anyone who has such an emotional reaction to the Annoyed Librarian probably has some mental health issues to deal with, and we definitely don’t need any more crazy librarians.
The second paragraph is the one that really cracked me up, though. That "love it or leave it" mentality is always so ridiculous, whether it’s some rube with a patriotic bumper sticker on his pickup truck or some librarian who gets angry at criticism. Why don’t we do something else? Hmmm.
First, that assumes that we hate our jobs. Is not being positive about everything in the profession the same as hating it? Do we all have to be addle-brained, upbeat sales people all the time? Many librarians over the years have responded to the AL, saying if I don’t like librarianship I should just leave it. But what if the thing I don’t like about librarianship is the sort of people who say things like that? Who gets to claim this profession? Only the Pollyannas? I don’t want to leave; YOU leave! The leap from "You have complaints" to "You should leave the profession" is just dumb. How logical is this person? And do we really need more illogical librarians around?
I’m staying where I am, and I’m sure it’s a relief to the commenter that she won’t have to deal with the likes of me and my other commenters . I’m sure we feel the same way about her. Plus, think of the financial benefit we all get. One less person deciding to go to library school means one less person to compete with in the shrinking job market. Library schools and the ALA have done their best to over-recruit for the profession. We really don’t need yet another hungry mouth to feed, especially a mentally disturbed, illogical one with poor research skills.