Annoyed Librarian
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A Good Deed Punished?

They say that no good deed goes unpunished, unless it’s not a good deed, in which case it might or might not go unpunished. I’ll have to look into the science on that one. Supposedly the campus president at someplace called Vatterott College in Kansas City did a good deed on a Friday and was fired on Monday. The punishment was quick, that’s for sure. What doesn’t seem to be in dispute is that he let a homeless and schizophrenic student who was off his meds spend the night in the library to protect him from below-zero temperatures outside. He said he did a good deed, and the Vatterott powers that be said he put the building and library materials at risk. Both could be right. The easy answer is to side with the terminated President. Yes, he did put the building at risk letting a mentally ill student without medication stay in the library, but which would the powers that be rather have, a student spending the night in the library or a student frozen to death on ...
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Your Privacy Invaded in Public

You may have seen some ACLU propaganda since the election. There’s often Trump or one of his potential cabinet appointees with a list of offenses checked off, sometimes with a “Sued: Not Yet” checked at the bottom. Nationally, the ACLU is preparing to be pretty busy. The Iowa ACLU, not so much. It’s main concern at the moment is about cameras in the restrooms of the Iowa City Public Library. Despite signs outside the restrooms saying that cameras were in use, a University of Iowa student was surprised that cameras were in use. What did she think that lens and glowing red light in the toilet bowl indicated? Just kidding. There are no cameras in the stalls, only in the common area of the restroom. Also, the cameras have been there for ten years, and there’s never been a problem except for the people arrested for theft, vandalism, and assault because of recordings. The student claimed she thought the cameras were only outside the restroom. The sign says, “Changing Table ...
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Revenge of the Mommies

One might think that in 2017 open condescension towards women would be a thing of the past, unless you know anything at all about women in 2017 of course. You probably get less of it in libraries than in locker rooms, or busses on the sets of television shows that some people confuse for locker rooms, but it’s still there, and everyone once in a while someone calls out someone else about it. That’s the framework for the otherwise unexciting story about a renovated library in Great Neck, NY. Some of the library renovations weren’t to the liking of library users. One particularly irksome renovation installed an automatic door in the children’s section that opened out into a parking lot. The door opens as children go past it, so it would be pretty easy for a young child to open it and run outside. Generally, that’s the kind of thing a library board member might think a bad thing. Then the board member might suggest that the board could look into changing that door somehow so ...
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The Joker Takes on the Library

Kind Reader sent me this article recently, about the Queens Library agreeing to settle a suit with its fired former president Thomas Galante for $1.5 million. It seems that Galante annoys Kind Reader. The backstory for the uninitated: Galante was fired a couple of years ago after the City Controller “found the CEO was using the library like a personal piggy bank.” Apparently, “Galante spent lavishly on food, liquor, entertainment, furnishings for an office roof deck and concert tickets. He also wasn’t above billing the library for parking tickets and electronic books for his Kindle, according to court papers.” And that was on top of his $392,000 salary, which won’t make you crazy rich in NYC but is pretty good by library standards. After he was fired, he sued, wanting “$2.275 million in severance, contending he was fired without cause.” He got “only” $1.5 million, and of that he’ll get to keep “only” about $300,000. The rest will go to pay his legal bills. Why is that? ...
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Fake Patrons and the Moral High Ground

This might be the weirdest library scandal I’ve seen. Two librarians in Florida hatched a scheme to checkout books to a fictitious person in order to do something or other that doesn’t make much sense. The story itself is weird. The two librarians checked out 2,361 books to a nonexistent patron named “Chuck Finley” during a nine-month period. In case you don’t want to bother with the math, that’s roughly 260 books a month or 8 books a day. Chuck Finley is quite a voracious reader. He was so prolific that he single-handedly increased the circulation of the branch library by 3.9%. However, since many of the books were checked out and then checked right back in again, he didn’t even get a chance to read them. Supposedly, the goal was to make sure certain books had been checked out so they wouldn’t be weeded. Also, to make sure the library didn’t have to buy the books again after they had been weeded. It didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, either. Surely there must be ...
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Library Predictions for 2017

It’s 2017. Finally. It was a rough year for many of us, starting with the death of Abe Vigoda in January and going downhill from there. But now the new year is upon us, and it’s time to make predictions for just how awful a year 2017 is going to be. What’s going to happen in American libraries during the next year? 1) ALA members will grow increasingly hostile as more members realize that the ALA bureaucracy is more interested in stroking President Trump’s ego than doing anything for them personally or professionally. 2) It will be a sad day for the ALA Washington Office when President Trump is impeached by the House after trying to make good on a promise to rebuild American infrastructure, which Congress will have declared treasonous. The sadness will be short lived as the Washington Office realizes most librarians don’t like Mike Pence either. 3) Many will wonder why they hadn’t realized years before that there isn’t an association representing librarians in the country just ...
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