Annoyed Librarian
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Inside Annoyed Librarian

The Professional in “Information Professional”

Since we're discussing academic and public libraries this week, let's compare them in another way. (As for you "special" librarians, I’ll ignore you like the rest of the profession does!) It’s been the contention of many that public libraries are there to give people what they want, provided of course they want multiple copies of bestselling novels, scratched DVDs, and waiting in line to use slow computers with dated software. Is there anything that librarians in public libraries can tell people they need? Or better, is there anything they can tell people they shouldn’t want, and thus won’t be supplied? In academic libraries, that’s what librarians do all the time. Academic librarians buy certain kinds of books and journals because they’re better than other ones, and then they try to teach students to evaluate the information they find so that they can also pick better information. I’m sure you noticed I said better, and not different. That’s because I mean better. A ...

What about those Academics?

I got to last week's comments late, because for some reason the email notification failed, and with the semester starting up everything's busier in general. Glancing through, I noticed a comment that just had to be from another resentful public librarian. Here’s part of it: Can you explain the academic importance of hosting LAN parties at University Libraries? Or on campus at all for that matter? Or better yet, explain the Elon University Rave Party. The staff put it on Youtube. Is that a literary program? The fact is, if the students and teachers could get away with doing all their research online, they would happily cut your fat from the budget. Oh, and although I know the rave didn’t happen at YOUR library, you are an academic librarian and therefore share responsibility for the asinine idea. Much like you blame all public librarians for all of the dumb schemes their colleagues think of to bring people into their library. It seems a legitimate, if resentful and poorly reasoned ...

Be All You Can Be, to Everyone, All the Time

I don't normally read the other AL, American Libraries. It's like the Pravda of librarianship, the house propaganda organ to feed us feel good stories, or  stories like this one about recruiting new librarians through undergraduate internships, which tells us in all seriousness that, “As the library profession ‘grays,’ many academic libraries anticipate staff shortages as older employees retire within the next 10 years.” So why don't you go to library school now, boys and girls, because there will be a librarian shortage soon! Reading the other AL can give one insight into the schizophrenic nature of the profession, though. For example, there’s a recent interview with Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree, who of course is most famous for serving “ as one of several celebrity honorary co-chairs of the American Library Association’s Spectrum Presidential Initiative.” On the same page was a post from a blog called Green Your Library, which I assume is a regular blog at the other ...

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