Annoyed Librarian
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Inside Annoyed Librarian

If CDPs Told the Truth

In my last post, I suggested that librarians were being hypocritical about the political nature of their jobs and hiding behind collection development policies (CDPs) that our earnest homophobic crusader claimed were basically just aids to “banning” certain kinds of books librarians don’t like. Because the ALA’s arguments about intellectual freedom and diversity and censorship are an incoherent mess, the standard ALA line isn’t going to work trying to refute the homophobic crusader. Instead, let’s think about what public library CDPs really are. What are the actual policies rather than the policies they write down that try to sound fair and balanced and give them something to hide behind when the homophobes and the racists come calling? Next year, will the Schaumburg librarians display photos of empty shelves where books that challenge Leftist assumptions about the nature and morality of homosexuality should be (you know, pro-heterosexuality/pro-heteronormativity ...
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Another Problem with Banned Books Talk

One of the many problems with the ALA approach to so-called banned books is that it opens the door to easy criticisms by raging homophobes like this person. The general gist of the criticism is that while librarians talk a good game about intellectual freedom and are against “censorship” and “banning books,” in fact their entire collection development process effectively bans books that librarians disagree with politically. Libraries use Collection Development Policies (CDP’s) to determine which books they will purchase with their limited budgets. CDP’s hold that librarians should purchase only books that have been positively reviewed by two “professionally recognized” review journals. Guess what folks, the “professionally recognized” review journals are dominated by ideological “progressives.” That’s pretty hard to argue with, because she's right and we all know it. It doesn’t even mention that a lot of times it’s other librarians reviewing the ...
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The Myth that Won’t Die

The good news is that according to Wired Magazine your local library will probably have a makerspace soon, because it’s not just cutting edge cities like Chattanooga and Cleveland that will have them. A recent survey “found that 109 libraries in the US had a makerspace or were close to opening one.” Since there are only about 9,000 public libraries in the U.S., this is a definite trend. The slightly odd news is that a library in Canada is advertising for a "manager of welcoming initiatives," which is among the most unusual librarian job titles I've seen. Thanks to the Kind Reader who sent that one in. The bad news is that the notorious librarian shortage myth is back. I cringed at this headline in the Wall Street Journal: Help Wanted: Librarians, Sea Captains. “Oh, please, not again,” I muttered quietly. A report claiming that there would be a librarian shortage because it’s a slow-growing profession was released by some company called the Conference Board, because ...
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A Little Library Farce in the Golden State

I missed this one until a Kind Reader sent it in. I knew a few months ago that the governor of California had nominated an unqualified person to be the state librarian of California. Now it’s looking like the guy will be approved. A panel of five state senators has voted unanimously to send the nomination to the full senate. The story would make a potentially good movie, or at least a movie of the week. Supposedly the law requires the state librarian to be a “technically trained librarian,” which makes some sense. Being in charge of the state library might also require some experience in managing large organizations. So who better to be the state librarian than a reporter and blogger with no training as a librarian but great political connections? It would be bad enough just if the nomination was made. Handing out political largess to friends is how politics is always done. There’s nothing respectable about it, but there’s also nothing surprising. Rewarding yourself and ...
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Views from the Right

Tired of websites offering me too many stories that would change my life for the better or restore my faith in humanity if only I’d click to see what they were, I decided to head over to places that never offer to change your life for the better. First stop, the Weekly Standard, which foolishly offers an opinion about the “bookless library” I wrote about last week. No, that sentence was wrong. It offered a foolish opinion. The Weekly Standard criticizes the library, such as it is, but misses the point. The criticism is that polls show millennials don’t prefer ereaders and that a scientific study showed that people who read on paper are more likely to retain information than people who read the same information on a screen. Or possibly. Here’s the relevant quote from an article in Scientific American: such navigational difficulties may subtly inhibit reading comprehension. Compared with paper, screens may also drain more of our mental resources while we are reading ...
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Bold Librarians Making Hard Choices

There sure are a lot of busybodies in the world, and some of them just aren’t content to let libraries be libraries. The thing the busybodies really can’t stand is seeing books thrown away at libraries, because every book is a precious item as long as you don’t have to keep it in your own home. I’ve written about the weeding busybodies. They pass a dumpster full of old library books and their first thought isn’t to mind their own business or assume there’s a good reason for a library to be throwing away books. No, it’s to believe that the barbarians have stormed the gates and civilization is nearing the end. However, it turns out that even if the books aren’t old library books, busybodies will complain. In Hawaii, a viewer “called to tell KHON2 hundreds of donated books are tossed out weekly at Kaimuki public library and asked us to find out why.” Because it would have been entirely too much trouble to just walk into the library and ask someone. Being the good ...
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