Annoyed Librarian
Search LibraryJournal.com ....
Subscribe to LJ
Inside Annoyed Librarian

Fears of Staffless Libraries

A Kind Reader sent me some articles about a staffless library experiment in Toronto. The idea isn’t to replace librarians, but to extend hours, or so the story goes. Nevertheless, some people are concerned about safety, but aren’t they always, and of course the library union is against the whole idea, because nonexistent workers don’t pay union dues. The safety concerns are hard to evaluate. Supposedly, during a pilot in 2014 at three libraries in Ireland, 111 people “had their open library membership temporarily withdrawn” for various reasons, “including incidents of tailgating, giving their card to another person to use and opening the door to allow access to another person.” That does sound pretty dangerous, unless tailgating means something different in Ireland than it does in the United States. I hope it does, because the thought of people driving their cars recklessly close to other cars inside the library is a frightening thought. Assuming that tailgating means ...
Read More >>

Not Extinct Yet, But Getting There for Some

If you want some less than cheerful news about the future of school children in Los Angeles who are forced to attend public schools, check out this article. The headline begins, “Are school libraries headed toward extinction?” Yes, begins, because headlines can apparently be more than one line these days. It’s a sad scary world we live in. If we follow Betteridge’s Law of Headlines, the answer is of course, “no, they aren’t going extinct.” That’s ridiculous. There are rich and even not so rich private schools all over Los Angeles with libraries that are doing just fine. What are people worried about? People are all up in a bother just because five more high school principals are going to divert funding from school librarians to whatever it is they’re replacing them with. That will be only 15 out of 84 high school libraries, a mere 18%. It’s important to remember in times like these that there will still be 69 public high schools in Los Angeles with school libraries, or ...
Read More >>

No Escape from the Crazy

There are some things you shouldn’t have to put up with as a librarian. It’s not like we’re making the money or receiving the training to deal with potentially violent crazy people. And while some librarians no doubt get their fair amount of trolling online, considering how many use Twitter, there are some things that should stay online. Unfortunately for a librarian in St. Louis, there’s no escape from the crazy. Some creep called up the librarian and started ranting about the Holocaust, as in there wasn’t one. It’s too bad work phones usually don’t have the ability to block calls. The two-minute voicemail the creep left started, “No evidence of gas chambers.” Uh huh. He, and of course it’s a he, ends, ““It’s all coming to bear. So, I would get really nervous if I was you.” What goes through the sad, crazy little minds of people like this? If the point is to intimidate, then why the nonsense historical lesson? Do nuts like this think they could convince the person ...
Read More >>

Being Mean to Poor Ivanka

The big presidential news of the last week is that Ivanka Trump tweeted something nice about American libraries, and a bunch of librarians were really mean to her. You can read all about it in this article in Footwear News, my new favorite publication. All she was doing is try to say how important libraries are: “This #NationalLibraryWeek, we honor our libraries and librarians for opening our eyes to the world of knowledge, learning and reading!” She’s probably never set foot in a public library unless it was for a fundraising gala, but she knows that libraries are really important for those lesser souls who can’t afford their own books, computers, and internet access, and who are unlikely to have their own fashion line. The public library could be just the place to let some aspiring fashionista apply for the job of designing the next pair of Ivanka Trump, which may or may not be carried at Nordstroms or TJ Maxx. And what did librarians do in response? They got all snarky ...
Read More >>

Calling the Library Corps

Last week a Kind Reader commented, “I can’t imagine being constantly against everything, but that’s the difference between you and most librarians, thankfully.” It does sort of make one wonder what blog that person has been reading all these years. Whatever it is, I’m against it. Ever since you commenced it. But to inject a little cheer into everyone’s library day, let’s take a look at an elementary school in Michigan that’s getting a librarian for the first time in four years. Four years of students didn’t get the benefit of a school librarian, but now that’s fixed! How were they able to achieve that? Did school funding improve? No, silly, that almost never happens. Did a state start caring about whether everyone, and not just private school students and rich suburbanites had the benefits of a school librarian? Don't make me laugh bitterly. Instead, “an enthusiastic group of volunteers — virtually all former educators — pitched in to open the Rogers School library all day ...
Read More >>

Challenging a Fallen Icon

Now that it’s National Library Week we get to find out what are the most challenged books of the past year. Surprisingly, perhaps, they’re not books that are filled with sex and profanity, the usual things that offend the easily offended American public. No, this year it’s children’s books by Bill Cosby, once upon a time everyone’s favorite sitcom dad, now everyone’s least favorite angel fallen from grace. It’s not like this was particularly widespread. It never is. The ALA recorded only 323 challenges in 2016. The head of the OIF claims this is because people are self-censoring, and perhaps so. Or maybe people were just too busy in 2016 to worry about something as useless as a book challenge. And that number was a 17% increase from the previous year. It sounds a lot more impressive if you put it in percentages. Regardless, with over 300,000,000 Americans and 16,000 public library branches, it’s not like this book challenge thing is a big deal. The relative handful of ...
Read More >>

Optimization WordPress Plugins & Solutions by W3 EDGE