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

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 ...
Read More >>

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 ...
Read More >>

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 ...
Read More >>

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 ...
Read More >>

Sounding Off Against Librarians

Before we begin, I want to point out a headline to which Betteridge’s Law of Headlines might not apply: Should Public Libraries Be Designated Gun-Free Zones? If you’re afraid to go into a public library without your gun, you’ve got serious problems. And now to the fun stuff. I wonder why it’s so easy to make fun of people who criticize libraries or librarians. After all, there’s plenty to criticize, and I’ve done a lot of it myself over the years. Usually the most ridiculous criticism comes from people who just plain don’t know what they’re talking about. The guy in my last post didn’t know the difference between a library catalog and a discovery layer, claimed mistakenly that the University of Utrecht had gotten rid of their catalog, then used that as evidence that more libraries should do the same. Or the people who never use libraries, probably haven’t been in one since they finished college, and who therefore claim “the library” is obsolete. You know ...
Read More >>

Dumping the Catalog

Over the years there have been a large number of news and opinion articles about libraries to which Betteridge’s Law of Headlines applies. “Is the library doomed?” No. “Are books dead?” No. "Should I write about libraries even if I know nothing about libraries?” Please don't. This week’s example comes from a website called Research Information, which is a nice vague title that allows for almost anything. The headline: Time to call time on the library catalogue? No. The motivating factor was a presentation by “a PhD student at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology” who talked about how he found his research material. What was missing from the list was the library OPAC. So a scientist at a research institute doesn’t look for books in the library he doesn’t really have. But wait, there’s more! Someone from the University of Utrecht “noted in her presentation how, while traffic to the library’s journal holdings had grown, the proportion of access to ...
Read More >>