Before we begin, I'd like to apologize for the technical problems last week. That Annie Linney is sneaky, and I was totally unprepared for the powerful computer skills she'd honed playing videogames with pimply teenagers. I had to give my security team a good tongue-lashing. Then I sent them out to find Annie and euthanize her, which I figured would be best for all of us. However, she was so bubbly and apologetic once she realized that my security team meant what they said about the maple syrup and the Valium that I relented, and even agreed that I might let her guest post again some time in the distant future. We satisfied ourselves by driving over her laptop with the East Skeeter Public Library bookmobile and making her write a thousand times on the ESPL white board: "I will not hack the AL."
So down to business. We here at the Annoyed Librarian Flea Libary know things about Libraries 1.0 and 2.0, as well as 3.0 and 4.0 (which we've long past). As my long time readers know, the ALFL is a Library Five-0 library, and we're darn proud of it. Considering we've been Library Five-0 for a year and a half, we might have to upgrade to Library Six-0, but we change so constantly we no longer know where everyone is supposed to show up for work, either in person or virtually. While some twopointopians have lately been going on about Library 2.0 as if anyone cared anymore, and some others have been commenting upon their goings on, I thought it would behoove us all to see where the real trends are leading. Library 2.0 and the twopointopians (which might make a good name for a bad band) are sooo last year. Library Five-0 is the future, baby, and, I might add, is the only library trend with its own cool theme song. Since you may be confused about Library Five-0, I'll share some incontrovertible and indisputable facts with you, since I know what Library Five-0 is and is not, and you, obviously, don't.
Library Five-0 is librarian-centric. Actually, we could go further than that. Library Five-0 is techie librarian-centric. Library Five-0 is for all of you librarians feeling useless and unappreciated, who want to show library users how cool and techie you are. This proves that the librarians actually know about something. Unfortunately, it's not anything the users care about, but that's not the point. The point is to show that instead of being shushing spinsters who know about yucky old books and stuff like that, librarians are now computer geeks who go to conferences to get out of their little computer techie shells, get together with a large group of real people, and then spend the entire time blogging about their surroundings. Yep, that's bound to impress normal people as the kind of thing they want from their librarians.
What matters is us, and what we like to do is post pictures and videos of ourselves on the Internet, then Twitter everyone about our latest movements ("Hey, just finished lunch and then had my latest movement"), then IM a bunch of fellow techies and congratulate ourselves about how we "get it," then go to a conference where we either speak in an excited proselytizing tone about how cool everything we do is, or sit staring at our computer screens blogging and IMing while completely ignoring the real people around us.
Library Five-0 is about constant change. From the website of the world's first Library Five-0 library: "We change constantly. We are revolutionary. Do not try to find us in meatspace, as our address changes daily to keep up our reputation for constant change. Do not try to call us, because our phone number changes hourly to keep up our reputation for constant change. Do not try to email us, because our email address changes every half-hour to keep up our reputation for constant change. You can try to reach us through IM, but we change our IM username and client every 15 minutes--to keep up our reputation for constant change. We also change the location of our blog every 10 minutes to keep up our reputation for constant change. Quite frankly, you are lucky to have found this page at all, as we change the URL of our homepage every 5 minutes to keep up our reputation for constant change. We do not even have an RSS feed because we change so fast the director's aggregator exploded. The only thing that never changes is the rhetoric."
We know how everyone loves constant change, and we want to fulfill that need. Not the library users, of course. They don't want constant change, but then again we're not here to make them happy; we're here to make us happy, and it's about time librarians got to be happy about something. Is that so wrong? Oh, wait, most of the other librarians don't want constant change, either. Some of them go so far as to say that the whole idea of "constant change" is just gibberish. Well, fooey on them.
Library Five-0 is just about the technology. Let's be honest for a moment. Some of the twopointopians claim that Library 2.0 isn't just about technology, that it's just the stuff librarians have always been doing, or would have been doing if they weren't such evil librarians and we weren't such good librarians. We know that's malarkey, because if that was the case there would be no need to coin such a stupid phrase to describe something that is already going on. Unless of course the point is to coin a stupid phrase to make it seem like we're doing something new when we really aren't, which will allow a few of us to congratulate ourselves in a heated circle-blog and get ourselves invited to conferences so we can talk about all this stuff that's old but that we've somehow made to seem new. No, wait, that's getting too complicated.
Let's just say that we Library Five-0 librarians prefer not to be so duplicitous. Library Five-0 is about the technology. We like to play around with techie gadgets; what can we say? We're just a bunch of techie geeks who want to start a bunch of new techie initiatives that no one but us wants so that we can pretend our libraries are just big techie toylands for our benefit. Library Five-0 is all about the technology, baby. You know, it felt good to get that off my chest. I'm glad we Library Five-0 librarians don't have to dissemble so much as those poor twopointopians. Those poor devils have to go around hopelessly trying to convince other librarians that Library 2.0 isn't just about the technology when everyone knows it is. I'm not sure who they think they're fooling, but we Library Five-0ers prefer the truth, consequences be damned!
Library Five-0 isn't political. Politics is such a messy sport, especially in libraries, where the politics are so nasty because so little is at stake. The twopointopians are always running into political problems as they try to shove their half-baked techie ideas down everyone's throats while pretending that the users are clamoring for these ideas. Of course one is going to run into political problems when one's idea of politics is all about the Good Us and the Evil Them. The Good Us just wants to have free reign over the entire library to implement whatever silly uncalled-for service we think we might like to waste time playing around with for a while, and the Evil Them just wants to thwart our plans by asking about silly things like empirical research, data-driven change, library budgets, impact on other librarians, actual user expectations, and other big, mean grown up things.
Library Five-0 doesn't have to worry about that, because we're not interested in thrusting ourselves upon everyone else. We don't really care about the library users or our colleagues, and unlike the twopointopians we don't have to pretend we do. We're happy if our administrations give us some computers and cubicles and let us play around all day. They know we won't bother the rest of the librarians if we're busy IMing and Twittering and Flickring and stuff like that, and they like to keep us quiet. That way, everyone benefits.
There, I hope this has set the record straight about what Library Five-0 is and is not. The twopointopians already know this feeling, because they revel in it, but I can say it really does feel great to be superior to the rest of you poor schlubs and tell you like it is. Remember, I'm right and you're wrong, and if you disagree with me it's just because you don't get it and don't love the library users as much as I do. At the Annoyed Librarian Flea Libary, "we love you more than your mama does."®