Annoyed Librarian
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Stirrers and Shakers

It seems to have been awards season here in in the Greater Libraryland Area and I missed it. That’s just like me, really. Instead of keeping up with who are the hottest, coolest, hippest, most earnest and involved members of our profession, I do other things. At the moment, those "other things" include listening to some Bartok string quartets while arguing with Chip about whether a Negroni should be served on the rocks with a splash of soda or straight up andsodaless. Chip is very American, which explains his predilection for straight up Negronis. To be honest, Chip’s starting to slip a bit. Last week he made me a Manhattan with bourbon, even though there was a bottle of Old Portrero rye clearly sitting on top of the drinks cabinet. I try not to be hard on the poor dear because he’s so devoted to me, but it defeats the purpose of having a Library Journal Personal Bartender if I have to supervise every little thing. Honestly.

Anyway, back to awards season. As you all no doubt know, LJ hands out a boatload of awards every year to the Library Journal Movers & Shakers. Surprisingly, I’ve never made it into the august ranks of LJ Movers & Shakers (at least under my nom de plume "Annoyed Librarian"). This surprises me first because it’s obvious that the AL has shaken and moved more people that all the other Movers & Shakers combined. I’m also surprised because the M & S award isn’t exactly . . . um . . . exclusive, now is it? I mean, seriously, 51 librarians this year? LJ isn’t exactly trying to narrow the field, now are they. The great thing is that we get a huge, long list of "Library Leaders Creating the 2.0 Library of the Future." Apparently, the LJ people don’t realize that the 2.0 library issoooo 2007. I’m just hoping that with the gobs of money and all the perks LJ plies me with I don’t become so establishment to forget stuff like that! So the Library Journal, which some of you have heard of because they host this blog, gives out twopointopian awards to all and sundry. Wait. I don’t think that came out right. I mean, congratulations to all the LJ Movers & Shakers for 2009! Yayy!

If you thought the Movers & Shakers group was a bit large and nonexclusive, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Those dozen or so of you who haven’t managed to become a Mover or, indeed, a Shaker over the years have a new opportunity. Now comes along the Shovers and Makers, which is about as non-exclusive as you can get, because anyone and everyone can become one. Shovers and Makers (or S&M) was created by some librarians from the so-called Library Society of the World who, I’m reliably informed, really hate the Annoyed Librarian. (Of course some of the previous Movers and Shakers really hate the AL, too, but that’s old news.) I read about the S&M librarians in the library magazine of record, so I know they must be important. Eventually, they’ll probably make it into American Libraries as well, which would demonstrably prove how boring and utterly mainstream they are. LJ had this to say about S&M: "Shovers and Makers was meant to be ‘a little inspiring and a little absurd,’ but we’ve found that those who have put themselves forth are certainly more of the former than the latter." That LJ is so diplomatic!

The difference between the two is that we can hardly blame the Movers & Shakers for being winners. After all, other people usually nominate them. The S&M librarians nominate themselves, which means even the AL could be an S&M, if the AL was a joiner, which she’s not. Though if the S&M award came with some money, I might join. Keep that in mind for next year! I took a look at some of the librarians who’ve given themselves the coveted S&M award. Since I actually know a number of them, I’m not going to name names. Some of them definitely got into the spirit of the thing, but some of them are just so earnest, despite the attempt at satire. This is the problem with the whole Library Society of the World concept in general, though. LSW and the S&M are too much the product of earnest satire, if such a genre is even possible. It also exemplifies even more than LJ the desire to make everyone a winner. Yay! We’re all above average in this cozy hamlet we call librarianship. We can all have awards!

I’d start my own award, only I’d be too lazy to go through all the nominations and choose winners. That, and I don’t think I could stomach seeing yet another library award. This profession is self-congratulatory enough if you ask me; I think it starts with handing out an MLS to anyone with a pulse and a tuition payment. Mine would be similar to these, but based upon the classic dichotomy of martini drinkers – stirrers versus shakers. Some people think the classic dichotomy is between gin and vodka, but that’s impossible, because if it’s made with vodka it’s a "vodkatini." Then there’s the classic dichotomy of olive or twist, I suppose. Or the vermouth conundrum with the people who think that "dry" refers to no vermouth instead of French vermouth. But I digress. Where were we? Oh yes.

Stirrers are self-righteous purists who get so lost in metaphorical language that they think gin really can be "bruised." Shakers are self-righteous radicals who want icy perfection tout de suite and aren’t afraid to raise some purist hackles to get it. The idea would be to find one stirrer or shaker per year. I don’t shove, and I certainly don’t move. I rarely stir, and, thanks to Chip, I don’t even have to shake anymore. Since if I started the award I’d be the only one even remotely qualified to win, this would exclude even me, and absolutely nobody would win. That’s the sort of exclusive award we need more of in librarianship.



  1. If you are not into Library 4.0, you are nothing. I will tell you, just this once, that Library 4.0 is a psychic connections with your users so that you know exactly what someone is looking for and you can accurately predict the future so your collection is perfect at every moment.

    Anything less that this is counter-productive.

  2. decent-looking straight guy says:

    I already told you, I’d rather have a beer. So would most of the other decent-looking, single straight male librarians for which AL used to pine. Whatever happened to that favorite old trope of hers?

  3. decent-looking straight guy says:

    I already told you, I’d rather have a beer. So would most of the other decent-looking, single straight male librarians for which AL used to pine. Whatever happened to that favorite old trope of hers?

  4. Is there a Liberrian of the Mixer award :-) ?

  5. I read the article based on the title, thinking it would be a discussion of how to make that perfect drink. Two olives, please.

  6. Anonypotamus says:

    We’ve got a bigger problem here, and it’s this:

    Who should be awarded the Wii Fit Librarian of the Month?

    Aslo, we need a general movement to make more librarians who can’t read.. to better serve the illiterate population.

    Then we can have the Illiterate Librarian of the Year, and a sub-award called the Illiterate Wii Fit Librarian of the Year, because you don’t need to read to play Wii, which just proves you don’t need to read to be a Librarian 2.0.

  7. Appletini says:

    This issue of LJ was LAME. Building comic/graphic novel collections? Lobbying for more gaming in libraries? Not saying these librarians don’t work hard, kudos for the effort, but graphic novels and gaming are SO turn-of-the-century. Installing bars IN libraries – now that would be shaking things up! I can see it now, in academic libraries: Yo, I need the reserve stuff for Smith’s Intro Bio, section 192. And can I get a Heineken with that?

  8. decent-looking straight guy says:

    Heineken isn’t legitimate beer but you’re on the right track.

    I agree with the bar suggestion though. It should also have a big screen Heck with March Madness though, I can’t wait till August and football season. Give me a I-A championship contender and a real academic research library with a collection that makes the naysayers shut the f*** up and I’m a happy scholar/librarian/whatever.

  9. Appletini says:

    Apologies, straight guy. I was taking a guess. I’m not a beer drinker, myself. I much prefer fruity cocktails made with Grey Goose. :)

  10. The Award process is easy. You invent it and then look around for nominees and when you realize you only like yourself, you give it to yourself and put it up on your own wall each year. Nobody has to know you didn’t actually get the plaque from a ceremony, it’s just on your wall!! And for some reason you have one for every year sinc eyou invinted the award!

  11. Southern Library Belle says:

    Straight Guy, you’re a man after my own heart. I think I’m in love (swoon….)

  12. Pablo Gandy-Dancer says:

    I suppose that a cocktail onion makes it a Gibson rather than a Martini, but, shaken or stirred, it isn’t worth the trouble if you’re not using Hendricks gin.

  13. ThereAreLimits says:

    It is possible to add a single cube of ice to a Negroni, but soda water is a no go.
    If such suggestions should continue to be mentioned on this blog: I’ll stop following it!

  14. Dr. Pepper says:

    This analogy is over

  15. Jealousy is also such a bitter thing.

    People who don’t get recognized as doing anything just get bitter and blog about it.


  16. decent-looking straight guy says:

    Appletini, you don’t need to apologize. It’s a common misconception. Now, your fruity cocktails with Grey Goose are just fine if that’s your taste (to each their own, I say) – it’s just that AL goes on so long about her martinis I think she ought to have a beer once in a while. Again, to ye fellow commenters and commentettes, though, drink what pleases ya.

    On a related note, has anyone ever noticed a correlation between universities whose football teams consistently make a run for the BCS and universities whose research libraries still have enough gumption to shelve a full NUC proudly in reference? (No quips about the NUC being useless and irrelevant now…if you used it you’d know otherwise). I know football comments are ill-timed given that ‘other’ sport is in its championship phase this time of year, but I miss my gridiron and my real academic research libraries.

  17. decent-looking straight guy says:

    Southern Library Belle, your comment is exactly why I hang out with my favorite living instantiation of your type. Give me a great southern public university with a tailgating tradition, a library whose Z stacks are full of *real* bibliographies, Southern Belle type librarians and I will never be part and parcel to the grumpiness that seems to infuse library land. Fortunately I have enjoyed such in the past, and still enjoy part of such in the present. AL is fine for her wit and scattered good points here and there (if one can navigate the snark, the angry dissenters and such) but the girl needs to have a beer and go to the game.

  18. Being hated by the Library Society of the World is a badge of honor, isn’t it? I never understood what the LSW was about, why it was founded, and what the intention is, but I guess that’s the point. I don’t get it, so it’s not for me, thank the Big Baby Jesus. I have enough real-life friends that I don’t need to hang out in a chat room with a bunch of overearnest, eager-beaver librarians.

  19. the.effing.librarian says:

    Old Crow bourbon with an Oreo cookie sunk on the bottom. Now that’s a drink.

    Oh, yeah, I nominated myself for an S&M, but did notice that most of those “winners” are the librarians who take home the most awards anyway. ..but my box of Cracker Jack had a whistle, so I don’t care.

  20. Sober and Sad says:

    The problem with reading library blogs at the library is that AL makes me realize how long I have to wait until cocktail hour. Sigh.

    But here’s my real question–what kind of olives do you use? Are they stuffed? And, if so, with what?

  21. decent-looking straight guy says:

    But the advantage of AL’s blog is that it allows us to demonstrate that the library world is not full of only meek boring blimps and zippy yet vacuous enthusiasts. While each such variation of the “librarian” differs widely from the other, they share one characteristic – they neither know nor care how to have fun and be social.

    AL and some of the fine commenters here, however, suggest they know there’s more choices available in to life (and librarianship too, incidentally) than either zippily blogging about what a great blog you have created on the subject of blogging about twopointopian panacea-blogs or sitting meekly behind some desk secretly angry that you were too afraid to hit on that cute guy or girl you saw wherever, ask a incisive but controversial question at the last conference, etc. etc.

    (Yes, I know, I know, there’s some overstated dichotomies and other observations in here but I’m making a point, OK? – snark at me if you must). Sticks and stones, people, sticks and stones…..Now will hoops hurry up and get off tv and August hurry up and get here?

  22. Hitting on that girl or guy is easy. Getting that girl or guy to talk for an hour and then another hour and then walk across the street for coffee or hot chocolate or whatever at closing is the hard part.

    Hard to believe, but this actually Does happen… ;) I just can’t believe sometimes how we’re still together after two years.

    Oh yeah, and as for the “Asking controversial questions” part: Get up and do it! You only live once!!

  23. Catherine Alloway says:

    We need to focus on helping all the needy people breaking down our doors for service and not this trivia. Read this article and you’ll see what I mean, and what I’m busy with these days. Read the article in the New York Times Apr. 2 about stressed out libraries.

  24. I read the article and hear where you are coming from Catherine. However, I find at my library when things are the craziest that keeping a sense of the ridiculous is what gets me through. When times are stressful, humor is a huge help.

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