Annoyed Librarian
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Inside Annoyed Librarian

Fighting Libraries in Oakland

For many reasons, I’m glad I don’t live in Oakland. If it’s not bad enough to be the fifth most dangerous city in America, now the mayor is threatening to shut down 90% of library services. The persons arguing past each other in the comments to that last article aren’t sure if the mayor is making the threat to try to get another tax passed, or to get the police and fire department unions to make concessions. Apparently, those unions haven’t made the concessions the other unions have. If the police union made concessions, they could have to make cuts, which would reduce their sterling record. Oakland might surpass St. Louis to become the most dangerous city in America. That’ll show people! The anti-library contingent in what passes for a discussion on the article seems to consist of one person who calls him or herself “The Boss.” Reading his rants reminded me of my old arguments with Cranky Marxist Dude about politically radicalizing the ALA. He never had any decent arguments, ...

Working ’til I Die

While looking through this list of  exciting programs planned for the upcoming ALA Annual, I stumbled across the existence of the Retired Members Round Table. I'd forgotten all about this. It was created last fall, and supposedly “shall exist to develop programs of particular interest to retired persons from all types of libraries and all forms of library services, including formal opportunities for continued involvement and learning; a variety of leadership training and opportunities for mentoring; lifelong professional involvement and networking; and active engagement in the American Library Association and the profession of librarianship.” Anyone can become a member by paying ALA and RMRT dues, so it’s also a way to keep getting money from people even after they’re not working anymore. Very clever! Or maybe it’s in response to the huge waves of retirements the ALA has been telling us will come. I’m still waiting! They even have a Facebook page, though they only post to ...

Teachers and Librarians in L.A.

There’s been some gnashing of librarian teeth and wringing of librarian hands in Los Angeles over the news that some school librarians no longer count as teachers, a job reclassification that will make it easier to fire librarians. It seems everyone these days is looking for a way to fire librarians. The NPR story is entitled, L.A. School District Tells Librarians: You're Not Teachers. Why is there any argument about this at all? Of course they’re not teachers; they’re librarians. One question is, what is a teacher? The standard librarian response is that librarians do teach things to students, thus they are teachers. Does that mean everyone who teaches anything to students counts as a teacher? Depending on the school, there might be any number of people who might teach things to students, but the Los Angeles  assumption seems to be that teachers are those people who teach a standard semester or year long academic subject to students in a classroom using a lesson plan, ...

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