February 17, 2018

Feedback: Letters to LJ, June 15, 2017 Issue

“I order books from authors with whom I disagree and search for books for patrons who make me want to shower after, but it’s my job”

Librarians in bubbles

After reading “Chaos & Caring” by Michael Stephens and “Leftist librarians” by David Tulanian (Feedback, March 15), I’m struck by the sad fact that even librarians can live in bubbles. On the one hand you have Stephens. After reading his article, one could be forgiven if they thought that, up until now, libraries were in the habit of discriminating against marginalized people. Anyone who works in a public library knows that this is nonsense.

[Then] you have ­Tulanian trotting out the…tired meme that the media is on the left and in the tank for Obama. Regardless of political affiliation, a thinking person has to be able to see substantial differences between Obama and Trump. However, Paul Klenk is on the money: “Your job is to serve the public, not to hijack the place for your personal therapy” (“No politics!,” Feedback, May 15). My politics are left of center, but I’m here to serve. I order books from authors with whom I disagree and search for books for patrons who make me want to shower after, but it’s my job.

—Alvin Ealy, Head of Adult Svcs./Reference, Kingston P.L., MA

Mired in certainty

In regard to Harold N. Boyer’s critique of the current generation of librarians (“Recognize boomer movers,” Feedback, May 1), I am pleased to see Boyer’s four decades of moving and shaking two local public libraries and a medical library have kept him so busy as to miss the fact that communities and librarianship have evolved since his esteemed generation built the buildings and learned how to pay for said buildings.

It is not his responsibility to know what those of us with electronic devices for appendages know: kids these days can’t be reached through traditional means but rather at their own level via their own media. Boyer’s analysis of vanguard library services as “harebrained [and] glitzy” perfectly displays the style of librarianship to assure his generation to be the last to benefit from libraries at all. It is such brave foresight on the part of Boyer that questions the recognition of “twenty- and thirty­somethings” who are not so mired in four decades’ worth of certainty as to ignore the intricacies of each new generation. Kudos to Harold N. Boyer for being so protective of librarianship that he would rather suffocate it in his loving embrace than allow it to flourish as something unfamiliar to him.

—Russell H. Roe, Lib. Asst., Adult & Teen Svcs.,Contra Costa Cty. Lib., Martinez, CA

Looking in the mirror

Having recently started my career in the library field, every day feels like day one. There is constant new information, policies, patron interactions, and discovery of something new in the library world. LJ has helped me see myself in this field for the long run. In a field that many people seem to overlook, it is refreshing to see that people can make a difference from the most unexpected places. Seeing people of color, especially women, makes me beam with pride. I remember being an [English for speakers of other languages] student in elementary school and thinking that a library was no place for me. Until college, I never saw anyone who looked like me there. Now they do. Every story you feature makes me finally see that there is a place for diversity and movement in the library field.

—Nancy Del Carmen Cote, Bokeelia, FL

Saved—for now

Thank you for “Public Outcry Saves Saskatchewan Funds”), which shows the world how a few people can make a huge difference when they stand up for what is right. I am an avid reader and library user and so grateful that the funding has been restored for this year. Christine [Freethy] and the others who created and ran the Save Saskatchewan Libraries group did an incredible [job]. Their efforts rallied the people of Saskatchewan and made this campaign possible. The reversal of the cuts is for one year only, and readers in Saskatchewan will be ready to fight for our libraries over the next year and beyond. Libraries are a necessity in all communities and must be accessible to all.

—Shirley Ens, Lib. Asst., Swift Current Branch, Chinook Regional Lib., Sask.


Owing to an editorial gaffe, the collection development article “The Royals: Kings & Queens” (LJ 5/1/17, p. 37–39) misidentified Queen Mary as the Queen Mother. In fact, it was Queen Elizabeth, the current Queen’s mother, who used that appellation. LJ apologizes for the error. In an update to “Sip & Spell: An Adult Spelling Bee” (Programs That Pop, LJ 5/15/17, p. 14ff.), author Bonnie Brzozowski informs us that her colleague Lindy Brown wrote portions of and contributed to that article.

This article was published in Library Journal's June 15, 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

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