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

Get Rid of Ideas

Most of the time it’s not fair to compare contemporary American politicians to Nazis. That’s a sort of easy out for leftists who think anyone to the right of Bernie Sanders is unconscionable. Sometimes, though, it starts to make a little sense. For example, a state representative in Arkansas has introduced a bill to ban books by Howard Zinn from any use in the curriculum. That’s really specific, but the intention seems obvious: to eliminate political views the guy disagrees with from the schools. And Zinn might be the only leftist historian the guy has ever heard of, since progressive historiography probably isn’t a hobby of his. Fortunately, the bill doesn’t require students to actively burn books by Zinn, but the intent isn’t much different from Nazi book burnings in the 1930s. “The books targeted for burning were those viewed as being subversive or as representing ideologies opposed to Nazism. These included books written by Jewish, pacifist, Religious, classical liberal, ...
Read More >>

School Librarians in the News

It’s always fun when school librarians make the news. They’re so put upon these days in so many states that it’s nice to see them get some recognition. For example, check out this article about a school librarian in the Bronx. Here’s the main point: “Students last week spread around social media a photo of the Taft Educational Campus chief librarian holding an assault rifle inside a gun shop.” She’s certainly defying the librarian stereotype, or at least I think she is. One wouldn’t necessarily believe that librarians never held rifles, but picturing a librarian with an assault rifle isn’t usual. And that’s a good thing, right? Librarians always seem happy when someone is breaking the stereotype, which is the only thing that explains that tedious genre of library-related journalism that tells us over and again that this isn’t your grandmother’s library anymore. So good for her. You know what else librarians are known for? Being welcoming to anyone who wants to use the ...
Read More >>

Mediocre Versions of Something Else

Some problems just aren’t solvable, and homelessness in San Francisco seems to be one of them. According to this article, there are roughly six to ten thousand homeless people in San Francisco, and while the city doesn’t have the largest number of homeless per capita, it does have “the highest proportion of unsheltered homeless, counting 511 people on the streets for every 100,000 residents.” Why so many unsheltered? After all, there are about 70 different shelters listed at this site of “San Francisco Homeless Shelters & Services For The Needy.” But only 18 of those are listed as being in the city itself, and many are over 20 miles from the city center. It’s not like homeless people commute 20 miles daily for shelter. Also, there are lots of limitations. Some only have a few beds. Some take only families, or teenagers, or men, or women, or Asian women. Some don’t seem to actually house people at all, just provided services. There are also space limitations and time ...
Read More >>

The Trolls Have Been Fed

The big publishing news of the week, at least as far as people outside of publishing are concerned, is Simon & Shuster rescinding a book contract for a professional right-wing troll after they found out his proclaimed views on pedophilia we a bit out of the mainstream. He was also disinvited to speak before a conservative political group and “resigned” from Brietbart, whatever that is. It’s hard to believe that the people who would be thrilled by the book would read much, but one should remember that Hitler and Goebbels were both avid readers. There had been a lot of controversy over the decision to publish that book. One prominent author pulled her book from the publisher because of it. Some librarians said some really mean things on social media, which is how protest occurs these days. Or in the parlance of the day, they were “resisting.” Should librarians buy the book or should they “resist”? Was not buying the book an attempt to stifle his free speech? But wait, ...
Read More >>

Redefining Theme Parks

Kind Reader sent this article about a library in Florida that’s being designed by a theme park company, and it sounds just as bad as you might think. It’s going to be called a Cybrary, so the town is finally catching up on jokes librarians were making 20 years ago. Very cutting edge. It doesn’t help that almost everyone involved sounds like they’ve been taken over by a corporate robot. The city manager claims that they’re “redefining what the library is,” which of course they’re not. They’re just building a mini-theme park and putting a few books in it. That’s not redefining anything, unless it’s theme parks. He also says that, “When you think about bettering this thing called a library, which has been around since before 300 B.C, do you turn to the library scientists — the librarians — to create a fresh and new thing, or do you turn to people who have expertise in the areas of entertainment and attraction?” Well, that’s certainly a good question, even though public ...
Read More >>

Librarians’ Easy Resistance

The big library story of the week would have to be this one about librarians protesting President Trump’s executive orders and everything else Trump-related. It’s one of the few news articles about libraries that demonstrates knowledge of libraries at all. Maybe the author’s a librarian or knows one. Historically, it goes back to the 1950s as well, so there’s definitely some context. The most interesting, and perhaps even the most effective protest, are the “Libraries Are For Everyone” signs created by a public librarian in Nebraska. It reminded me a bit of the librarian in Ferguson, MO during the unrest there, but on what could be a much bigger scale. Regarding that situation, I wrote at the time: “Stuff like that is what makes libraries special in a way that maker spaces or whatever the next new thing never will be. All people can come and sit, read, work, play, and study. Nobody’s harassed. Nobody’s turned away. Maybe libraries are a little boring, but sometimes ...
Read More >>

Optimization WordPress Plugins & Solutions by W3 EDGE