Annoyed Librarian
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Inside Annoyed Librarian

The Rage to Defund Libraries Goes Off the Deep End

Libraries are always under attack, but the attacks lately have been strange. Tea Party types think libraries are socialist, because they were supported by that archsocialist Andrew Carnegie. Busybodies want to remove books from school libraries their children don’t even use. And the last few years have seen politicians vying to see who can cut library funding the most. I thought I’d seen everything, but I was wrong. I hadn’t seen any politicians trying to reduce library funding because a library service was too efficient, but I’ve seen it now. In New Hampshire, a Republican state representative is trying to reduce funding for the state’s popular interlibrary loan program because the service works too well. He claims to be a frequent user of ILL. According to the article, “What irks him, he said yesterday, is that he gets his requested books within a day or two.” Librarians often encounter patrons who are irked that they get their requested books in a day or ...

“Censorship” and False Courage

Now that the nonsense of Band Books Week is over, let’s take a look at a situation where books are really banned. As far as I can tell, the only sensible writing in the last week - other than my own - about “Banned” Books week is this article by a Canadian librarian on her experiences with censorship in Kuwait. She was the librarian at a Canadian school in Kuwait, and described an interaction with the Ministry of Information of Kuwait, which actively censors books mentioning such offensive topics as pigs, nudity, kissing, homosexuality, Israel, or Judaism. The Ministry of Information censor asked some ridiculous questions and then decided which books to ban completely and which to merely touch up a bit. Examples of touching up included marking out the word “flight” and replacing it with “journey” when discussing Mohammad's flight to Medina and drawing shorts on the naked backside of someone in a comic drawing. Later, the librarian had the choice to either alter ...

Trying to Change Stereotypes is the New Stereotype

Trying to change stereotypes is the new stereotype. It might even be the new black. Several years ago, a librarian who really, really hates this blog and claims she never reads it despite the evidence that she clearly does made a call for more “diversity” in librarianship. If I recall correctly, her call was really for more homosexual librarians. I don’t know if anyone has studied this, but I bet homosexuals are already represented in librarianship out of proportion to the general population. I know plenty of gay and lesbian librarians, and librarianship is a profession where gay and lesbian librarians are accepted for what they are, which is librarians. Librarianship attracts a lot of frumpy introverts, but at least they're not bigots. In response to her call, I pointed out that with the huge proportion of middle-aged white women in librarianship, we needed a different sort of diversity. In short, librarianship needs more hot, straight guys. If you don’t ...

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