Annoyed Librarian
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Inside Annoyed Librarian

Library 101, or, Pay Attention to Me! Me!

In high school one of my boyfriends had a garage band. To be honest, he was kind of geeky, but thought the garage band made him seem cool. The band was abysmal, and to my classically trained ear sounded like a group of not especially coordinated baboons pounding kettle drums with baby rattles while screaming at each other. They were quite literally a garage band, since they rehearsed in his parent’s garage and never got a gig. I and some of our long-suffering friends would occasionally stand around watching this bizarre spectacle and laughing (at them, not with them). They never got a gig, of course, because they were awful, but it was clear that the band members didn’t realize how awful they sounded, and were clearly having fun even though no one else was.

Flashbacks from high school ran through my mind when I watched this self-indulgent work of "art": the Library 101 video, debuted at the Internet Librarian conference. So many library bloggers who are proponents of the dominant ideology have been linking to and praising this tripe, I just had to comment.

I think it’s supposed to inspire librarians to do something or think something or maybe just be, but I can’t figure out what. I guess "Library 101" is the new attempt by the usual suspects to pretend they have something original or interesting to say now that people have seen through the Library 2.0 nonsense. The Twopointopians have had a makeover, and now they are Oneohonions. It’s not as catchy, I know, but neither is the song in that video.

The video is a 6+ minute "song" with some incomprehensible lyrics about turning our libraries or librarians into Library 101, or something. Because the singing is incomprehensible, they have included subtitles. Not a good idea. The song definitely sounds better if you don’t know what they’re singing, and that’s saying something. As for the playing, well, if you like loud, uncoordinated music that goes nowhere and values repetition and distortion over complexity, development, and wit, then this is the song for you.

The video portion consists of a bunch of photographs of librarians holding up the numbers 1 or 0 and smiling goofily, interspersed with scenes of two old guys in bad tee shirts dancing haphazardly, or the same old guys in tacky sparking trousers banging away at guitars. They’re obviously enjoying themselves. The question is, why would anyone else?

I’m looking forward to this Library 101 thing, because anytime some librarians try to promote themselves by promoting vacuous ideas under the guise of innovation, it’s ripe material for the AL. But just based on this video, what are we supposed to tell about "101" librarians? That they’re loud, uncoordinated, mediocre musicians? That their idea of a good time is yelling inane lyrics at each other while annoying everyone else? This is the sort of thing teenage boys do, but for grown people with serious work to do it’s just a nuisance.

The video defenders would probably say I just don’t have a sense of humor or something, but I do have a sense of humor. The problem is, I also have a sense of melody, harmony, and aesthetic decorum.

Someone calling himself "Libraryman" has a Complete List of Library 101 Skills for those without the tolerance to sit through the excruciating video. Among the "skills" are: LinkedIn, Hulu, and iPhones. Apparently, "using clear and appropriate terminology" isn’t a Library 101 skill. I’m not sure when Hulu became a "skill," but if this is something essential to librarianship I think "Libraryman" and I are in different professions. Though having sat through the entire Library 101 video, I wish this supposedly crucial library "skill" was more common: "how to make a good, interesting, fun video."

From what I’ve been reading, the rest of Internet Librarian seems to be what most library conferences are: a bunch of librarians standing up stating the obvious or giving self-promoting and self-obsessed presentations that are all flash and no substance. What fun! I’m just glad that as a librarian I have more important things to do than worry about negligible "skills" like Hulu or . But if the rest of you want to pretend that being a librarian is about being an entertainment director, go right ahead. You probably won’t get a job either way.




  1. Jeez Louise says:

    Just more ALA propaganda. I’ll just ignore it.

  2. Needs a 'nym says:

    Good grief. That…that thing you linked is satire, isn’t it?

    With the exception of knowing what an ILS is, all the stuff librarians need to know about in order to be sooper-special are what you’d expect a typical middle-class high school graduate to have mastered. Is basic competence what we’re supposed to aspire to now?

  3. ConfusedByItAll says:

    >> Is basic competence what we’re supposed to aspire to now << From what I’m gathering in my MLIS journey, the answer is, sadly, yes. I was hoping for some mind-bending, and it’s more just busy work – so I am getting worn out with the “busy work”, but my brain has not yet beeen challenged. Maybe next semester?

  4. anonymous says:

    ok, I read that as “one-hoe-onion” — that will be my new catch-phrase for those twopointopians lol

  5. anonymous says:

    I forgot to add that in 1999 I received a student worker job application (in a library) and the student listed “web surfing” in the special skills listing. This video reminds of that…so should I laugh or cry?

  6. That has got to be the lamest thing I have watched in a very long time. And what’s the message, exactly??? We should be hubs of social networking? Why, so people can make crappy videos like this? No thanks, I’ll take some books.

  7. anon_librarian says:

    for once I 1/2 agree with you.

    I do like and appreciate the message of “Library 101″ but it gets a giant FAIL for both execution, marketing, & cool factor. I do use HULU, but find this entire thing self-promoting, corny, and unfocused. If you have a message that you’re launching, it should be focused and less than 6 minutes.

    As I mentioned, the marketing sucks. They’re not reaching the “young” librarians like me who are very into the message they’re trying to convey, and they’re not reaching the late and never adopters of 2.0 like you. They’re reaching their fan base maybe. Their fan base of people who can’t think or act for themselves.

    I am growing weary of library hero worship of other librarians who are high in self-promotion and obviousity (I can make up words, too). Can we have the next round of library leaders and self-promoters, please!!!

  8. Words fail me. I will say that I am concerned for viewers with photosensitive epilepsy. What the hell were these people thinking?

  9. Wow. What an angry frustrated librarian you are…talk about a tired concept in the library world. Can we have a new trick please…the Annoyed Librarian is too negative with no ideas. Sad.

  10. I think it’s important that librarians have detailed knowledge of at least one subject.

    Lee King and Porter demonstrate that ‘spurious technology of the early 21st century’ is a commonly held expertise among librarians. A sad but true commentary. Their mistake is to conflate this with librarianship.

  11. billducks says:

    musical competence aside, it seems what these 101 folks are doing is valid and necessary — dispelling a stubborn notion that librarians are condescending, dismissive, cloistered shusssshers who can’t seem to crack a smile. Describe anyone you know, AnnoyedLibrarian?

  12. Funny thing. A tweet of Libraryman “Annoyed Librarian is not a fan of Library 101″ pointed me to this good article. I like the article and the blog, it’s not cheap or shallow. It’s an interesting read. It makes me think. I subscribed.
    Thanks to Library 101 I am now a fan (ugly word!) of Annoyed Librarian who is not a fan of Library 101. So it goes.

  13. Call me a blasphemer, but I was truly annoyed by the Library 101 video.

    The format of the project is compelling and unique. That’s not problem. It’s that this exemplifies the current problems with instigating change in the library community: the whole “Change now or we’re gonna die!” thing. I work with lots of people across our state that will look at this and throw up their hands in disgust. We need to give these people real and compelling reasons to change or get involved. This wasn’t it. There was truth in the message, but it was buried and the context will turn off many of the people it’s attempting to convert.

    A true “Library 101″ effort would make it more clear to message recipients WHY change is required. “The sky is falling!” approach doesn’t cut it. I do give credit for creativity and effort. The intentions were good.

  14. SizzleNoSteak says:

    Vacuous is one of the key words in this critique and could also be applied to GeekTheLibrary, PrivacyRevolution and most of the Librarian Blogs. Seems like the only thing these folks do all day is play on the computer and read each others powerpoint slides and blog posts about “innovation”. With folks like these representing the new face of librarianship, no wonder school administrators and the public find them increasingly irrelevant.

  15. Karyn the Libraryn says:

    Don’t those people have some cataloging to do?
    My response to the video was a quotation from Macbeth, Act 5 Scene 5, when he was told that the queen was dead.
    When I finally dug through to the essays I found some of them insightful – though there was little that I hadn’t heard in Library School in 1974.

  16. Annoyer Librarian (Not) says:

    Library 101 the 7+ minute video taught me that creativity is good

    Library 101 the 7+ minute video taught me there are a lot of people (librarians/whatever) who are willing to take a moment or two to help with a creative effort

    Library 101 the 7+ minute video taught me to be sure to make shorter videos with a tight storyborad (sorry, guys)

    “Annoyed Librarian” taught me any anonymous hack can be a negative whine-y detractor and still not offer any sort of alternative beyond entrenched resistance to new ideas

    I’ll go with the “try to be creative and be willing to fail in some people’s eyes” crowd over the “sit on my butt and do nothing but snipe at the people trying new things” whingers any time.

    Library 101 folks, nice effort – outline the message a bit more and make it a bit shorter (90 seconds max)

    “Annoyed Librarian,” let’s see you do better – until you put your real self out for praise and/or mockery, your opinion (and methods) are not worthy

  17. Yeah, AL, you have no ideas! YOU should come up with clever ideas like Hulu and iPhones. Then you could be as clever and innovative as Library 101!

  18. logical librarian says:

    Annoyer Librarian (Not) commented: “until you put your real self out for praise and/or mockery, your opinion (and methods) are not worthy.”

    Then doesn’t this mean your opinion isn’t worthy?

  19. Not Jazzed says:

    “jazzed about being librarians.” Oh, puh-leeze. DLK is jazzed up about being DLK, period. This is a dividing line in the profession. Obsessive self-promotion and glorification of shallow stupidity (DLK)=Good! Obsessive self-absorption and criticism of shallow stupitity (AL)=Bad! If I had to choose, I’d choose cranky intelligence over shallow stupidity any day. Fortunately, we don’t have to choose.

  20. Hippieman says:

    As AC/DC says, “Rock and roll ain’t noise pollution.” Hate to quote them since they’re right wingers, but the message is appropriate.

  21. Among the “skills” are: LinkedIn, Hulu, and iPhones. Apparently, “using clear and appropriate terminology” isn’t a Library 101 skill. I’m not sure when Hulu became a “skill,”

    Libraryman was highlighting that it’s important to learn how things like LinkedIn and Hulu work, not that they themselves are skills. They are interesting, although not necessary, pieces of the new technology that librarians may need to understand. The point of that particular entry was titled, “Resources and Things to Know”, which is exactly what they did: point out different and new resources and things that librarians may need to know because their patrons may want help with them. I thought some of his points were pretty valid, as were some of the points in the video.
    I concur, Hippieman.

  22. Oh quit picking on the AL! The video was atrocious. She didn’t say the effort was awful, just the end result. If any of you weren’t librarians would you have had any idea what the message of that video was? It’s no wonder libraries as a whole have a hard time getting our messages out to the people that don’t walk through our doors.

  23. Dances With Books says:

    I knew I could count on you to have a word or two about this. I saw it; well, about one minute of it before my ears started bleeding. Heck, even Sensei Girl here said her ears were bleeding. How this slop has become a “sensation” for the 2pointopians is beyond me. Oh wait, they are 2pointopians. No further explanation needed. AL, I am very sorry to hear you actually sat through the whole thing. On behalf of Sensei Girl and myself, you have our sincere condolences.

    P.S. I would rather take my chances with the baboons.

  24. annoidlibrarian says:

    Please start boycotting Library Journal.

  25. Would probably have more to say on this if I could have actually stood to watch the entire video.

    The message may be valid but the medium needs some serious work.

  26. Bored with AL says:

    Whine, moan, bitch, moan, whine. Repeat endlessly. What *is* your problem? Have you not got laid recently? Ever?

  27. Things were better when geeks like this got punched out. Bullies are an important filter in our society. Too many librarians have been losers their whole lives and are just, unfortunately, finding their mojo…

  28. I actually watched this video — painful — and read through the list of resources. The message seems to be that librarians are slow swimmers who need to catch up with the rest of the world.

  29. Plain Jane says:

    The Library Ninja may be more your thing, AL. (Search YouTube, since I can’t post HTML here.)

    @Bored with AL: I know! She keeps whining and bitching…it’s like she’s annoyed, or something! OMG!

    I’ll bet anything that this was originally marketed as an attempt to “reach the kids,” or other some such nonsense.

  30. muppetzinspace says:

    Christ! I had to stop the video @ 2:00 minutes when they started their punky, Sex Pistols homage.
    Just frightening.

  31. Ars Legendi says:

    Followed a Twitter post here, discovered: bitter librarians complaining! Shocking! Perhaps someone should add “lighten up, Francis” to Hulu and iPhones.

  32. sidney commented:

    “Yeah, AL, you have no ideas! YOU should come up with clever ideas like Hulu and iPhones. Then you could be as clever and innovative as Library 101!”

    Since when did librarians invent Hulu and iPhones?

  33. Post Postmodern Librarian says:

    I watched the whole bloody mess. Its a propaganda piece from the very depths of Satan’s rectum. From the start with its sanctimonies implication that only 101 librarians care about non-rich to the really bad lip singing about the bloody obvious. This video is the reason for the Annoyed Librarian. It destroys the very value of libraries to society as a tool of education replacing it instead with this tragically not hip version of fun. The ALA would do better getting back to its core value’s so that it saves not just the buildings and profession but maybe help this country but oh wait that means work. Oh what really scares me are the people who think this is the greatest thing since slice 2.0

  34. After watching this video,I still have no idea what Library 101 is. I am not slamming the two gentlemen who produced the video; they tried something, but failed. The test of a good teacher(s) is not what they know, but how well they can explain and convey it to someone who doesn’t. Try again guys.

  35. Post Postmodern Librarian says:

    Oh and just to show I am not anti technology I firmly believe everyone should have to take a technology awareness test to get into a MLIS program. if you fail then you dont belong in library school. This will not only help weed out the technologically useless but it means we wont have to argue about the value of teaching web what ever it is at the time in LIS since everyone knows it already. This frees up time to learn other skills. There is my creative solution

  36. bettylouspence says:

    Perhaps it’s because I have a bachelors in engineering in addition to my MLS, but these things are just TOOLS. They are a means to an end. They are like a computer or a microscope or a wind tunnel. Mastering the TOOL is not nearly as important as being able to interpret the results of the TOOL.

    Librarians seem to get so focused on teaching the TOOL that we lose focus on the interpretation. Or, since many of us believe we cannot provide the interpretation, we should focus on teaching how to interpret (like teachers, get it?).

    Finally, if I applied for a job and put on my resume “can use SEM microscope” it would be thrown in the trash. Just as it would if I put down “can operate fax machine” or “can dial telephone.” How is using Hulu any different?

  37. I cannot believe that this video is recent, it looks and speaks like 1994. It reminds me of my entire MLS and professional work experience. Every day since the mid-to late 1990’s I have heard, “Librarians need to adapt to new technologies, we are ever changing, on the side of technology, yadda yadda!” Well great, it has been fifteen years and I still hear the same thing in every ad, meeting, article, paper, speech, promo, librarian group, etc. Enough trite talk already.

  38. Midwest Tech Librarian says:

    Well that was 7 minutes & 38 seconds of my life I will never be able to recover.

    Telling us that we need to embrace changing technologies is not news to the library community. Believe it or not, libraries have been adapting all along. It’s just that we have an avalanche of technologies being dumped on us…some good, some utterly useless. I don’t need a couple bouncing fools telling me about it.

    The bigger issue is where do we get the money to acquire and provide all these new services?

  39. They deleted my comment from the video’s Youtube page. Goofballs.

  40. LibrarianToBe says:

    I’m one year into the program and It’s been a little bit over a year since I started reading librarian blogs. I’ve been afraid to criticize because who am I? just a library student right? but when I saw this 101 thing I felt so powerless, so sad, really disappointed and worse yet when all my classmates became “facebook fans” of it.
    I’m falling into an existential hole: What am I supposed to do to be a librarian? I will not make videos of myself promoting a book, I will not facebook my entire community, I will not live a Second Life.. does this mean I will not be respectable librarian? Someday someone will be very embarassed about this video.

  41. Ars Legendi says:

    And now we’re calling names! Well, that will certainly show ’em what relevant information professionals are supposed to act like!

  42. Your Consience says:

    I’ve learned that our library staff are typically well ahead of our statistically affluent student body in terms of technology skills. Trust me, these kids can afford to have the latest and greatest. No, I really don’t see us falling behind them anytime soon, if ever.

  43. SizzleNoSteak nailed it.

    If I spent the time these “librarians” spend on updating my twitter, facebook, hulu, blip etc accounts I wouldn’t get anything done ever!!! I doubt any of these guys know what a real days work is.

    Maybe they should start working so people could see the value of their product instead of whining about how relevant they are or want to be.

    And leave the lame video production to 7th graders because it doesn’t fit the balding 35+ crowd nearly so nicely.

  44. It seems a little bizarre that considering this video and list inane means one is “bitter” and “complaining.” But I suppose this has always been a profession that lacks a critical capacity. Video good. Criticism bad. Rah. Rah.

  45. Ars Legendi says:

    No, considering this video and list inane is not “bitter.” Calling people names, dismissing the professional capacity of someone because of a differing opinion, and denigrating the intention behind the inane video and list is “bitter.”

    Regarding the lack of critical thinking skills in our profession: you can say that again.

  46. Sonny Hill says:

    This is the worst comments page I’ve yet read on the AL blog. It’s probably because of the link to and linkback from a Youtube page, but frankly this reads like a Youtube comments section.

  47. Ars Legendi, you have a point. Though there seems to be a bit of name calling on both sides here. Let’s see, if you go by the detractors, the AL is frustrated, whiny, bitter, boring, and unsexed (or whatever “Bored with AL” was implying with his or her rude remarks). I agree with Sonny. The Twopointopian posts always draw out the more childish responses from the anti-AL crowd and the pro-AL crowd leaps right into the game.

    Parts of that list are tolerable and perhaps worth being considered necessary knowledge for a professional librarian. Much of it has no especial relevance to librarianship. That video is insufferable, and I am not alone in thinking things like that are an insult to our profession rather than some promotion of it.

  48. A Real Libraryman says:

    So basically, these Library 101 “skills” seem pretty much limited in usefulness to public library front-line work, is that correct? At least a third of these will have no relevance to my academic library career–and another third seem pretty standard non-library-specific functions. And is Libraryman completely unaware of the technical services side of our industry?

    I’m thinking this is more like the Public Library Public Services 33.

  49. Post Postmodern Librarian says:

    Morse’s comment that this is an insult to our profession is right on the mark. If any other professional society did this: AMA, ABA, IEEE etc did this they would be treated the same way. Fortunately for them they must have a public image committee that thinks twice about such inane ideas.

  50. an academic librarian says:

    Real Libraryman has an excellent point. This list has little to do with my academic library job, either. Hulu? Really? Hulu is useless for me, but I sure use Excel a lot. What about at least minimal knowledge of cataloging, metadata, digitization, preservation, archives, scholarly communication, the research process, approval plans, spreadsheets, the publishing industry, or foreign languages? And that’s just Academic Library 101.

  51. NotMarianTheLibrarian says:

    Couldn’t make it through the entire video – too awful for words.

    Now … if we really want to change our image, why don’t you do a Librarian Sex video, Bored with AL? I mean … liberrians couldn’t possibly be having sex could they? Such a video might really go a long way toward burnishing our image.

  52. Ars Legendi says:

    Considering that this blog has had recent posts in the past condemning the quality of MLIS programs, and that there seems to be a consensus among many here that a “good” librarian is hard to find, I’m forced to wonder why nobody is examining why such a promotional effort was conceived in the first place.

    I can personally attest to working with a depressing number of librarians that have trouble attaching a file to an email. How proficient in advanced cataloging, metadata strategies, and… for crying out loud… digitization do you really think those librarians are going to be, if they get a video on such?

    Considering that preteens are learning how to become Internet-proficient on “useless” technologies like Hulu, portable devices, and Twitter (not to mention cultivating an expectation of where and how to get their informative and entertainment content), do you really think there’s no value in trying to get people on board?

    As a young, tech-savvy, and relatively cynical librarian myself (mostly online program with no previous library experience, thank-you-very-effing-much), I’m certainly not defending the presentation style… I can’t tell you how embarrassed I am that an industry which requires a graduate degree at the entry level is awash with such desperation to appear relevant and interesting. However, this really, really smells like a case of shooting the messenger, to me.

    And as I’ve said before, the kind of reactionary vitriol I’ve seen in this comments thread doesn’t make me take the criticism, however rightly-minded, seriously. Pish tosh, they started it! Well, rise above, since you’re supposedly the intelligent, capable, and sophisticated side.

  53. a more grammatically correct question would be “Have you not ‘gotten’ laid recently. You lose credence asking,”Have you not got laid recently?”

  54. an academic librarian says:

    “I can personally attest to working with a depressing number of librarians that have trouble attaching a file to an email. How proficient in advanced cataloging, metadata strategies, and… for crying out loud… digitization do you really think those librarians are going to be, if they get a video on such?”

    That does sound depressing, and like none of the librarians in my library. And if you’re responding to my comment, I said nothing about “advanced cataloging” or “metadata strategies.” Knowing at least something about the things I mentioned should be a basic part of academic librarianship. Students and faculty don’t get their scholarly content through Hulu or Twitter. Academic librarians who know all about social media but nothing about scholarly communication or preservation issues are worse than useless.

  55. Ars Legendi says:

    academic librarian: Fair enough, though it seems to me from the lyrics that this particular initiative is aimed more at public libraries than at anything else.

    Though I must ask: are you suggesting that the lack of said skills among academic librarians is profound enough to need a rock video to teach it to them? It seems to me that “Library 101″ is predicated upon skills essential to the librarianship profession (cataloging, metadata, etc.) being a given. Which, as I’m sure some would agree, doesn’t necessarily seem to be the case.

  56. an academic librarian says:

    I’m not sure I’m disagreeing with you that much. It seems to me anything labeled “101” would deal with the absolute basics. This list doesn’t. I doubt most librarians have an adequate understanding of the basic issues that underlie or effect their libraries, either public or academic, but until that happens things like this are misleading and distracting.

  57. I couldn’t help it – I had to see what yinz were talking about. My eyes still hurt. I had to stop watching…I tried skipping forward, but it just got WORSE.

    I commented on the video. I wonder how long it will be before they take the comment down. But *gasp*, that’s CENSORSHIP!!1! *eyeroll*

  58. They’re all about interaction and feedback as long as it consists of wide-eyed, dim-witted followers saying “w00t” and “rock on.” Anything else gets deleted because it hurts their widdle feelings.

  59. Oh, no! AL, they’re calling you out on their Facebook page! They link to this, then say this:
    “Interesting commentary, that invites YOUR comments too. Let them know what YOU think!”


  60. Numbed Librarian says:

    I just watched all 7:38 of the video. I’m surprised no one has mentioned the blatant animal abuse. Does no one care about the cat and the ferret?

  61. Librarian with a life says:

    Ok, let’s assume the Library 101 video is horrible, no good, and very bad. I hate to break it to you, but they weren’t trying to be professional musicians, they were trying to have fun! Not your brand of fun? Fine. Go do something else. The cranky response of librarians is proving the stereotype of librarians who have no sense of humor, and whose buns are pulled a tad too tight. Loosen up! Isn’t there a politician somewhere cutting a library budget that you’d like to lambast? Or maybe you could go after librarians who block facebook, youtube, and chatting on public computers? A couple of guys trying to make librarianship more relevent don’t deserve that attack, whether you can dance to their beat or not.

  62. “A couple of guys trying to make librarianship more relevent.” More relevant. Dude. Cool. What was I thinking? Oh, wait. I’m not a shallow git. That’s what I was thinking. More “relevant” to whom? Idiots? Slow children playing? Slow men working? Go back to whatever sad clique that believes Hulu is central to librarianship. Hang out together, congratulate yourselves, and watch librarianship go down the toilet.

  63. astonished beyond belief says:

    From a celebratory blog: “Have you heard the song and seen the music video? Have you read any of the 23 essays from some of the greatest minds in Libraryland?” Greatest minds? God help us all.

  64. RealConcerns says:

    “I’m not a shallow git”

    That is not the view from the adult table.

  65. HeresTheDeal says:

    Perhaps for the first time, libraries must survive in a competitive market. Like other multi-product companies, they need to be #1 or #2 in a few product lines in order to remain viable.

    So we’ve established they’re not #1 in video production. And we know it’s not marketing (outside Libraryland, that is). Info retrieval ain’t it — despite librarian’s retrenched refrain “not everything is on Google”. Ironically, the plethora of free services lauded on the Library 101 page proves that even ‘free’ is no longer an unchallenged domain.

    Libraries need to stake out a leadership position in something or they’ll fade away — one school, community and university at a time.

  66. Techserving You says:

    Okay, I watched the whole thing. I expected to totally hate it. Instead, my response was more… meh. I think the participants (at least those two main guys) are performing with full realization of how nerdy they are… the whole ‘nerdy is cool’ thing. They know they’re not genuinely cool rock stars or something. And I thought the whole thing would have been entertaining as a children’s program – it reminded me of a low-budget children’s program. I was more just left wondering what the point was? As often happens with librarians, they put WAY more effort into creating this thing than was needed – effort put into the wrong thing. It reminds me of some of the librarians at work who spend nights and weekends coming up with ‘clever’ questions for our instruction sessions, when the students will never notice or appreciate the effort and that time could have gone into real work. And then of course those people are the ones patted on the back for their dedication. But I digress…

    Anyway, these people could have summed up their message in one sentence – ‘libraries must evolve with new technology or they will die.’ Why did they need such a lengthy video to try to get this message across? I sense resume-padding.

  67. RadicalPatron says:

    For me, library advocacy means celebrating achievements, asking tough questions, and sharing good ideas. I’ve tried to do that in my local advocacy efforts and my blog, The Radical Patron.

    I’ve organized some of those posts as a single resource here:

    One idea for public libraries is to standardize on a logo to help elevate them in the public consciousness and facilitate an understanding that our public library system is a national resource.

    Beginning this Friday, I’ll share high-quality images using the library logo. Hope everyone enjoys them!

  68. I must’ve hurt somebody’s feelings when I commented on their video (I said it was painful to watch – and I stand by that) because they sent me a message.

    “OK, so you didn’t like the video. That’s fine… but also wasn’t the point. I’d LOVE for you to go and actually read one or more of the 20-some essays ont he future of librarianship and add your thoughts there.

    If we’re off the mark, then so be it. What, in your opinion, would be ON the mark? Again – go add those thoughts. We’d appreciate it!”

  69. The medium *does* matter. And so does the delivery of the project, which is juvenile. It sure didn’t make me want to read all those essays. Guys, I’m sure your hearts were in the right place, but this was not very well thought out and not the caliber one would expect. My initial reaction was embarrassment, and then, annoyance.

    @Radical Patron — interesting blog. Kudos.

  70. anonymous librarian says:

    What the what?!? This video is so ridiculous. I just graduated from liberry school last year, and am astonished by how idiotic librarians can be. Why are some of them so hung up on trying to be cool? Yes, we need to be tech-savvy – so we can use the technology effectively, or help confused patrons navigate. But I’m NEVER going to buy an iPhone – does that mean I can’t be a librarian?

  71. Ars Legendi and Librarian with a life, you seem to miss the point of Annoyed Librarian’s blog. It’s annoyance expressed with a sense of humor! Are your suggestions that AL has no sense of humor perhaps projections of yourselves? I’m clearly not the only one who finds AL’s posts amusing and entertaining, as are many of the comments that follow each post.

  72. Lying Librarian says:

    Did you ever wonder why archivists, though many of them possess a degree from “liberry school” (MLS, MLIS, MSIS, etc.) always very adamantly say “I’m not a librarian, I’m an ARCHIVIST!”

    THIS is why.

  73. That was so bad it was almost awesome. Then again, I feel a little dirty thinking of myself as a librarian at this moment.

  74. Evil Librarian says:

    Annoyed Librarian, my dear, your ability to see through all things bombastic is simply enchanting.

    I am a fan of discord and, therefore, must support the video. The resulting discussion here has been particularly sumptuous. Please continue.

  75. I heard the buzz about this for several days now and finally decided to look at it today.

    I strongly dislike dubbing these ideas “library 101″. To me, that reduces possible relevant skills down to something extremely basic and elementary. If this is “101” then why does the profession require a graduate degree for one to receive a “professional” job?

    Maybe librarians who want to change and be more relevant should focus on honing complex skills and build on the basics instead of trying to play catch up to the things that many of their users already know.

  76. NotMarianTheLibrarian says:

    Just a heads-up to all those people who think AL smug, elitist, a harpy, etc. get thee over to Those folks are so darn chirpy they make my teeth hurt. And one of them really liked Library 101.

    I read both sides of the aisle and I’ll take AL any day. It’s so much more realistic.

  77. @Lying Librarian: rofl :’D

    ehhhh…I don’t get it. Is it something for children? I watched about a minute’s worth, but I may go back since I’ve read they do a Sex Pistols spoof. I really don’t have much of a tolerance for kids’ shows, so maybe that’s it…

  78. Presumably they’re using 101 in the Orwellian sense, then?

  79. another f-ing librarian says:

    when i watched this video:
    1. my skin crawled. 2. i was embarrassed and, like Hero above, felt a little dirty. 3. i wondered why, when the people who made this video had people’s eyes for 6+ minutes, the most common word in the thing was “ONE! OH! ONE!” what a waste. and 4. i wondered who, besides librarians, would sit through it. (i did understand that librarians would watch the whole thing, as i did, just because as much as one wishes to tear one’s eyes away from the train wreck, one cannot.)

  80. Ligaya Ganster says:

    It really saddens me the lengths people will go to bash someone’s project. Constructive criticism is one thing. Anonymously insulting someone and their work in an insulting manner is downright juvenile.

  81. LIBRARY 101 says:


  82. Semi-Reformed says:

    AL, thank you for laying out your grievances clearly and succinctly. It really cuts through the hype to the core of the issues associated with 101.

    – A semi-reformed twopointopian

  83. traumatized says:

    Wow. I can never unwatch that, can I? This just makes me want to stay away from public librarianship.

  84. mean black man says:

    Ah the core of entitlement comes ripping apart in terrible noisy pieces. If you actually help people with their info needs
    you never have time for any of this dribble
    I am the tiger woods of libraries and I’m Rich bitches

  85. Amen!

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