Annoyed Librarian
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Inside Annoyed Librarian

Focus on Real Literacy

According to this article, in New Mexico, “Librarians fear schools are turning the page on them.” But that’s probably okay, because then the librarians can just “start a new chapter,” as headlines about retiring librarians often tell us. It’s all part of the gradual elimination of school librarians in districts around the country amidst budget cuts. Librarians are exotic, like art and music teachers, an addendum to the core curriculum of whatever it is the schools claim to be teaching these days. There’s definitely money to be saved, if saving money is your priority. According to the article, “n Albuquerque Public Schools...the average salary for a librarian-teacher is about $42,000,… while the average educational assistant salary is about $17,000.” If you’re an administrator faced with cutting classroom teachers or cutting “teacher librarians,” the choice is always to cut the librarians, and the fact they make 2-3 times more than someone who can sit there checking out library ...
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What to Call the Group

What do you call a group of librarians? It’s like the beginning of a joke, like how many librarians does it take to change a light bulb. There are probably lots of answers to that one, but I can’t think of any. I’ve never changed a light bulb in my library because I’m not the light bulb librarian. So I guess my answer would be “zero.” The easy answer to the first question is “group,” but one group of school librarians in Alaska decided they were a “force.” The rationale for that label is curious, We are a force because we foster inclusion, inquiry, collaboration, curation, engagement and exploration in the library. We are a force because libraries are the original centers for personalized learning, places where students ask questions and find answers, engage in creativity and collaboration, and harness critical thinking skills as they learn to evaluate sources, synthesize and communicate. That really is the whole rationale for using "force." It's like they don't understand what ...
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A Good Librarian with a Gun

It was only a matter of time before the other AL’s weekly update included something about arming librarians, because like me the other AL can’t resist a controversy, even if it’s a fake controversy like arming teachers. The article in question asks in the headline, “So, are we now supposed to arm librarians, too?” As we know from Betteridge’s Law of Headlines, the answer is always “no.” The author also doesn’t think so. He compares the latest school shooting (what a sad phrase) in Florida with a stabbing death in a Massachusetts public library, notes that both attackers were mentally ill, and then claims that the difference between one death and 17 deaths is that the Florida attacker had “an AR-15 instead of a 10-inch hunting knife.” I’m pretty sure, based upon my incessant viewing of paranoid lunatic television, that claims like that are just a liberal conspiracy to take away all of our high powered assault rifles and replace them with 10-inch hunting knives, or worse, 5-inch ...
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Libraries Versus Communities of Hate

What must it be like to hate your neighbors so much that you want to see them and all mention of them disappear from society? I’ve never understood that, which is one reason why I don’t join political or religious crusades. You, Dear Reader, might think you’re not like that, and maybe you’re not, but it’s a condition that knows no political or religious bounds. If you hate groups of people that you’re probably surrounded by and who normally don’t cause anyone any problems - conservatives, liberals, Republicans, Democrats, Christians, homosexuals, Christian homosexuals, Jews, Muslims, socialists, capitalists, whatever - and you would be happier if they didn’t exist, or at least if they shut up and you never had to think about them, then congratulations, you’re just like these bigots in Iowa who want all LGBT-themed books banned from the public library. There are groups it’s safe for all of us to hate. Fascists, for example. There aren’t really that many fascists in America, ...
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So Much Resentment, So Little Reward

Because that’s what I keep finding when I survey the folks out in libraryland, I’m going to make this the week of resentments. Earlier in the week, someone was resentful that anyone without an MLS isn’t considered a librarian and recommended instead a nonexistent 12-week bootcamp course in librarianship. Here’s someone who’s resentful that everyone who works in a library can’t be considered a librarian, regardless of how many non-MLS degrees he or she or they or ze might have. The resenter has “been a library assistant for about 12 years now in the reference department of the San Antonio library and [reports that] the statement that ‘a librarian is someone with a master’s degree in library or information science’ continues to rankle.” One might think that after twelve years of the obvious staring them in the face, people might get used to it, but I guess that’s not the way it works. No, he complains, “whatever academic credentials one may have acquired, he can never be ...
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Rage Against the MLS Machine

There’s nothing more inspiring, slightly ridiculous, and a little sad than idealists. Sometimes they inspire great art, or great revolutions, or some other great thing that people later will hate, but much of the time they just sit around frustrated that the world doesn’t understand how great it would be if everyone would just listen to them. Librarianship attracts a lot of idealists, it seems, or else there wouldn’t be many librarians subject to the alleged scourge of “vocational awe.” Then there are the librarians who hate libraries, at least the way they’re currently constituted. Some hate it that people still read books instead of spend their time 3D printing, and some hate it that the people who work in libraries are librarians, like this librarian who is raging against the “MLS Machine.” I’ve been known to rage against the MLS Machine as well, but mostly because it’s a machine designed to ingest people and spit out somewhat educated librarians at a rate faster than the ...
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