Annoyed Librarian
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Inside Annoyed Librarian

National (Public) Library Week

Here’s one of my favorite comments from last week: “I am outraged and demand to see more mockery of special, corporate, military, government and school librarians. And archivists.” I could probably get a whole post out of this, but I’ll just pick a quick category of librarians to mock: law librarians. Most of them are just glorified research assistants for law professors, even though they have the same advanced degree plus an MLS. How did they let that happen? Instead of going on, I will present more evidence for my thesis about public library privilege. No, I'm not going to talk about the guy who said "libraries don't make sense anymore," but who then made it clear that by libraries he meant only public libraries. Yeah, thanks, we know. That's all anyone ever means! Maybe he's right. In fifteen years, public library buildings might be like phone booths are today. Everyone will have abandoned them, and librarians will  be answering reference questions from their sofas at ...

But What about the Academics?

Someone at ACRL (I won't tell you who!) opined that the AL doesn't spend enough time making fun of academic librarians. It seems I mostly talk about public libraries, despite the fact that I work in an academic library. What's up with that? There are a number of possible reasons. The most obvious might be that I’ve been working in academic libraries for so long that I’m immune to the follies of academic librarians. I just don’t notice how silly some of them are. The field just becomes a blur of facial hair and lumpy sweaters. There’s also the Public Library Privilege I wrote about a few weeks ago. For better or worse, when people speak or write in public about “libraries,” they almost inevitably mean public libraries. Thus, most of the library news that comes my way is about public libraries one way or another. I haven’t done a count on this, but my feeling is that most of the prominent writing and speaking librarians out there, the ones who make waves for doing things ...

Embrace Your Shallowness

I had an exciting couple of days at ACRL in Philadelphia last week, where hundreds of academic librarians gathered to discuss QR codes and the virtues of next gen librarians. Their virtues seem to be that they’re playful, flexible, and seldom wet themselves when boomer librarians give them withering glances for being so whiny. It might take a few posts to get through all of the annoyances of ACRL, but the most annoying had to be the choice of final keynote speaker. “What happens when a renowned fashion expert with an international following comes to ACRL?” asks the program? Obviously, the AL is going to make fun of it. Some were annoyed because they dress so badly. I was annoyed because of the shallow anti-intellectualism the choice of speaker implies. Academic librarians sometimes have the reputation of being the intellectual snobs of libraryland because of all their advanced degrees and book-learning and such. Then there’s all those terribly serious endeavors ACRL involves ...

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