Annoyed Librarian
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Inside Annoyed Librarian

Library 101, or, Pay Attention to Me! Me!

In high school one of my boyfriends had a garage band. To be honest, he was kind of geeky, but thought the garage band made him seem cool. The band was abysmal, and to my classically trained ear sounded like a group of not especially coordinated baboons pounding kettle drums with baby rattles while screaming at each other. They were quite literally a garage band, since they rehearsed in his parent's garage and never got a gig. I and some of our long-suffering friends would occasionally stand around watching this bizarre spectacle and laughing (at them, not with them). They never got a gig, of course, because they were awful, but it was clear that the band members didn't realize how awful they sounded, and were clearly having fun even though no one else was. Flashbacks from high school ran through my mind when I watched this self-indulgent work of "art": the Library 101 video, debuted at the Internet Librarian conference. So many library bloggers who are proponents of the ...
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The Problem with Online MLS Programs

I was reading through some of the comments last week on library education - too many library school students, too few library jobs, and other fun topics - when I was struck by one suggesting that I, and many of my commenters, don't think much of online MLS programs. So I wanted to set the record straight on that one. I don't like online MLS programs. It's not that the programs are too easy. Library school is easy. It's the way of things and always has been. Online degrees just make the easy easier to get to. It's also not that the programs don't allow the same kind of relationship to a library as in-person programs. A lot of people earning online degrees are already working in libraries similar to the ones they want to work in. If someone wants to be a public or school librarian, they're just as well off working in a public or school library as working in or near a large academic library. And people who haven't worked in any libraries have no business going to library school at ...
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On Dumb Librarians

My goodness, last week's post on the American Libraries propaganda article drew some sharp responses. Not that I play favorites among my readers, but some of my favorite responses were from a gushing, appalled library school student who hates this blog because it's so "negative" and "smug." Oh, and he thinks the AL is a "classist harpy." (Or perhaps he meant I'm a classical harpist, which is true.) I speculate that the student is a "he," by the way, from that particular phrase. After "harpy," perhaps he could call me a shrew or a bitch as well. These male library school students with apparently no library experience whatsoever go on aggressively about how everything's hunky-dory in librarianship are just being assertive. The AL disagrees just as aggressively, she's a "harpy." Nice. The arguments last week seemed focused on an online/traditional MLS split, with the angry library student making an obvious mistake in ...
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Come to Library School! Just Don’t Expect a Job!

And still it comes. Apparently the job propaganda from the ALA will never cease. It seems to be on a mission to make sure there are too many librarians on the market and drive down salaries and working conditions for us all. Abetted by the library schools, of course, which can be cash cows for universities. Some of you might have seen this article in American Libraries. It's a puff piece about how distance education is the best education ever (!) written by (surprise, surprise) an administrator of online learning at a university with an online LIS program. The tone sounds like an infomercial. The number of people getting online degrees is "remarkable." We get a brief profile of a Drexel online LIS graduate who is "amazing." Everything is cheery and perky in the world of online library schools! Yay! And how about this bit: "Interest in the MLS degree will no doubt continue, as employment opportunities in the library and information science job sector are ...
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Hillbillies Burning Bibles

Halloween is almost upon us. It's one of my favorite holidays. Every year I put my hair in a bun, don some thick glasses with library chains, and wear my dowdy librarian outfit as I venture out to parties. It's becoming as much of a Halloween tradition as carving pumpkins or pretending I'm not home when the trick-or-treaters arrive. We all have Halloween traditions. Down in North Carolina there's a Baptist church whose pastor wants to start a new Halloween tradition: book burning! A kind reader sent the story to me. It's all over the news right now, but I'll point you to this article because I love the last sentence. This pastor, and the fourteen members of his Amazing Grace Baptist Church, believe that the King James Version of the Bible is the inspired, inerrant word of God "for English speaking people" (if you want to call what he's speaking English), and that all other translations are heretical and inspired by Satan. This is the sort of thing that happens when schools ...
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Encouraging Lean Librarians

The job market keeps getting better and better, unless you want to find a job that's actually good. Wait, maybe that means things haven't really changed. Regardless, I wanted to take a look at a couple of job postings sent on to me by kind readers, to get an idea of the wonderful opportunities out there. In Connecticut we find an ad for a librarian with one of the best job titles I've ever seen: Extremely Part-time Substitute Library Worker. You can't blame them for a lack of truth in advertising. They really lay it on the line. They want a librarian with an MLS and some experience willing to work whenever they might need help with no guarantee of any hours or employment. I have to say, this is at least more honest than those who claim to be building a "pool." And it's probably a great opportunity for those fully employed librarians who have found that full employment as a librarian doesn't always pay the bills. "A good sense of humor and familiarity with Triple I will ...
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