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

Whitesplaining and Censorship

Some Virginia schools stopped teaching Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird because the parent of a biracial teenager complained about them, saying “her son struggled to read the racist language. You’d think it was the end of the world to listen to some people. I’m sure the ALA is all over this one complaining that the schools are “censoring” books that are readily available, including Huck Finn for free. But I’m used to that. What I didn’t know is that there were other organizations just as shrill when it comes to fake censorship. The “National Coalition Against Censorship described” the removal “as ‘particularly egregious’. The NCAC slammed the action in a post on its Kids Right To Read website, writing: ‘By avoiding discussion of controversial issues such as racism, schools do a great disservice to their students.’” Oh my, “particularly” egregious. That IS bad. It’s a pity those two statements don’t have anything to do with each other. Not reading Huck Finn in no ...
Read More >>

Librarians Fear the FBI more than ISIS

Paranoia strikes deep, as some hippies once sang, and it’s been striking deeply into librarians at least since the Patriot Act. The latest bout of paranoia comes from YALSA. It’s called “Libraries and the FBI Guidelines for Preventing Extremism in Schools,” because it thinks those two things have some connection. The blog post  starts okay, stating simple facts like “the FBI has published guidelines for secondary school personnel regarding at-risk behaviors that serve as ‘drivers of violent extremism,’ to facilitate intervention activities that would disengage youth from them.” Doesn’t that seem like a good thing? I don’t know about you, but I think it’s a good idea to disengage troubled youth being radicalized before they commit some awful terrorist act. That way everybody wins, except the terrorists of course, but who cares about them. But then things go quickly awry. “While this may seem expedient from the FBI’s law enforcement perspective, there is little published ...
Read More >>

Uninformed Journalist Criticizes Librarians

It seems I’m not the only one to poke fun at the mess surrounding the ALA Press Release Debacle of 2016, as I’m now calling it. The NY Post has weighed in, with commentary that demonstrates the typical journalistic understanding of libraries. We can start with the headline, “Why quiet-loving librarians can’t shut up about politics.” There’s the stereotype that librarians love quiet, because why else would anyone want to work in a library? They love quiet because they sit around and read all day. The part about shutting up about politics is supposed to contrast with the quiet-loving librarian stereotype, but really it has nothing to do with it. The stereotypical librarian doesn’t shush herself. It’s other people who are supposed to be quiet in the library. That contradiction continues in the first two sentences: “Librarians used to be known for telling everyone to be quiet. Now they can’t seem to shut up.” Great point, except those two sentences have no logical connection to ...
Read More >>

Some Fake Library News

Kind Reader sent a link to what seems like a good example of fake library news. As far as I can tell it hasn’t been criticized by any of the sophisticated librarians who bemoan how “fake news” has destroyed the world as they thought they knew it. I know it’s just boingboing, but that’s how people get their news these days. Let’s start with the idiotic headline: “Libraries become new domestic terrorism target in Trump wave of hate crimes.” That headline isn’t just misleading, it’s flat out false. Is there any evidence to support this claim of “domestic terrorism” in libraries? Has someone blown up a book tree to protest the “war on Christmas”? There is an attempt to support the headline, but it’s a stupid attempt. Here’s the lead paragraph: Authorities say in recent weeks there has been an unprecedented wave of hate crimes targeting library buildings, books, and the people who read them. The officials told the New York Times they'd rarely seen such before. These crimes are ...
Read More >>

An Opportunity for Guerrilla Librarianship

If anyone is interested in applying to what is sure to become the most pointless librarian job ever for the next 4-8 years, then here’s your chance. With any luck, or perhaps without it, you could possibly be a reference librarian and begin an “exciting career with the Executive Office of the President (EOP) providing support to the President of the United States.” Would you like to provide reference support for Donald Trump? Mike Pence? Oooh, Stephen Bannon? What librarian wouldn’t! I realize this job post was written when the normal rules still sort of applied, but after the election it just seems sadly amusing. The best example is the first demand of the job: “Responds to reference and research requests requiring provision of definitive and authoritative information. Uses primary and secondary sources to locate and select appropriate materials” Does anyone believe the EOP will be interested in “definitive and authoritative information” when they have a President whose ...
Read More >>

Our Post-Perspective World

Forget post-fact, or post-truth, or whatever. Even the nitwits who claim facts don’t matter anymore wouldn’t want to drive over a bridge or fly in a plane designed by engineers who agreed with them. We are in fact(!) living in the post-perspective age, where everything is the worst possible thing that could happen because we can’t put anything into perspective anymore. People who rarely to never thought about the destruction the U.S. has wrought upon the world for decades woke up the morning after the election worried about the future under a dictator. Many are probably the same people who thought they elected a savior eight years ago, and who treated Hillary Clinton as the antichrist to Bernie Sanders’ Jesus for months. Post-perspective world. And they sound like the people who woke up eight years ago worried about the future under the socialist Muslim dictator, and who are still concerned that Obama will declare martial law and become a dictator before Inauguration ...
Read More >>

Optimization WordPress Plugins & Solutions by W3 EDGE