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

Ambiguous Trumpian Graffiti @ Your Library

Since there are people who never tire of getting angry over Trumpian graffiti, here’s a brief story from Illinois, where, we are told, “Graffiti of the Trump name and a swastika was found in a bathroom at Northbrook Public Library last week, the fifth such incident at the library in the last two months.” The story is accurate as far as it goes, but other than the act of vandalism itself, which is always abhorrent, it’s hard to know what conclusion to draw from this. First of all, it could be either a Trump supporter or a Trump detractor. We can’t tell from the graffiti alone, because it’s subject to interpretation. The neo-Nazis who support Trump might see this as a symbol of triumph, whereas the detractors might see this as derogatory, at least if they were both incautious in their interpretations. Both groups might see this and think, “Trump is a Nazi!” and yet come to different conclusions about whether that was a good or bad thing. However, a closer look at the photo ...
Read More >>

Libraries Held to Ransom

The ALA Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta is winding down now, and it will probably be best remembered as the ALA during which 60,000 people joined the Women’s March in the conference city after the inauguration of President Trump. There were a lot of librarians wearing pink hats marching through the Atlanta streets in protest. That’s the kind of thing to be expected, though. In much weirder news, the “St. Louis Public Library computer system has been hit with a ransomware attack.” I hate to admit that I was naive enough not to know what a ransomware attack was. In this case, it means “a hacker organization has blocked their server and is demanding tens of thousands of dollars to release their computers back to them.” If that kind of news makes you wonder what sort of world we’re living in, see paragraph one. But seriously, what kind of hackers decide to hold a public library to ransom? Libraries aren’t rich, so the main motivation for ransom is out right there. Couldn’t the ...
Read More >>

A Good Deed Punished?

They say that no good deed goes unpunished, unless it’s not a good deed, in which case it might or might not go unpunished. I’ll have to look into the science on that one. Supposedly the campus president at someplace called Vatterott College in Kansas City did a good deed on a Friday and was fired on Monday. The punishment was quick, that’s for sure. What doesn’t seem to be in dispute is that he let a homeless and schizophrenic student who was off his meds spend the night in the library to protect him from below-zero temperatures outside. He said he did a good deed, and the Vatterott powers that be said he put the building and library materials at risk. Both could be right. The easy answer is to side with the terminated President. Yes, he did put the building at risk letting a mentally ill student without medication stay in the library, but which would the powers that be rather have, a student spending the night in the library or a student frozen to death on ...
Read More >>

Your Privacy Invaded in Public

You may have seen some ACLU propaganda since the election. There’s often Trump or one of his potential cabinet appointees with a list of offenses checked off, sometimes with a “Sued: Not Yet” checked at the bottom. Nationally, the ACLU is preparing to be pretty busy. The Iowa ACLU, not so much. It’s main concern at the moment is about cameras in the restrooms of the Iowa City Public Library. Despite signs outside the restrooms saying that cameras were in use, a University of Iowa student was surprised that cameras were in use. What did she think that lens and glowing red light in the toilet bowl indicated? Just kidding. There are no cameras in the stalls, only in the common area of the restroom. Also, the cameras have been there for ten years, and there’s never been a problem except for the people arrested for theft, vandalism, and assault because of recordings. The student claimed she thought the cameras were only outside the restroom. The sign says, “Changing Table ...
Read More >>

Revenge of the Mommies

One might think that in 2017 open condescension towards women would be a thing of the past, unless you know anything at all about women in 2017 of course. You probably get less of it in libraries than in locker rooms, or busses on the sets of television shows that some people confuse for locker rooms, but it’s still there, and everyone once in a while someone calls out someone else about it. That’s the framework for the otherwise unexciting story about a renovated library in Great Neck, NY. Some of the library renovations weren’t to the liking of library users. One particularly irksome renovation installed an automatic door in the children’s section that opened out into a parking lot. The door opens as children go past it, so it would be pretty easy for a young child to open it and run outside. Generally, that’s the kind of thing a library board member might think a bad thing. Then the board member might suggest that the board could look into changing that door somehow so ...
Read More >>

The Joker Takes on the Library

Kind Reader sent me this article recently, about the Queens Library agreeing to settle a suit with its fired former president Thomas Galante for $1.5 million. It seems that Galante annoys Kind Reader. The backstory for the uninitated: Galante was fired a couple of years ago after the City Controller “found the CEO was using the library like a personal piggy bank.” Apparently, “Galante spent lavishly on food, liquor, entertainment, furnishings for an office roof deck and concert tickets. He also wasn’t above billing the library for parking tickets and electronic books for his Kindle, according to court papers.” And that was on top of his $392,000 salary, which won’t make you crazy rich in NYC but is pretty good by library standards. After he was fired, he sued, wanting “$2.275 million in severance, contending he was fired without cause.” He got “only” $1.5 million, and of that he’ll get to keep “only” about $300,000. The rest will go to pay his legal bills. Why is that? ...
Read More >>

Optimization WordPress Plugins & Solutions by W3 EDGE