Some of you out there think playing videogames and hosting dance parties in the library make the library "fun" so that the illiterate kiddies who'd normally never come near the library will show up. (One might ask what difference does it make if they show up, but that's another question.) Now someone has the great idea to make library schools "fun" as well, to make sure that the library school students won't get to bored with all this "education."
If you're reading this blog, there's a good chance that you consider(ed) library school to be tedious and something of an intellectual joke. Library school is boring. We all know that. I think library school could be made less boring by making it more rigorous, in keeping with real graduate programs. But the majority in this, as everything prevails, and we know that can never happen. It'll always be library "science," so why don't we put some fun into it? Thanks should go to Dr. Webtamer, who's putting the FUN into library school!
The Shifted Librarian writes: "I love that my friend, the newly minted Dr. Stephens [i.e., Dr. Webtamer], devoted one of his LIS class nights to gaming. I’m sorry I couldn’t be there to help out, but it sounds like the students did quite well on their own. I would love to see more LIS courses playing and exploring like this, helping the students form their own opinions."
Yep, me too. I'd love to see more so-called graduate school classes devoted to people sitting around playing videogames, you know, so the students can "form their own opinions." Forming opinions--that sounds almost educational! But who cares if it's educational, it's fun! Library school wasn't particularly educational before, so it's not like spending an entire class playing videogames is dumbing down the standard LIS curriculum.
Forming opinions is, as I noted, almost educational. Perhaps I didn't need this class, though, because I've already formed an opinion. I wouldn't want to pay money for a graduate school class and then sit around playing videogames, but that's just me. If this thing absolutely has to be done, then it might be appropriate for a homework assignment (which would be a typically easy and intellectually vacuous library school homework assignment), but I couldn't tolerate it in a class. Is this what graduate school seminars have become? But I know the problem. I just don't like fun.
I've written before that my suspicion that library school was an intellectual joke was confirmed when I was asked to make a poster presentation, which showed me how library school was like the third grade. At least with the poster I was supposed to convey information. If I had been subjected to gaming during class in library school, I'd have been very tempted to sue the university for breach of promise. Graduate programs in universities aren't supposed to have classes where people sit around and play videogames. Or at least I thought so. Apparently I'm wrong. Always remember, it's not graduate school, it's library school, and with a little more of this it could be library FUN school.
I think we've reached the nadir of library "education," the point at which we've given up any pretense of intellectual endeavor, but that's okay. We should embrace this diversity. Library science isn't much of an intellectual endeavor anyway, so we might as well have FUN doing it. You can't really have a graduate "education" worthy of the name when you teach classes in storytelling and pop-up books. It was always my hope that there was some possibility of intellectual engagement in a program that billed itself as a graduate school, but intellectual pursuits are so elitist. Better just to play games, because apparently everyone in the world wants librarians to play games and host parties.
Get away from training people to entertain the kiddies, and the rest of the program has at least the possibility of something remotely resembling graduate education, right? Absolutely not, so let's rejoice that someone has seen the light, and offer more classes on "library 2.0 and social networking." I think we can now see the intellectual content of library 2.0. I haven't been hearing much from the twopointopians lately, and now I suspect it's because they've been playing videogames, apparently an important part of both library 2.0 and social networking.
Shifted also quotes from a couple of blogs related to the class. One student writes: "How do you make your college-age son jealous? Tell him you played Guitar Hero… in school…for a class…while the teacher was there." There's another way of looking at that. What if you're a young student and your parents are paying for all or part of your "graduate education"? How do you make your parents happy? Tell them you played Guitar Hero . . . in school . . . for a class . . . while the teacher was there. Or when you groan while paying back that $25,000 in student loans (and that day will come), just remember how much fun library school was, when you got to sit around in class and play Guitar Hero . . . in school . . . for a class . . . while the teacher was there. Education 2.0 in action, baby!
What's better than to pay for a course where you get to sit around and play videogames? It might seem like you're just wasting your money, but remember, this is library "education." It's not like "Libraries, Society, and You" has much intellectual content anyway. Sit through this stuff and you'll have an intellectually bankrupt "graduate" degree that might get you a mediocre library job somewhere if you're lucky. But after all, what do you expect of a degree where you sit around in class playing videogames?
If we just admit that library school is an intellectual joke, then libraries can also benefit. Libraries should do themselves a financial favor. If library school is to teach you how to play videogames and libraries are there to host dance parties and bring in the kiddies, forget these "educated" librarians. Libraries don't need them for this kind of work. This stuff doesn't require a master's degree, or even a college degree. Cataloging? Not necessary if everything's online. Reference? Are you kidding? We've got Google, what do we need with reference librarians.
The salvation of libraries is videogaming and parties, and we don't need librarians for that. Hire some smart teens for $12/hour to host dance parties and play videogames and troubleshoot the computers and check out the occasional DVD. Plus, they already know how to play videogames and dance. They wouldn't have to waste time in class learning these things. The teens are motivated and self-directed and they play games on their own. They'd probably do just as good a job as the librarians and the libraries wouldn't have to pay extra for the so-called master's degree. That sounds like the best thing for the "customers," and that's what we're really all about.