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Inside Annoyed Librarian

The Dark Future is Upon Us

The LISNews blog seems to have added an LISOpinion section recently, so instead of short posts pointing to news items of interest to librarians, we get extended monologues from librarians trying to persuade us of something.

Some, like this one called "The Unspeakable Truth," are very extended indeed. I just can’t handle bloggers who write such long blog posts. I like those library bloggers who do nothing more than post pictures of library signage or embed YouTube videos. That’s much better suited to my short attention span. Unfortunately, most of those bloggers have moved over to Twitter and are no doubt hoping for a newer service that limits their production to 40 characters instead of 140.

The post does go on, so my advice is to just skip to the end. There’s some speculation about the origin of the word library (hint: go with the dendrological etymology; the nuns of Our Lady of Declensions couldn’t be wrong on this one), a lot of dire stuff about libraries or librarians or something going away, and some more stuff about BP, and then we get to this:

The unspeakable truth is that we should not try and outlive our usefulness. We certainly shouldn’t try and prolong that usefulness by effectively sabotaging our users’ ability to empower themselves. But the more palatable truth is that if we work hard on reinvention and increased public understanding, we’ll never have to be put on the life-support machine in the first place.

It is never too late to adapt.

One has to wonder, how unspeakable a truth is this? Everyone believes that other people shouldn’t try to outlive their usefulness. It’s only a short step towards thinking that we shouldn’t, especially since in practice we will just be other people in the same profession as us. The question is, what can librarians really do anyway?

How many of you out there believe you’ve outlived your professional usefulness? Okay, let’s say that’s most of you. Now what? Do you just quit? No, you’re supposed to adapt! Adapt how?

The lesson from BP is that they now explore alternative energies, and thus they’re adapting. This makes sense. Railroads are in the transportation business.BP is in the fuel business. Such analogies miss an important point, though. Libraries are in the education and information "businesses," but they aren’t businesses. BP knows it’s doing well when it continues to make money. Libraries know they’re doing well when…what? They give more away? Do more with less? Satisfy the infotainment needs of every community member?

Libraries don’t have the same abilities to adapt because they don’t have a bottom line. They have an even fuzzier standard of success than public schools. Schools can promote illiterate children through graduation and it looks like they’re accomplishing something. Libraries have no such shallow metric by which to measure success. Everything they do can be popular and the funding powers that be can still be unsatisfied.

They’re also not independent agents like businesses usually are. Sure, there’s a lot of government pork for corporations, but they’re not primarily dependent on the government for funding.BP is one of the largest corporations in the world, makes money for itself, and can coordinate it’s activities worldwide. The average public library isn’t very large, makes no money, and can coordinate its activities with a few other branches at best.

Libraries have been very good at coordinating the lending of books and other materials for libraries around the country, and even with all the information freely available on the Internet, there’s a lot to be said for the way that Interlibrary Loan has improved access to information for us all. Regions and states have also banded together to make databases more affordable for library users, which is sort of the e-equivalent of ILL.

But that’s about all libraries can do because there is no overall organization that directs them, and that’s generally a good thing. Local libraries serve local users, and a national library system that adapted the way transnational corporations adapt would be disastrous for libraries and their users. The librarians at this library are paid too much? Then close it down! Shift the resources to another region! Librarians in Arkansas are cheaper than those in San Francisco. Move the library there! Or maybe Bangladesh! That’s how corporations adapt.

The problem isn’t that libraries aren’t being used, even the traditional services. People still read books. They also use many of the other materials and services available these days. But no one wants to pay for them, including the people who use them.

When the last library and the last bridge collapse simultaneously, it’ll be because shortsighted politicians and the purblind electorate who voted for them can’t tell the difference between the provision of services for the common good and the provision of pork for short-term, partisan political gain or the elimination of markets by totalitarians. There’s funding for a new bridge to nowhere, but not to fix bridges to somewhere.

Or maybe it’ll be like this story out of Arizona. The president of the Pheonix police union wants to cut every librarian before cutting any police officers because of budget problems.

As someone who’s lived in Phoenix for 30 years, I asked Spencer, "Should EVERY librarian be cut before ANY police officer?"

"It might come down to that," he said. "I think we are at a point now where we are in economic triage. It’s like a soldier getting wounded on a battlefield. You bring him into the MASH tent, and that is not the time for a tummy tuck or Botox . Keep his core essentials functioning so that he can live. That’s true of the city. The city is in economic triage and even though it might cost a limb, which is a dear cost, the issue is life and to keep the city alive we need water for drinking and sewage, we need our trash picked up, we need our fires put out and we need our bad guys in jail. Those are the core essentials."

The columnist is generous, saying that the union president is just saying what any good union president would. Water, sewage, garbage, fire, police. Undoubtedly, those are core essentials, and I would certainly give up the library rather than have garbage pile up in the murderous streets. But anyone who would say those are the core essentials has whittled existence down to mere survival and has already written of the ways in which communities and individuals improve themselves.

Public education is like a "tummy tuck" or Botox. Libraries are merely cosmetic. Or maybe they’re like a limb, but one we can live without, not that I could think of one I would mind living without. If the best some librarians can do is promote libraries as the place for teens to play videogames, what can we expect to argue in return?

My point isn’t that a union president doesn’t value education. That’s not uncommon, even among presidents of teacher’s unions. My point it is that the combination of troubled budgets and the hostility to any public good that doesn’t immediately benefit the person voting to support that good is deadly for libraries. If no one needed libraries as they are, that would be fine. But they do.

The LISOpinionateor opines that the keys to library survival are reinvention, adaptation, and increased public understanding. Reinvention is a vague, useless term, and adaptation is gradual and evolutionary. Libraries can’t just adapt the way corporations can. And reinventing libraries as the place for shiny gadgets isn’t going to work, anyway. The people paying for the libraries already have shiny gadgets.

Increasing public understanding might work, but it might not. The ALA is finally dipping their toes into the pool of increasing understanding of what libraries do instead of recruiting librarians for nonexistent librarian shortages, but it might be too little too late. Regardless, that’s the only chance. We’re past the point of speculating on whether libraries will survive. In many communities, they’re not. The dark future of libraries is upon us and it has nothing to do with popularity.

Perhaps the public already understands, but they don’t care. As long as I’m getting by okay, who gives a damn about everyone else? And if my children and grandchildren get by less well than me, who cares? I’ll be dead by then. Welcome to the world of tomorrow, today! Check your education, community, and bright future at the door. That’s the world librarians have to negotiate. Let’s hope we have more in our repetoire than shiny gadgets and hipness deal with it.

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Comments

  1. AL=RK says:

    I can go on-lone and find most everything I can at the local library and I can find out what I need to educate my kids.

    I can’t go on-line and have a fire put out.

    or my garbage picked up.

    or a burglar shot.

    The days of public schools and public libraries are indeed numbered.

  2. RadicalPatron says:

    AL – while I agree the dark future is upon libraries, I could not disagree more about the various rationales for helplessness and that course through this post.

    Libraries differ from other organizations in important ways, that’s true, though I believe focusing on them leads to the insularity and diffidence we see in the library industry. Examples of strong management, organizational revitalization and efficiency are everywhere in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. Libraries have been unable to understand and learn from them for some reason. It’s time to start.

    One way to leverage our vast library resources and maintain their autonomy, authenticity and community focus is to create a National Public Library Corporation, similar to NPR and PBS. More info here: (tinyurl.com/ybyw9vb).

  3. Wiki-cynic says:

    AL=RK, I’m sure Wikipedia suffices for all of your illiterate kid’s educational needs. Your Hobbesian point of view is what is most scary. A fool’s paradise is better than none, is what I’ve heard so drink up my friend.

  4. Rush says:

    NPR and PBS are radical socialist agencies.

    They are totally anti-American.

    We start funding libraries through organizations like this, we will only be able to put certain books on our shelves and not be able to talk to our patrons without first getting our answers approved by the board in charge of truth.

    Thank you, but no.

  5. AL=RK says:

    Wiki-cynic, I did not say Wikipedia, did I.

    I find first hand sources on math, science, art, music, etc. I then start up a dialog with the experts in those fields via e-mail. Schools really hate it when you cut out the fat-cat uneducated/overpaid teacher middle man.

    You can crawl back into your hole now and curse the darkness some more.

  6. Wiki-cynic says:

    AL=RK, “Schools really hate it when you cut out the fat-cat uneducated/overpaid teacher middle man.”

    This is tripe, friend. Keep on keeping on, you’ll get us to that fantasy land known as the Dark Ages.

    Email is a Pathetic substitute for teacher/pupil interaction. You sound like one of those scary home schoolers. Sad for the email-educated drone kids it sounds like you’re raising.

  7. AL=RK says:

    You sound like a professional who sends their kid toddling off to public school to be fed liberal, union tripe and how to follow the party line.

    Then, by the time they hit high school, they have been patted on the head so many times and told “oh, you are special and sooooo smart” that they become profoundly depressed and turn to drugs because they know the real truth.

    So sad society has turned its back so far on the future. And we are just beginning to see the results of that social failure.

  8. Bruce Campbell says:

    Lots of trolls on this comments forum. (Rush, AL=RK).

    Librarians need a back-up plan. Who knows? When the economy swings upward maybe we can go back to blogging about technology that the public doesn’t use…

  9. Wiki-cynic says:

    AL=RK, I knew you were a conservative.

    Bet you’re a tea partier and homeschooler. Bet you also are an anti-vaxer and think we were all Created in 6 days by Him. Let the light shine through. What else is it that God told you to believe? HA!

    Btw, if you think drug use is confined to those who go to public school then you’re more lost than I thought.

    And, FYI, I’m not a liberal, dummy.

  10. AL=RK says:

    You may not be a liberal dummy, but you certainly make a lot of assumptions based on little facts.

    I hope you don’t do reference work.

  11. This is my Boomstick says:

    Like Bruce Campbell isn’t a troll.

  12. merricat says:

    AL, I think resources or, lack thereof says it all; it really is the crux of the matter. There is simply no way to compete with a corporation in the way that would make us viable competitors on the level that many seem to think is important for us if we are to remain a relevant institution.

    It takes cash flow and invested stakeholders to handle the kind of information needs that are emerging (SEE newest issue of Economist for an interesting series of essays on this subject).

    The library needs to continually realize that it is human interaction that is its greatest asset. Unlike other commentors on this blog who think email education is a better option than school, human interaction important and will continue to be so. It’s a pie in sky attitude to have to think that everything is going to be easier with online access to information.

    I’m paraphrasing this from the Economist issue mentioned above concerning the level of available information: “There is an immense risk of cognitive overload” the mind can only deal with so much at one time. The increase in information is only going to confuse if there aren’t effective ways of sifting through this information and presenting it on a human level. Librarians as well as others can play a role in this.

  13. Sadcat says:

    C’mon, merricat.

    We are trying to derail the AL here. Stop posting things that are on target and troll bait.

    We want to keep it interesting and not more of the same corporate journalist take the AL has.

  14. merricat says:

    Sadcat, if you really want to derail the AL, then not posting on her blog is probably the best strategy. After all, a comment-less blog is depressing and unattractive. Not to mention, LJ would be missing all those page visits.

  15. Sadcat says:

    It adds to my bonus.

    Plus, it is fun to tweak all those staid, bun-wearing, spinster librarians.

  16. RadicalPatron says:

    Merricat – can you share title or URL for the article you referenced? Thx.

  17. merricat says:

    The Print Edition of the Economist online is now only available to paying customers. If you want to read the article(s) (and I highly recommend it), It’s the Print Edition: Feb 27th – March 5th 2010: “Handling the cornucopia: The best way to deal with all that information is to use machines…” p. 17.

    The whole 14 page special series is very interesting and should be read (IMHO) with this question in mind: Where do librarians fit in?

  18. merricat says:

    Radical Patron: Nevermind. here’s the URL to the article! www . economist . com/ specialreports / displaystory . cfm?story_id = 15557507

  19. RadicalPatron says:

    Much appreciated, Merricat. I’ll take a look…

  20. Sadcat says:

    Man, RadicalPatron, you need a personal assistant rather than a librarian. Look stuff up yourself, you lazy sob.

    Librarians need to stop being enablers of the intellectually challenged.

  21. RS2CB says:

    The longform posts on LIS News were just for February. It was an essay contest.

  22. Post Postmodern Librarian says:

    Thanks merricat, wish I could a subscription and time to read the Economist. I would have missed this if wasnt for a librarian.

  23. Happy says:

    Thank you for all the positive information!

    If it were not for librarians, we would truly be in the dark ages.

    God Bless You All!!!

  24. I Like Books says:

    First, AL=RK said that s/he can find everything on-line that is needed to educated his/her kids.

    I call bullshit on that, unless “on-line” includes ordering books from Amazon. What you can find on-line is pretty much at the level of an encyclopedia article. (Unless you pay for it.) Real education needs more than that. The reason some books are a thousand pages long is because it takes a thousand pages to tell the story, and to find the equivalent on-line would mean reading a thousand page long web site.

    I wouldn’t want to see us descend into a Wikipedia era where everyone thinks they can scroll down a hundred-line page and know everything that needs to be known. Some issues, such as political and economic issues of current interest, are complex and multi-faceted. Multiple books on a single subject will get you started. A blog page found somewhere on the internet will have you yelling “The CRA caused teh economy to melt down!”

    It is this educational mission that I see as most important to the library. I.e. non-fiction books. Sure, you can buy that stuff on Amazon. But we have enough trouble getting people to read books when they’re free. It wouldn’t matter if they’re not voting and determining national policy. But they are. And that makes it perverse to require the general public to spend $30 a pop to find out what’s going on.

  25. AL=RK says:

    I absolutely will buy books from Amazon.

    What? I am supposed to wait for the library to buy a copy and get put on a waiting list for it?

    Or wait for the school to adopt the book as “acceptable”?

    Socialism is dead and no amount of hand wringing is going to bring it back.

  26. Wiki-cynic says:

    I Like Books:

    Exactly, it takes a Wikipedia (“email educated”)person like AL=RK to fall for the dark fantasy that all educational needs are online and easily and freely accessible. And that public anything is Platonically bad as it seems to imply.

  27. I Like Books says:

    The other thing I wanted to say is that one thing libraries can offer that Google can’t is personal assistance– the reference interview and help with research. But, in my experience, librarians can really do a lot to improve that. I’ve gone to the reference desk with questions that I’m not very sure how to research, and been waved toward a section of the stacks and left to my own devices. Google can do that much!

    E-mail reference has a lot of potential because the librarian isn’t under immediate pressure from an impatient patron and a line forming up. It has potential, but more effort could be put into the replies than I’ve seen. I’ve seen the idea of reference by appointment, allowing the librarian time to prepare, and I think that’s an excellent idea. I also think it wouldn’t be a bad idea if the librarian follows up with the patron, determines what more might be needed, and offers to continue the research and contact the patron at a later time.

    I know this is resource-intensive. I know I’m making these suggestions at the same time that library usage has spiked, making it a mystery to me why we even have to have this kind of conversation! But it’s also a role for librarians even if everything was digitized and physical collections were no longer necessary. Not that the librarian should just be an expert at using Google– developing electronic collections should also be part of their job. And I don’t mean something like IPL which, for instance, gives you dozens of links to genealogy sites with no guidance on selecting one over another!

  28. merricat says:

    AL=RK,

    “Socialism is dead and no amount of hand wringing is going to bring it back.”

    Not even the editor of Liberty Magazine believes in this socialism nonsense your tea-party puppeteers are spouting. Come on and think for yourself for a change.

  29. Happy Patron says:

    I just stumbled across this site and had no idea that librarians were so passionate!

    I knew they were the smartest and best educated people I have ever come across, but the passion here is overwhelming.

    God Bless all your literary souls!!!!

  30. Yup says:

    OMG, I’m glad I’m not the only one annoyed at LISNews. I felt like posting nasty comments on a lot of those opinion pieces or copy/pastes of personal blog posts. But I think a lot of them are from their silly essay contest that is wrapping up. If they continue, LIS news goes off my feed list.

  31. I Like Books says:

    AL=RK,

    If you’re going to be buying books for educational purposes, I apologize for that part of my rant.

    But, in the sense of a voting public telling Washington what to do, I maintain that it is perverse to expect every individual family to develop large and expensive personal libraries before they go to the polls and vote on issues that affect both you and me. An educated individual is a public good.

    Libraries themselves forget that in their mission to justify their existence by getting “bums on seats”, as AL has so eloquently said. It’s a shame that they have to.

  32. Urban Patron says:

    “Libraries themselves forget that in their mission to justify their existence by getting “bums on seats”, as AL has so eloquently said. It’s a shame that they have to.”

    Sadly, when I go into my public library, that is all I see, bums on seats.

  33. merricat says:

    h ttp: // vodpod. com / watch/ 3103859-rage-within-the-machine-progressivism

    Even Glenn Beck learned all about the evils of progressivism from the progressivist project, The Public Library.

    Hmm. He’s so brilliant.

  34. Happy Patron says:

    I hate Glenn Beck too!!!!

    You guys are really cool and on the cutting edge.

    God Bless You!!!

  35. Cypress says:

    We don’t need to keep the police. There are already far, far too many of them. Police for what? To arrest library patrons with overdue books like that city in Texas? To put our youth in prison for drugs? REAL crime, e.g. rape, murder, assault, can be handled by a police force 1/4 the size we have in this country (or less).

    What makes a nation like the U.S. great? Education and infrastructure. Giant universities churning out loads of youth armed with the cutting edge state of the art ideas to drive innovation. Roads and rail to move goods and people from place to place.

    Libraries before police any day in my book.

  36. RadicalPatron says:

    I Like Books – your suggestions about modifying the way reference services are delivered makes sense to me. My experience getting reference help in public and academic libraries has not been worthwhile, and I’ve stopped asking for it.

    This has seemed more attributable to the the process than the person trying to help me. After all, it’s unrealistic to approach a generalist about something I’ve been thinking about for awhile and have already been researching and expect the person to zero in on valuable information. Invariably, the librarians start where I did and I stand by as they retrace many of the areas I’ve already explored. Or, I watch as they reacquaint themselves with various counter-intuitive database interfaces they haven’t used in awhile.

    I’d much prefer to set up an appointment and answer a few questions in advance regarding my query so the librarian and I have a better chance of getting more out of our exchange.

  37. Post Postmodern Librarian says:

    I’am a public librarian and try to do my best in providing for patrons. I do a reference interview, I do follow ups, I do appointments (actually I practically demand them for anything more then basic work)and I am nice. However their is still a problem. Patrons dont care they want the 100 line Wikipedia no matter how inaccurate it is. As one of my staff keeps reminding me “they want simple and free”
    Now I do belive in information and digital litteracy programing because that helps those who want to be helped. But what about those who dont? I suspect thats a vast majority.

    I also believe Beck, Limbaugh and Maher and a few other commentators should be locked in a single room and the key lost!!

  38. AngelaB says:

    I have 8 years experience in public libaries, and, yes, I would say they are doomed. Yes, we are busier than ever, but the money is NOT there where I work, and I am pretty sure I won’t have a job this next fiscal year. And, no, I won’t look for another library job. Why bother? Honestly, I think libraries are just the latest casuality of our declining country. I hate thinking this way, but the writing is on the wall.

  39. LibrarianRy says:

    I do not understand why politics needs to be dragged into this…but then again maybe I am naive.

    The fact that so much information is made available via the Internet is not the point, but rather that there still is a need for people that can navigate through information in an efficient manner in order to get the information that is needed. Librarians are trained (or supposed to be) in ways of obtaining information that they have on hand, or in finding where that information is located and how best to retrieve it. A need for this service will never go away. And while statistics, some solid and some foolish, are trying to be gathered to prove that libraries should exist, it should be on the librarians and people that support libraries; be proactive in both creative and traditional ways, and show people how much of a service we can be. Information will always be out there in some form, but not many will know how best to retrieve it.

  40. Rachel says:

    That’s a very long post from someone who started off complaining about long posts!

  41. Happy Patron says:

    I love it when I get answers from Librarians!!! It is always right and makes me money!!!!

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!!!

    Everyone have a peaceful and joyous day in Christ!

  42. Gruel says:

    1. Standards
    2. Enforcement
    3. Merit-based promotion and rewards

    I know it’s a pipe-dream, but I still see our main weakness being our lazy, pointless selves.

    As to the question of Library value, it’s simple really. Libraries exist as a community core function. We are there when you need a book, need a job, or information. We don’t prejudge you, we don’t charge you and we don’t refuse you. We are the helping hand that’s there when you need to be picked up, to reassess your situation, and to give you the tools to get back out the door. Above all, (when we are doing our job correctly) we are paying attention to you.

    The very things that separate us from corporations make us a steal for people on a budget. You can’t buy commitment like that. No credit check required.

  43. merricat says:

    Gruel,

    Very nicely put.

  44. Anonymous says:

    “. . .we don’t charge you. . .”

    I will remember that next time I pay my taxes.

  45. Happy Patron says:

    Librarians are so amazing!

    You should all get raises, across the board!

    Until then, keep the faith!

    God Bless!

  46. Anon says:

    @LibrarianRy: “there still is a need for people that can navigate through information in an efficient manner in order to get the information that is needed.”

    This will be an important skill for individuals to possess, and people who are good at finding information for themselves will do better in the future. But I doubt that the public will continue to spend tax dollars to fund an expensive organization that claims to do this for them.

    Now, archives will still have a place, and actually the need for archivists who have technical skill in preserving information (analog and digital) is likely to continue to grow (I said the NEED will grow, not that there will be a ton of jobs for archivists). But libraries are facing a bleak future indeed.

  47. Post Postmodern Librarian says:

    Ok everyone whether your a hair bun librarian, 2.0 0r 101 librarian repeat after me “Its not my fault”, “its not my fault” “its not my fault” dosnt that make you feel better.
    Whose fault is it? Its a cultural shift cause by simple, cheap readily obtainable information. I dont think this is something new, its always been with us the Internet has just changed the process. We forget our history. The printing press changes things because it took the power of printing out of the hands of the church and powers that be. We think it created the book, but the most common form of publication was the pamphlet or letter will into the 1700 almost 1800s.
    While the press changed how information is published the Internet has changed how it is distributed. If done right it doesnt have to be stored in a warehouse ie library, which means you do not need a specialized clerk to find it (yes this is a stretch)
    Now with web 2.0/social networking and the specialization created by millions of educated people information has become social. We trade in it. I would rather get information on computer networking from my brother then from a book. Heck if I wanted too I could get information from the President.
    Given this after we take away our shinny toys, and community out reach, the only things that make librarians at their best stand out are : We are faster, more accurate and more knowledgeable about resources. As long as people can get information and are not worried about those 3 factories we are not needed! “its not our fault”

  48. Happy Patron says:

    Wowsers!

    You guys (and gals) are smart!

    God Bless!

  49. merricat says:

    htt p ://www. bookswim. com/index.htm l

    Cool. Even Happy Patron will sincerely like this.

  50. Happy Patron says:

    I do like this.

    Now my Librarian will be able to get me my theological books for free for me!!

    God Bless you merricat and your wonderful sharing!

  51. Happy Patron says:

    I do like this.

    Now my Librarian will be able to get me my theological books for free for me!!

    God Bless you merricat and your wonderful sharing!

  52. I Like Books says:

    Do we need police? Yes. Do we need libraries? Yes. We need lots of stuff. And it’s just not sensible to cut all of one before cutting any of another.

    We can compare it with people who say, for instance, we shouldn’t be putting any money into a space program until we take care of our own poor. Or sending money to other countries before curing cancer. Or whatever. If you have a $400 billion budget, the $100 million from another program won’t make much of a difference. A much larger good would be lost from the program that was cut. It’s a principle of diminishing returns.

    As a society we need to find a balance between our different demands, or we’ll get the moral equivalent of scurvy from lack of an essential nutrient. (And yes, for those libertarians out there, we also don’t want to get too fat.)

  53. Happy Patron says:

    Amen, I like Books.

    I think that it is great that you are so moral and know that books are moral too. Praise all those good and moral books!

    Yours in Christ.

  54. LIS degrees are a joke says:

    Merricat:

    The puppet is you. Typical robotic answer from a “progressive”. Since there are people out there who do not think like you, that makes them a puppet right? Why don’t YOU think for yourself? Now hurry or you’ll miss the latest from MSNBC. Mmmm…mmmm…mmmm.

  55. Happy Patron says:

    LIS degrees are a joke, please don’t be so negative.

    Negativity brings about bad things.

    Libraries should be the last place of bad things.

    Just think of the wonderment in the face of a child when they hear a story hour!!!

    Don’t be Mister Gloomy Gus, smile : )

    God Bless You!

  56. LIS degrees are a joke says:

    Thanks, Happy Patron. God bless you, too!

  57. merricat says:

    But as they came closer to the library and Jesus saw the Funny Patron ahead, he began to cry.

    “I wish that even today you would find the way of happiness. But now it is too late, and happiness is hidden from you.

    Before long idiots like LIS degrees are a joke will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you.

    Run, Happy Patron, Run! Jesus be with you.

  58. LIS degrees are a joke says:

    Merricat is desperate for a rebuttal. Hence, the name calling, which is a verbal way of saying, “You have proven me wrong and I am not open minded enough to consider what you are saying”. That is about as far as I go for dignifying its response.

  59. Happy Patron says:

    Please don’t bicker.

    The more you bicker, the more the devil gets into you.

    We want libraries to be beacons of light and knowledge.

    We can do it if we try!!!

  60. merricat says:

    Acts of Merricat 2: 1-9

    1 Why do the sensitive librarians conspire and the politically narrow plot in vain?

    2 The librarians of the earth take their stand and the silly blog commentors gather together against the LORD and against his Annoyed One.

    3 “Let us break their blogs,” they say, “and throw off their pink furry fetters.”

    4 The One enthroned in public library reference laughs; the LORD scoffs at them, too, albeit halfheartedly.

    5 Then he rebukes them in his anger while chuckling a murmur and terrifies them in his wrath and wit and spit, saying,

    6 “I have installed my Annoyed Librarian on Zion, my holy hell hill.”

    7 I will proclaim the worthiness of the MLS degree of the LORD : She said to me, “You are my Happy Patron ; today I have become your Father, if not for the dastardly LIS Degrees are a joke.

    8 You will rule them on the knuckles with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like Iraqi museum artifacts. and they bicker no more for the Lamb has sealed the blog. So mete it be.

  61. NotMariantheLibrarian says:

    I don’t worry too much about some libraries disappearing. Working in an academic library I see on a near-daily basis how ill-educated and unprepared our students are. Our work never ends. The corporate library in which I worked? Got killed because “everything was on the Internet.” I don’t buy their products, BTW. Don’t trust the information on which they base their decisions.

  62. Happy Patron says:

    God has blessed us with libraries and wonderful librarians to staff them.

    They will never go away so long as we believe in Him!

    God Bless!

  63. Cypress says:

    Happy Patron: I’m fine with your preaching, because it makes it ok for me to comment about 9-11. 9-11 was an inside job, everyone who is not aware of that should research it. What happened to Building 7?

  64. Dr. Brooks says:

    I agree that LIS degrees are a joke, that is why I have an MLS….

  65. the.effing.librarian says:

    AL, that long blog post was actually part of the LISNews essay contest that ran through February. too bad you waited till March to post this, it would have been a good addition to all the other submissions. and really? there are people who hated the essay contest? it was for one month. I wonder how much they’ll hate the current LISNews librarian joke contest…

  66. me too says:

    I think we owe civilization to the Irish and not to librarians, though we do have an impact.

    Also, I do believe in the Jesus God, don’t homeschool and do think it will be a scary kind of day when we all stand before God to “splain ourselves.”

  67. Socialist Public Servant says:

    Confidentiality and a public good is what we provide. Thomas Paine would be proud of our work. Everyone is being spied upon, but if you come into this library you get complete anonymity. We also provide a public meeting space, crucial in today’s world of no or little public space.

    There are only two real threats to libraries in the long term – First, funding, a threat to everyone; luckily my employer is an independent taxing district in the state of washington.

    But an even bigger threat is the industry and all you folks with bad ideas who make the descisions based on fads and panic. What a bunch of goons. Get back to work and connect with your patrons.

    “NPR and PBS are radical socialist agencies” – if that were true, I would listen. They both support the corporate, military state; both support American wars of agression without question. As a rabid, left-wing uber-liberal mega-socialist, I am sad to say there is nothing socialist in America today. We sure could use some, capitalism is just an excuse to concentrate wealth and power. The scary part is poor republicans supporting it. One could not be more clueless. Nobody does propaganda better than in the USA.

  68. LIS degrees are a joke says:

    Socialist Public Servant: if that’s how you feel then leave.

  69. merricat says:

    Love it or Leave it! Hellfire, yee-hah boy! It’s cemented minds like LIS degrees to think the world is either black or white. Such nuanced understanding of the complexities inherent in our country astounds me. It takes a remarkable sensibility to understand that not everything is the way you think it ought to be. Bravo.

  70. Cypress says:

    NPR = National Propaganda Radio

    or

    NPR = National Petroleum Radio

    (David Rockafeller’s wife sits on the board)

  71. LIS degrees are a joke says:

    I think you need your medication. Your utter ramblings are incoherent. After they take effect, watch Beck for common sense, and then you can post something that is articulate and intelligent. Thank you.

  72. Cypress says:

    Glen Beck believes in Global Warming now. He said “you would be an idiot not to notice the warming” last week. LOL you like Glen Beck ROTFL!!!

  73. LIS degrees are a joke says:

    Cypress:

    Send me the clip. I missed that broadcast. Also, please let the clip be in its proper context.

  74. Cypress says:

    Source:

    http://www.usaweekend.com/article/20100219/ENTERTAINMENT01/100218001/Don-t-judge-Beck-by-his-cover

    Highlights:

    “You’d be an idiot not to notice the temperature change,” he says. He also says there’s a legit case that global warming has, at least in part, been caused by mankind. He has tried to do his part by buying a home with a “green” design and using energy-saving products. “I’m willing to do anything but use the CFLs,” he says of compact fluorescent light bulbs. “I put them in once and couldn’t stand the way they lit up the room.”

  75. LIS degrees are a joke says:

    In all due respect, the USA papers have a liberal agenda. Even if Beck uses energy saver technologies, that does not necessarily mean that he believes in global warming (notice that he is not quoted saying that, but what the reporter of the story wrote). I could argue that there are temperature changes, too. Whether I say they are for warmer or cooler, it is still a temperature change.

    Do you have another source? Seriously.

  76. 5k6b2 says:

    “Sure, there’s a lot of government pork for corporations, but they’re not primarily dependent on the government for funding.”

    Citibank. AIG. Goldman Sachs. Bank of America…

    Libraries are being de-funded because all public sector activity is being de-funded. The right-wing counter-revolutions began in the mid-70s, ad with REagan’s election became entrenched in a great deal of the Eglish-speaking world. (See Arundhati Roy on the Hindu nationalist movement.) The game is Friedmanite economics: increase corporate profit at the expense of all government spending on social programs.

    Raytheon. Martin-Marietta. Halliburton/KBR. Blackwater/Xe…

    A completely corrupt Congress gives us a Federal government that is philosophically fascist – corporatist, if you prefer. That will give you policies such as the compulsory & perhaps subsidized buying of health insurance from private companies as a replacement for universal health care, and bloated, outsourced, privatized wars.

    Removing libraries from communities removes all alternative to free-to-air television, where the news is sponsored and controlled by large corporations in the defense business.

    My point is that libraries are a social good, and the thrust for their removal/defunding on teh grounds that “they should run like a business” is so much nonsense, designed solely to befog the enemy (libraries/librarians), “the left”.

    Because large corporations, these days, are run close to wholly on government largesse.

    The question very starkly is: who gets the taxpayers’ money? If it is somehow morally wrong to spend public money on libraries, then what about public money going to (see the list above)?

    The argument’s a corporate grab for money and power, and nothing else. Best to understand that.

  77. Cypress says:

    LIS degrees are a joke:

    He sure seems to have switched his stance on the subject. Amazing the timing too, just when the establishment agenda on climate change is in trouble because of the leaked CRU emails. Glen Beck supports the establishment agenda pure and simple. If you believe in a push for one world government and think it’s a bad thing it’s a conspiracy theory. If you think it’s a good thing then it exists.

    This is not about left vs right, that is a false paradigm. Both the Democrats and the Republicans push the same things in terms of major policy. When you are past the point of being a political infant you will grow to understand that.

  78. LIS degrees are a joke says:

    Cypress:

    I agree that there is very little difference between the Democrats and Republicans. That is why I am independent. Beck and O’Reilly are also independents. But I am not because of what they say. I just check sources and make my own determinations.

  79. Stalin says:

    Hitler was also an independent.

  80. merricat says:

    Glenn Beck is Gog and Magog. The fact that anyone trusts his version of “science,” as if science is a political endeavor and not an empirical one, is laughable–to say the very least. I feel sad for all those dupes out there who are evidently science illiterate, the ones Glen Beck uses his malicious prestidigitation on to lead the sheep for his own political expediency and skewed ideology. It’s sad.

  81. merricat says:

    Enlightenment proceeds from Joesph Smith… and is given to Glenn Beck…. the biblical remnant are instructed by the populists of the Lord. The remnant do not hear audible sounds, because such is not necessary. Joesph Smith has provided his own good way to convey thoughts to the mind Glenn Beck. And then allows Glenn Beck to give the us the proper lies as the proper time.

  82. TheCommonGood says:

    LIS degrees are a joke – you haven’t read the San Antonio Express-News. In no shape, way or form is it liberal. They endorsed McCain in 2008 – that ain’t liberal. I read The New York Times for a liberal point of view. And I like it better than our local rag.

  83. AngelaB says:

    Wow. Such bickering! I love FoxNews, but my husband likes MSNBC. We debate all the time. Only the gullible on both ends of the political spectrum believe without question. That’s why we’re both independent.

  84. DevilA says:

    Sorry, you cannot be independent and watch Faux Newz. You are a Conservative, Republican Pig.

    And if you watch MSNBC, you cannot be independent. You are a Sniveling, Democratic, Wimp.

    Have a nice day.

  85. Capitalist Fan says:

    Its not that Fox is conservative or MSNBC is liberal or they support different parties or that represent the same idea. Its that they are two media giants at war for the sheep’s attention. I swear if Fox said the sky was purple MSNBC would say its green.
    If your not getting your news life your not getting news your getting commentary big difference.

  86. baaaa says:

    I get my news from blogs.

  87. Socialist Public Servant has an Mlibr! says:

    “Socialist Public Servant: if that’s how you feel then leave.”

    Why? I live in beloved Washington State where we mollify to some degree whacked federal plocies – during the Bush Cabal we had 3 democratic females as governor and senators. I was born here, love my country more than most! That is why I care and try to look at what is and has been really going on. Besides, my wife and daughter are not interested in moving to Argentina – yet. I am working on it.

    Capitalism sucks. It has done nothing except make rich people rich, and poor people destitute and feed unending wars to keep selling war goods. I recommend reading the first publication on the military-banking-industrial complex by Smedley Butler, former commandant of the Marine Corps who refers to himself as a “gangster for capitalists” brutalizing the Caribbean during the 1920s.

    It is a fact, as compiled by the State Department, that the JP Morgan bank gave money to Hitler in 1930 – three years before he was chancellor. FACT! Why he was rabidly pro-big business and anti socialist! The only thing socialist about the totalitarian Third Reich was in the name of the ruling junta, the beloved tools of American Big Business.

    Use some of those research skills to effect and learn just how fantastic the propaganda has been.

    Ah, working for an independent taxing district rocks……libraries will survive us all….they shall endure even the fools who “work” in them…..

    Go Husky Basketball! Bow down to Washington! Long live Howard Zinn!

    And building 7 was obviously blown-up. Seriously, watch the clip, note it was not even in the 911 commission report.

    Enjoy….

  88. merricat says:

    Socialist:

    You had me going until your idiotic statement:

    “And building 7 was obviously blown-up. Seriously, watch the clip, note it was not even in the 911 commission report.”

    Conspiracy theories of this stripe are unbecoming of anyone with a degree of sensibleness. You should leave those to all the drolling lost sheep who come into the library wanting to know all the “sacred secrets” to life’s mysteries.

  89. Socialist Public Servant with an M Libr says:

    Just having some fun. I do not push my ideals/beliefs on the job.

    But, if you think the 911 commish, chaired by a personal friend of the Mighty Idiot himself, gave an honest accounting of what happened, I ask you to examine the evidence and reconsider. Use those research skills! We then invaded Iraq, one of the worst crimes in human history. All tied to 911 at the time. Questioning that is idiotic? Why would you believe what they are telling you? Can you give an example when they were honest about anything?

    Use those research skills.

    Libraries will make it! We are critical to society, a public good for the benefit of all.

    Quit leading based on panic and fads! I understand the mission, but do my ‘peers’ and our incompetent leaders? Get with it folks, our country is in sorry shape and needs us!

    Go Huskies! Beat Marquette…..