Annoyed Librarian
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Inside Annoyed Librarian

End of the AL

It seems fair to claim that there’s never been a librarian publication quite like the Annoyed Librarian, and there might never be again. Born during the brief golden age of librarian blogging, it’s the sort of thing unlikely to be repeated in different circumstances, for better or worse depending on your perspective. The golden age of librarian blogging is over now, though. Inevitably all good things end. Also, this blog. For many years I’ve tried to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, but the time has come to retire. The Library Journal will stop supporting the Annoyed Librarian after March, and I don’t think I’ll go back to the old site if I could even remember how to get in, so this is probably the last official Annoyed Librarian blog post. It feels like the end of an era, but social media eras are notoriously short so that’s not saying much. I’d like to give some thanks before I go. I’d especially like to thank the Kind Readers. For reading, commenting, ...
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Some Lessons Learned

A few weeks ago this blog published its thousandth post. I was so caught up in the hurly burly of existence that I didn’t even notice, but after a thousand posts and almost ten years at the Library Journal, it feels like time to take stock of a few things I’ve learned over the years. The AL has always been provocative, and a good way to be provocative is to be gloriously wrong. Being gloriously wrong provokes people to have an opinion, and once in a while forces them to defend those opinions rather than merely sputter them, which is what usually happens on social media, especially Twitter. People hate to have their half-baked ideas poked at. If the AL’s done anything over the years, it’s poke at people’s half-baked ideas about libraries, whether it’s librarians crying “censorship” when there’s no such thing or trying to foist their political agendas on the ALA. And boy have the librarians hated that. The best of them come to the defense of their ideas and bake them fully; the ...
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Unanswered Questions about Jobs

My email tends to pile up, and sometimes emails go weeks or even months without a response. Today is a slight effort at clearing the inbox. Within the last few months, Kind Readers have sent in a couple of questions I’d like to try to answer. Here’s the first one: The comments concern me that a career in librarianship is not so rosy, especially for a newbie with some curmudgeonly inclinations. Many folks sound like they signed up for debtors prison, rather than fulfilling their life's purpose. Can you guide me toward some non-aligned reviews of library/information science programs as well as discussions among graduates? My answer is, no, I can’t. Most of the conversations around library school and librarianship are I’ve seen online are usually positive. Is that because most librarians are happy with their jobs or because it’s the propaganda that library schools and the ALA would most like to promote? Or both? The comments section of the AL has tended to attract the ...
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Come Overdose @ Your Library

This is my last post about libraries and overdoses. Probably. I promise. It might be alarming to anxious Americans who dream of emigrating that Canada isn’t the utopia some of them imagine. It has an opioid crisis as well, and the discussion of what to do about overdoses occupies their librarians, too. You can learn a lot in the article, like how there are enough opioid overdoses in Vancouver that random citizens are carrying naloxone with them just in case they encounter one in the street. I know Canadians are supposed to be super nice and all, but that might be taking it too far. There’s a debate among librarians as to whether libraries should allow staff to intervene when encountering an overdose victim, as opposed to calling 911. Some library policies forbid it, and it’s not entirely clear if librarians could intervene while on the job even if they’ve received training elsewhere. Unsurprisingly, there are librarians who want to welcome everyone. I was particularly ...
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ALA and NRA Join Together

Florida, the state whose gun laws made George Zimmerman famous, is trying to figure out how to respond to its latest mass shooting. One reaction is Senate Bill 7026, which the ALA and AASL don’t like. The bill sounds innocuous enough. It’s about “public safety,” and appropriates $400 million to this: authorizing the awarding of grants through the Crime Stoppers Trust Fund for student crime watch programs; establishing the Office of Safe Schools within the Department of Education; providing that each sheriff may establish a Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program and appoint certain volunteer school employees as school guardians; prohibiting a person who has been adjudicated mentally defective or been committed to a mental institution from owning or possessing a firearm until certain relief is obtained; prohibiting a person younger than a certain age from purchasing a firearm; prohibiting specified acts relating to the sale and possession of bump-fire stocks; creating the Marjory Stoneman ...
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Star Trek Posters in the Echo Chamber

Every once in a while a librarian makes it into the right-wing echo chamber for saying or doing something that strikes the unwashed masses as outrageous. Usually it strikes the washed mashes as outrageous, too, but the washed masses are too busy washing to make a big deal out of it. The latest bete noire of the right-wing echo chamber is the library director at MIT, who told a crowd at a library conference that, “There is research that shows that workplaces that are plastered with stereotypically ‘tech or nerd guy’ cultural images — think Star Trek — have negative impact on women’s likelihood of pursuing tech work and of staying in tech work in general or in that particular work environment.” I, like the author, and probably like a lot of others, was first inclined to protest. The author points out that about half the attendees at Star Trek conventions are female, which is unsurprising. Women are nerds now, too. They don’t grow neckbeards, and they probably don’t live in their ...
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