Annoyed Librarian
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Inside Annoyed Librarian

What Explains the Trashers?

In the comment section of my last post, Will Manley asked, “why do librarians love to trash library work?” Another commenter responded, “because it’s a thankless job,” to which Will replied, “whose fault is that?” There are plenty of librarians who do trash the work, whether in the comments section here, their own pseudonymous blogs (wouldn’t want to be caught criticizing librarianship under your real name!), and occasionally in person. Even if they don’t trash library work itself, a lot of librarians are very unhappy with their work. I’ve met or heard from lots of librarians who are stressed, burned out, overworked, and generally depressed by their jobs, even if they don’t connect the malaise over their own job with the profession in general. I have some hypotheses about why people do and do not trash library work, and you can test them with librarians you know. The librarians least likely to trash library work are the librarians who, ...
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You Are Probably Not Underpaid

In my last post, I ended with a question that should be easy to answer. If their library is outsourced to LSSI, and their pay and benefits are going to be cut, what should librarians do? The easy answer is, quit. Find another job. Wait, some of you might say! That’s not so easy to do, especially in this economy! And here we come to the crux of the matter. If librarians threatening to quit, or even quitting, mattered at all, such outsourcing probably wouldn’t happen. Before discussing that, let’s take a detour through some of the comments about that article from Monday. It’s a discussion of librarian salaries, supply, and demand that illuminates some of the problems librarians have with economics. Here’s a snippet from the comment thread: mtbr1975 With $35 Million in revenue and 800 employees, this is not a very profitable company, this breaks down to about $43,000 per employee. Makes we wonder what the average wage is... lawlibber Shockingly ...
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Privatized Libraries: Not so Bad for Everyone

A kind reader sent this article asking, are privatized public libraries so bad? The answer, as with so many questions, seems to be, it depends on who you ask. The writer is writing as a library user. Examining the Santa Clarita, CA library after it was taken over by LSSI, she seems to conclude that not only is the library not bad, but it’s a bit better than it was before. There are more books, more computers, longer hours, and all of the general library goodness libraries like to provide. The ALA is very hostile to library “privatization” (or, as I would say, outsourcing), but they don’t necessarily give their real reason for being so. They claim outsourcing libraries is always a bad thing. If a group considers only evidence that will help their cause and none that will harm it, then it’s a group you can ignore on the issue, whether it's LSSI or the ALA. The author of the ALA study on why library outsourcing is always a bad thing is even quoted in the ...
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