Annoyed Librarian
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Librarians Exemplify Ruined Minds

Based on the review, I might have to pick up this book, but I fear it will only confirm my prejudices so it might not be worth it. Nicholas Carr thinks the Internet is ruining our minds, or at least so the review title implies. The argument seems to be that certain Internet activities render our minds incapable of sustained concentration, deep reflection, and sophisticated understanding and interpretation of ideas. I thought about this and was reminded of some of the clowns who write about libraries. The ones who claim libraries not on Twitter or whatever are invisible. Or the ones who pass on shallow tips on social fads and believe they're uniquely deep thinkers. Or the ones who really do believe that microblogging is the future of communication just because they have nothing to say that can't be said in ten words or less. And all the librarian sheep who pay attention to them. Then came this bit: He says we are becoming more like librarians -- able to find information ...
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Another Way Not to Defend Libraries

This is another in the impromptu series I seem to have started: How not to defend libraries. Stories like this one about budget cuts affecting the Queens library system are ripe for treatment. The headline is, "Queens librarians union slams planned $17M budget cuts." Oh, gee, what a surprise. A public sector union doesn't like public budget cuts. Shocking, just shocking! I've suggested other things to avoid if you want to persuade the public. Stop it already with hip librarian talk, or DVDs for the poor.  Also, shut the unions up. Public unions are great at negotiating back-room deals where they just have to persuade some politicians into giving them other people's money, but they're terrible at propaganda. For example: "Dozens of representatives from Queens Library Guild Local 1321 gathered outside the Central Library Branch and called on the mayor and City Council to rethink its budget proposal. The library could see nearly $17 million in cuts come July 1 and that would ...
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Blaming the Messenger

[In case you haven't figured it out, there have been some problems with the blog url, RSS feed, and comments this week. LJ migrated to a different blogging platform, but it might take a while to iron out the kinks. When it's done, everything should work better than before, including the comments feature, since now people will be able to create more stable identities. If you experience some slowness with the comments section, don't be alarmed. Comments will get through eventually. LJ has also moved offices, which means my new corner office is 17 stories lower than it used to be. At least I still have Chip.] Now back to business. I have determined that I must be a genius. I used to think it was because of my 154 IQ, but now I think it's because I'm misunderstood. Since the beginning of time, no library blogger has been more misunderstood than the AL. How am I misunderstood? For some reason, a lot of people think I don't like libraries. Obviously these people don't read very ...
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Our Oregonian Future

Ah, recovery. Memorial Day is the day when Americans commemorate the American war dead by eating hot dogs and drinking beer. I had neither beer nor hot dogs, but it was a festive day nonetheless. Library news from the Beaver State never seems to be good. Other news from the Beaver State might also be bad, but other than the library news I really don't care. The library system in Hood River County is closing down because voters won't support it, as their library website announces. (From the url, the county could also be called Hoo Driver County, which would be much funnier.) Oddly enough, the Oregonian anti-library disease seems to be spreading across the border to California, where Siskiyou County might close their libraries entirely. I almost lumped Siskiyou County in with Hood River County because of the typically shoddy local reporting that still thinks the only people who read news sites live in the area. Anyway. Siskiyou county residents are also mad as hell, and ...
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