Annoyed Librarian
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Inside Annoyed Librarian

Librarians as Booksellers

There’s an interesting interview in LJ with a vice president from Random House who after visiting libraries and talking to librarians finally realized that librarians are basically just shills for commercial publishers. This marks a significant transformation in library-publisher relations because if the goal is to get ebooks into libraries, it’s better for librarians to be thought of as potential sales clerks than enemies. Here’s what he said surprised him in his library visits: “The days of rows and rows of spine-out books with white cataloging labels were gone. Instead, there were face-out displays, top-shelf features, thematic and new release tables, staff-picks, and end-caps: all featuring books to their customers.” And the conclusion based on this observation? “Random House has always been committed to the library marketplace, but from these visits and observations, we see a unique opportunity to put authors and their books in the hands of readers. We ...

Librarians Decide What is Reality

Related to our exciting discussion about young earth creationism a couple of weeks ago is this article about a congressman from Georgia who gave a speech claiming, “there are a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth.” He found out that scientific data as a scientist, so there. He also said that “All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell.” Maybe someone told him that Sheldon isn’t the funniest character on the show, which really would be a lie straight from the pit of hell. A few years ago the same guy said that Obama was going to start a Marxist dictatorship just like Hitler did. It’s the kind of stuff that makes politics so entertaining in America, and shows the problem with some beliefs isn’t their truth or falseness, but the company you have to keep while believing them. Based on the comments on the ...

Living through the Revolution

There’s a brief article from Rochester, New York about a librarian celebrating her 40th year on the job at her library. Imagine working 40 years at the same library. Go ahead, do it. Now get yourself a drink if you need one. Part of the pitch in the story is how much things have changed in libraries since 1972. Usually when I hear anything about how exciting it is to be working in our rapidly changing profession, which I think I’ve heard from every job candidate I’ve ever seen in an interview, I nod politely and think, “whatever.” A lot of the change in libraries in the last couple of decades has been in technology and has followed a common trajectory: digital information technology updates stuff we always did. If you think about it that way, it’s not really a big deal, and the changes from year to year are pretty easy to handle for anyone who’s not a hopeless dullard. The librarian profiled in the article is pretty nonchalant about all the changes in libraries. ...

The ALA Ebook Standoff

According to this article, librarians have lost patience over ebook library lending. And we all know what that means. Absolutely nothing. The article is about a meeting between the ALA and publishers over ebook lending concerns, the main librarian concerns being that not all ebooks are available to libraries and that when they are they are too expensive. There was little weirdness in the proceedings. For example, a publishing executive supposedly said, “our executives are confused as to what is a library.” That seems like it would be pretty easy thing to figure out. You just point them toward that building that’s handing out the publisher’s books for free and say, “that’s a library.” Question answered. One publisher challenged the ALA. “When will the ALA start proposing to us some best practices on what models you think will work from your digital solutions working group? You put a lot on us and it’s created a lot of chaos and clearly it’s [e-book library ...

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