Annoyed Librarian
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Inside Annoyed Librarian

Do Librarians Need to Know Anything?

A kind reader sent me this link to a blog post that’s mostly about the changing face of librarianship. It’s sort of about the Spectrum scholarship, the success of which is why the racial and gender makeup of librarianship has plummeted from its former 90% white women to the significantly more diverse 88% white women. But then the post changes course, and that’s when it gets interesting, because instead of a library school student praising a scholarship (no big news there), we get a picture of what a student at a really good library school (or “I school” if you must) thinks library school is about these days. Two passages near the end stuck out to me. Here’s the first: Fewer and fewer LIS students will know what incunabula are. And that’s ok. Although the traditional formats of information are dying, the pulse of librarianship has never been more vibrant. The mediums through which people access knowledge are transforming, and it’s time our ...
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Libraries of the Future

Libraries have been getting a lot of good press lately, especially when they play the “we can’t get ebooks which means we’re doomed” card, though I prefer the “Why Libraries are a Smart Investment in the Country’s Future” card, which may or may not contain ebooks. Then there’s the kind of press that’s supposed to be supportive (I think) but is really just weird and uniformed, like this blog post by Matthew Yglesias on power tools as the “libraries of the future,” helpfully illustrated, as a commenter points out, by a photograph showing neither a power tool nor a library. Yglesias rightly doubts “that providing me with access to taxpayer subsidized comic books is a crucial public mission,” though I know some librarians would argue with him, especially the “comic librarians,” of which there must be some scattered about the profession. He also believes that “low-income people are getting internet access” is a more important mission ...
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The Silliness Wrapup

I’ve just about recovered from my travels to Anaheim. Hot sun, expensive taxis, no decent food within easy walking distance of the convention center...the perfect place to have a conference. There was plenty going on, that’s for sure. The exhibits floor was jam packed with librarians who think proper aisle behavior is either standing still in the middle of the aisle or walking so slowly you want to punch them in the back of the head. If you wanted free food or booze, there was plenty of that on hand if you knew where to look. Some of it was even good, which is better than being free. Speaking of free stuff, there was also some silliness at ALA. You might be aware that publishers give away a lot of free books at ALA. As the conference wanes, they start handing out books willy-nilly to anyone who passes by, even if those folks are not (gasp!) really librarians. It’s a scandal! Or at least some people think it’s such a scandal that they want ALA to make ...
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