Annoyed Librarian
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Inside Annoyed Librarian

Informationists and Librarians

A Kind Reader sent in this blog post with this subject line: Annoyed that "informationists" are "transforming" libraries to do exactly what librarians been doing since libraries came into existence! The blog post is about the future of the library, a perennially favorite topic that I don’t know why anyone bothers with. The future just kind of happens whether we predict it or not. There, it just happened again. And again. My predictions are obviously very short term. The author is an “informationist,” which is a pretty vague title. I had to look it up on Wikipedia, which I now realize is because I’m not a medical librarian. According to that article, “one way to think of the informationist is as one who possesses the knowledge and skill of a medical librarian with extensive research specialization and some formal clinical or public health education that goes beyond on-the-job osmosis.” So, basically a medical librarian with some sort of medical training, I guess. I prefer ...
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Surveying the Salaries

If there’s anything the LJ Salary Survey can tell us, it’s that librarians generally don’t mind needing a graduate degree in order to earn mediocre pay. We must have the greatest jobs in the world. Seriously, with the median pay for most librarian jobs in the $50,000 range and with around two thirds of librarians being “satisfied” or “very satisfied” in their jobs, what else are we to make of it? It’s either that librarians have great jobs, or that the sort of people who become librarians are complacent and willing to settle for just about anything. We’ll leave that up in the air. However, there are some dissatisfied librarians out there, and they tend to be the ones who can’t get decent librarian jobs. Go figure. The worst in the survey seems to be the part-timers. In public libraries, only 23% of them are very satisfied with their jobs, while 32% of the full-timers are. I’m assuming that librarians who can’t find work at all aren’t included in the survey ...
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Adieu, Las Vegas

Before I got to Las Vegas I thought I would hate it as a conference city. After a few days spent there, I now know that my premonition was correct. This has to be one of the worst places ever to hold an ALA Conference. The only redeeming feature it has over Orlando is that there are some great restaurants in Vegas. Getting to them is always inconvenient, but then again so is getting anywhere in town. And that’s part of the problem. If I were there to drink and gamble, or even to get massages and lie by pools, this would be perfect. Except that I was there on business. So of course if I’m there on business and need to get from meetings to programs to meetings, I want some of them to be in hotels/casinos that are designed to keep me from getting to a specific location. That’s because I, like the group that chose this place, have a double digit IQ. Brilliant planning,  ALA committee that chose Vegas as a destination. Seriously, what bunch of idiots chose Vegas? I was ...
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Protests for the Librarians

On an unrelated note, here’s a funny piece about how the Author’s Guild made multiple photocopies of someone’s book and distributed them during the trial where they claimed copying works should be illegal. Crazy stuff. Okay, now for the topic of the day. School librarians just can’t catch a break. Supposedly, Oregon’s 1,250 schools have 144 librarians, which seemed excessive until I realized that wasn’t 144 librarians per school. Often the only protest is found in news articles about how few librarians there are per school in Oregon, or California, or any of the other places school librarians are being dropped like hot cakes, if dropping hot cakes is a thing. In Holyoke, MA, they get serious about their protests, though. According to the article, “dozens of people” came to a meeting about school budget cuts. Wikipedia claims Holyoke has about 40,000 residents, so dozens seems pretty good. To put that in some perspective, let’s say three dozen showed up. If the ...
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Viva Las Vegas

ALA Annual in Las Vegas has officially begun and it’s a scorcher, at least by my standards. Although the National Weather Service thinks 104 degrees is merely “sunny” in Vegas and it doesn’t get “hot” until 106 degrees, so what do I know. But it’s a dry heat, and nobody ever died of heat stroke in a dry heat, or something like that. As with some other conference locations (I’m looking at you, Orlando!), I wonder why people pick a city like this for a conference. Hot. Not exactly pedestrian friendly compared to many other cities. Perhaps the committee that chose it was made up of compulsive gamblers. And it’s easy to be compulsive. I’ve already lost $2.25 on the quarter slots, and it’s still early. It’s more important to focus on the opportunities than the inopportune location, though. This year, ALA helpfully categorized the programs about “transforming libraries.” Maybe that will be the new Library 2.0, because there are conference speakers who need a ...
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Partisan Bickering in the Natural State

There’s an odd library story playing out in Arkansas. If you’re not immersed in the right wing echo chamber, you might have missed it. Since most librarians probably aren’t here’s a brief recap. A right wing news site called the Washington Free Beacon got copies of some old audio recordings of Hillary Clinton from the University of Arkansas archives and published the content online. The Dean of the library then sent them a letter saying they had published the recordings without signing the “permission to publish” form, informing them that they were violating copyright, demanding that they unpublish the recordings, and banning their researchers from the archives until the demands were met. The Washington Free Beacon was very excited when some Fox New commentators jumped all over the Dean, which I guess excites some people. And they claimed that copies of the tapes were given to them with no notice that they weren’t to be published or that publication might violate ...
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