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

Please, No Starbucks in Every Library

Before I begin, I just want to point out that if you can’t find a librarian job paying $142,000 a year that will then allow you go take classes at a library school to find out how libraries work, then you just don’t know the right people. Best entry-level librarian job ever. Okay, on to Starbucks. Since in my last post I recommended putting cafes in libraries to give people a space to do what they’re going to do anyway without annoying other people, it might seem odd that I find this argument kind of dumb. Some guy writing for Forbes wants a Starbucks in every library. There are plenty of reasons this is a bad idea. For one, lots of people hate Starbucks’ coffee. I’m not one of them, because I like my coffee to have a certain burnt viscosity about it, but some people object to that. For another, most public libraries probably don’t have the space to rent to a Starbucks. And yes, that’s part of the argument, that libraries can make money by renting space. Unless ...
Read More >>

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs

I thought it was one of the truisms of the profession that library patrons never read signs. Signage is just that thing librarians do to try to control people who pay no attention to them. It turns out, not for the first time, that I was wrong. Some patrons pay attention to signs. The library signage in Beaver Dam, WI got a lot of attention from one library loving family there, but not the good kind. Usually when someone writes their local newspaper about the public library, they’re complaining about it, like that guy from Potsdam a couple of weeks ago. This complaint is a little different, though. They’re complaining that the library isn’t welcoming enough. The problem? Too many signs, and of all the wrong type. I had to admit I was amused by the end, especially since this wasn’t my library. There’s a garden area for patrons to visit. Instead of “Enjoy our lovely garden,” there are instead signs telling people not to touch or sit on stuff. Presumably the “don’t ...
Read More >>

The Orlando Problem

When the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) speaks, the ALA Council listserv goes wild. Okay, maybe not all the time, but definitely when it “condemns the American Library Association’s (ALA) decision to continue with plans to hold the ALA 2016 annual conference in Orlando, Fla. in the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict and that state’s refusal to revise or repeal “Stand Your Ground” laws, which were included in jury instructions in Zimmerman’s trial for second degree murder for fatally shooting unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. in 2012.” Whew, that’s a long one. The thread of discussion was eventually called "The Orlando Problem." Apparently the BCALA isn’t satisfied that Zimmerman supposedly now has post-traumatic stress disorder, is homeless, and “is unable to lead a normal life, and has to don a bulletproof vest whenever he goes out.” Hasn’t that poor guy suffered enough? All he did was get away with murder, after ...
Read More >>

Take That, Bobst Librarians!

A Kind Reader sent in this amusing article with the subject line, “Take that, Bobst Librarians!” Obviously, I liked the subject line. Bobst is the main library at NYU, and at least one NYU student is very disappointed in the librarians there. “I need a great librarian, and I’m miffed that Bobst doesn’t have any,” writes the student. Insulting the NYU librarians by saying that none of them are great isn’t the amusing part. Okay, maybe a little. But the really amusing part is why the student thinks none of the librarians are great. Here’s meat of the complaint: The reference librarians are wonderful at coming up with bibliographies for my papers (and sending me research on quirky questions I think up in the middle of the night) but when I tried asking for a book recommendation, the librarian at the desk looked slightly concerned. So apparently the Bobst librarians are great at the things they're actually supposed to be doing. But it goes on: Did I want to ...
Read More >>

Why People Hate Weeding Books

What is it about book weeding that gets library patrons so panicked? I can sort of understand the furor over that weeding project gone awry in Illinois last year, but it seems to happen all the time. A late example is the library at Emporia State University in Kansas, which has had its weeding project halted until an internal auditor can examine the situation. Some people were complaining, and it must have been bad considering this sentence: “the library has slated a good amount of books to take out of the library, but not in the book burning style that many have imagined.” Were people really imagining book burning? I know it’s Kansas and all, where just like Arizona conservatives proposed anti-gay legislation and then voted it down when they realized how much like pre-Civil Rights Era southerners it made them seem, but hating gays so much you want to deprive them of civil rights isn’t necessarily the same thing as burning books. Well, maybe. Anyway, this isn’t the Kansas ...
Read More >>

Librarians and Dating

According to the Daily Mail - and take that for what it’s worth - the online dating site eHarmony looked at their statistics to see what professions the two most popular genders were more likely to date or interact with. Supposedly, women prefer men in advertising, which I find surprising, although I don’t know why. Men prefer female lawyers, probably so they can make endless variations on the invitation for the lawyers to examine their briefs. Librarians were also included, male and female. For example, male librarians were least likely to initiate conversations with female teachers. Male librarians, along with bartenders and caterers, were also the least picky about who they would date. Perhaps if you’re a man in an overwhelmingly female-dominated profession, you have to lower your sights a little, because the pickiest women were going for advertisers, lawyers, and pilots. However, female librarians were the most picky about whom they would interact with. Perhaps that makes ...
Read More >>