Annoyed Librarian
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Communists thrive @ your library

Ahh, it’s National Library Week again. It’s bad enough having yet another fake holiday, but at least my mother or father or administrative assistant won’t be expecting a card, which is good because I’ve been too busy celebrating NLW to dispatch my administrative assistant to buy herself a card and some chocolate.

This year’s theme is "Communists thrive @ your library," which really shows the nurturing spirit of the library, because communists don’t tend to thrive in most places but they always do well @ your library.

And what a time it’s been. Because we at the Annoyed Librarian Flea Libary know that libraries are fun, essential, heavily used centers of the community, we felt it absolutely necessary to spend a lot of money promoting libraries in our community. We figured, what the heck. We’re a bit strapped for cash, but there’s a library-related tax referendum coming up and how would people know they needed to vote "Yes!" to libraries if we didn’t blow their money on parties to celebrate how great we are and how communists thrive there.

To describe the mood this week, the word carnivale comes to mind. We’ve all been having such fun, because there’s nowhere more fun than the library.

There were so many great ideas offered by the ALA to celebrate, we didn’t know where to start. The "job search class" sounded a little depressing, because we don’t want to remind people that they’re out of work, especially the communists. The "community garden" was out, too, because we don’t have much land to spare.

Then there was  the financial education class, where you partner " with a local credit union to teach a class on financial education and to answer library users’ questions on what they can do to improve their finances in tough economic times." That sounded very dreary. Besides, the answer is obvious. Work more or consume less or both. Or, given the theme of NLW, they could move into a commune. That would help with finances. Sanity, no, but finances, yes.

But none of those is very celebratory in the way we like. Basically, if there’s no call for big band jazz and cocktails, then why how celebratory can it be? I want some Harry James and some martinis, and I want them now.

So we started with a variation of #3.  "Sock-hop for Socks- Have a 1950’s sock-hop at your library, entrance fee is one pair of socks or an article of clothing that will be donated to a local clothing depositor." I didn’t think I could stomach a 1950s sock hop, and since I’m the director I get to make the decisions. Sock hops are for children, and we have enough infantile behavior by librarians already. That and I didn’t want to deal with a bunch of socks.Yuck.

Instead, we staged a 1940s nightclub with a jazz band and cocktails. Success? You betcha! Or at least so I was told. I don’t remember much of the night myself, but I do look great in the pictures. The entrance fee was a cocktail snack of choice, with the leftovers to be distributed to the communists, who based on their dress probably need the food.

We also held a potluck dinner, figuring what could be more communist than a potluck. I’ve never seen more vegan meals in my life. No wonder they don’t have the revolutionary energy they used to have.

We decided we needed something more for the communists as well, to show how they thrive @ the library. That Che Guevara person always seems popular with them, so we put up a big poster of him we bought at the Communist Paraphernalia Superstore and Bargain Hut. Then we wrote "READ" on it in sheep’s blood. I hope they appreciate the effort.

Unless they’re tenured professors, communists usually don’t have much money, so of course they come to the library for their infotainment needs. We highlighted that with big display of books and media communists would like. We found an old copy of the Communist Manifesto, a VHS tape of Reds, and a Woody Guthrie LP. Radical rhetoric and antiquated technology should take them back to the heady days of the Soviet Union!

All in all, a fun week. We danced and drank the night away. And we did our best to show how communists thrive @ the library. That’s important to know in these troubled times.



  1. wow, you’ve really let yourself go. so sloppy. do you even care about your writing abilities anymore?

  2. Yes. It’s pretty obvious that this is a totally different person who can’t fake AL’s style, nor can the new AL write in his/her own engaging style. This post confirms my suspicions that when AL said that she retired and said that maybe there would be a new AL, that is what was intended. Couldn’t get all the way through this post. Too poorly written. Will keep tuned for a little longer to see if it gets any better.

  3. Prempro Posse says:

    What a herd of hopeless heifers.

  4. Waste of time says:

    Wow — in the past, at least if I didn’t agree with AL I would get a little interesting perspective. This is just a waste of time.

  5. AL is no longer Ak? says:

    I miss the Annoyed Librarian.

    The new Annoyed Libarian has weak writing skills and doesn’t even bother to proof.

    I hope the Libary Journal has an opening.

  6. big yawn bye bye says:

    Wow, I have to agree with the above comments. Deleting AL from my RSS reader now, it was fun when it was interesting.

  7. commuwhat? says:

    Really? What are striving for with this post AL. boo boo boo. heckle.

  8. Well, I’m a newbie to AL and thought this was funny. Maybe ya’ll just have your undies in a bunch bc you know AL’s mocking you?

  9. @ Rebecca – take a look at some of the older posts from 2009. Then you will see something that is well written, critical, and actually raises points. This is just ridiculous – and poorly proofread.

  10. The library ladies at ALA should stop compiling lists of ideas. Their lists don’t appear to be based on anything but the warm fuzzy feelings of 50-year-old women.

    We could work with a list of events that have proven to be repeatedly successful. But this list doesn’t even mention a single library that has put on any of these events.

    I wish ALA spent more time dealing with the challenges libraries face in 2010 instead of waxing nostalgic about the 1950s.

  11. June Cleaver says:

    Oh man, the 50’s.

    What a time.

    Librarians were respected and everything was in a book.

    A great time to work in the field.

    Now? Just go tweet yourself.

  12. Remember a year or two ago when AL invited submissions from individuals who wanted to try their hand at writing in a satirical vein? Perhaps we are getting a sampling.

  13. Tortured Truth says:

    True that.

    When you consider that ancient purification rituals required sacrifice of heifers to sacrificial fire on behalf of those contaminated by dead corpses, you’d comprehend that your derogatory comment carries much more meaning than you ever intended or understood.

  14. ConfusedByItAll says:

    It’s too blatant, almost like a lib who’s pretending to be the AL. “Communists thrive @ your library” is what a Krug-head would write because that’s what one of its followers would think more conservative people would say/think. In fact, it reminds me quite a lot of the editorial in the April Fool’s Day edition of the Shelf Awareness email, so I have to know: is this John Mutter or Marilyn Dahl writing as the AL?

  15. @Rebecca, you should also look back at the AL’s writing when she was still independent and publishing on Blogger. It’s all still there. Then you will definitely know that this is not the AL writing but a sham. The wit in this post is about as sharp as a vat of Crisco.

    It would be cool to find out one day who the real AL was.

  16. AL=RK? (or your initials here ) says:

    From the Central New York Library Resources Council job board:

    “Editor: Reference, ebook, and Digital Products – Library Journal
    Posted on 04/15/10

    The leading publication in the library field, with twice-
    monthly print and daily and weekly web products, seeks
    editor for broad-based position covering the continuing
    shift from print to electronic in reference and trade
    . . . ”

    So, I guess that the person who held this position is gone/going and probably was the AL.

    The Library Journal is palming the job off on other editors until the position is filled with someone with enough snark appeal.

    The LJ probably planted the AL out in the blogosphere from the beginning with the plan to bring AL into the LJ blogoherd if the AL took off.

    Well, the AL did and brought more eyes to the LJ on-line eyes.

    You want to be the AL? You can apply now.

    Don’t eff with librarians because we know how to look stuff up and how to put together two disparate pieces of information.

    Have a nice day.

  17. Yeah, but that would mean that John Berry was in on it from the start. Is he part of the conspiracy? I wouldn’t doubt it.

  18. Groucho Marx says:

    The Library Journal is a capitalistic organ.

    It runs on money.

    The more readers the more ad revenue.

  19. ConfusedByItAll says:

    So like the AL, this reader is retiring. Now this blog can have the same poor response as all the others, which seems to be the trend since April 1.
    Bye, Library Journal blogs, it was a fun ride while it lasted, and thank you AL, for letting me have a place to see my complaints aired and where I could voice my opinions without the risk of being fired (The people at the library where I work cannot stand when you disagree with them – how DARE you say that 2.0 isn’t the be-all, end-all? that Collection Development censors the collection of orthodox, conservative ideaology? that illegal aliens are just people breaking the law? and that the concept of diversity is a sham and ends up doing more harm than good?). Well, at least I got it out of my system when I could.

    Thanks, AL!!! Bye-bye, LJ!!!

  20. GruntiedLibrarian says:

    And good gravy, I used to like AL, but saying Communists thrive @your library is the silliest, nuttiest and unoriginal potshot at the real theme for National Library Week is just, well, not funny or even thought provoking. It doesn’t make me think “Ha ha, the AL has a point.” More like, “What the- did the AL even bother reading the full text of the theme and stop after a couple of letters?”

    I used to think that the AL served a valuable function at Library Journal, which was the rabble rousing voice that didn’t go along with everyone else. Every well rounded institution needs at least one, but this particular entry was pretty weak tea.

  21. will manley says:

    LJ: how about a little transparency…just confirm or deny that there is a new AL. Thanks!

  22. says:

    I, for one, am glad there is a Library Week, a Library Journal, and someone who voices an opinion (whether well-written or not). LJ is an extremely critical resource for library acquisitions and as a publisher, appreciate all the LJ reviews my books have received. However, LJ is now put to the second acid test from my firm. The first was a book on The War on Terror (The Singleton, Affiliated Writers of America, 2004) which they passed on. The next test is in their hands as I write this, and I hope they have the guts to review it. “The American Publisher” is a non-fiction, May book portraying the cheating of libraries and publishers by Baker & Taylor through short discounting. Libraries lost millions and the cost to me was very high as well. Jim Milliot of Publishers Weekly first put me on to Baker & Taylor and their ownership in the 1990s by Carlyle Partners LP and the question of content came up as a reason for my book on Russia to be short discounted. The story builds from there. Every librarian needs to know the story of the dark decade in the book and library industry in America, and how books on the wars are being censored.

    Jay Fraser
    Publisher, Affiliated Writers of America
    Adjunct Professor of English, Central Arizona College

  23. I just read AL for the comments.

  24. I Like Books says:

    “Unless they’re tenured professors, communists usually don’t have much money”

    That made me wonder how commie some of those professors would be if it got them the median wage, which I believe is somewhere around $45,000 per year.

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