Monday, June 16, 2008

Nothing Fresh

My old friends Anonymous have been commenting lately that they don't love me anymore, or something like that. I haven't been paying that much attention, to be honest. But I get the comments via email, and every couple of days take a look at them. And so I hear that "this blog is dying." Well, that may be. I'm not sure what makes a blog living or dying. I'm not posting much lately, and don't know when I will be, but then again there's always the 400 or so posts in the archives. Lots of stuff there.

But maybe it's not dying. Here's another comment: "This blog is not dying. It is just going into hiatus because all the beautiful people are getting geared up to go to ALA and then have a relaxed summer while the academics take a MUCH deserved break. People in the real world will still be working and doing what it takes, but of course we are no where near the cutting edge like the AL. We are just martini less peons."

I'm not sure why it is, but the AL always seems to bring out the resentment in librarians. It's true, we beautiful people are getting ready for ALA, and that in itself is annoying, especially since it's going to be in Anaheim, which from what I've heard is a city without a city. However, I'll have to report on that when I get back. I love the snarky remark about the "real world," wherever that is. "Working and doing what it takes," indeed. It's just a library. We're not saving lives here. It sounds like the "real world" is that place where people work crappy jobs and complain about their lot instead of bettering themselves. Oh well, nothing to do with me.

Part of the problem is that there's just nothing fresh to get annoyed about. The regressive librarians have remained blessedly silent recently. Not much talk about how they're going to socialize the world one library card at a time. The twopointopians are becoming so tedious they're even putting themselves to sleep. How many pictures can one post of library signage before the thrill is gone?

There are some things that might annoy people, such as these "wacky" librarians, but this seems less something to be annoyed about and more something that just makes it embarrassing to be in the same profession, if one can call it a profession.

So you see, the problem with writing a reactionary blog is that one must have something to react to, and it's just a slow period for annoyances. I'm still getting some stuff through the mail, but it's often more of the same old annoyances, fun to read but nothing you haven't heard before. Bad jobs and worse jobs, mostly, though there was the part-time temporary librarian job at a church where one of the duties was to "pray for librarian program and volunteers." I wondered how one might be evaluated on that. "The library program has failed, which means either that you weren't praying or that your prayers were not efficacious. Either way, you're fired."

Thus, if I find something annoying, I'll post about it, but don't get your knickers in a twist. This is only a blog, after all. Enjoy the summer. Lounge about the park. Read a book. Have a martini. I've had a lot of fun writing the AL, but one does start to wonder if anything in librarianship is even worth getting annoyed about. Maybe out in the "real world."

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

The real world cannot be seen from an ivory tower.

Anonymous said...

The real world cannot be seen from an ivory tower.

True that, anonymous. Public librarians know what's going down on the street and are all about keeping it real, not having any truck with with this "education" business. You can practically feel the Weltschmerz oozing from the photos AL /ebranch/index.cfm?pageid=225">linked to. Or maybe that was Photoshopped in, too.

Anonymous said...

And of course my attempt to be snarky broke my HTML. Hmph.

Anonymous said...

After reading your "Nothing Fresh" piece this morning, for some reason I asked myself "Should libraries purchase copies of Bugliosi's book about prosecuting Bush for murder?" And, then, since I call myself the "Crook Librarian" (after General George Crook) I googled "Ciminal Librarians." So, what's going on in Florida?

Anonymous said...

Of course the ALA is in Anaheim. Mr. Mouse is going to be elected to head that wonderful organization.

Anonymous said...

aaaw, I thought the photoshopped librarians were cute. Well, maybe not all of them, but the more humourously dressed ones were cute. All eager to be nutty. Besides, I've met a lot of genuinely nutty librarians in my time. Not sure the teens will think it is as cute as I do though (and perhaps cute was not what they were going for). I liked it anyhow.

On another note, I don't get why people say all that 'real world' stuff, except when talking about theories etc. Surely you really exist and really do stuff even if you do work in the metaphorical "Ivory Tower", which i'm not sure is exactly how people who have never worked there make it out to be.
P.S. I thought the blogger was supposed to be the annoyed one, but some of the commenters seem to be pretty darn irritable too :) Don't stress AL, some of us know not to take life too seriously.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:40 pm is awesome for mentioning George Crook in a library blog.

Splash said...
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Anonymous said...

I'm currently stuck in public library hell, but I remember the days of working at academic libraries--during the summer. Could someone please point me to the academic library that closes in the summer, because I really want to work there.

stacy said...

it does seem like slamming on librarianship all the time would get old. plus there's just so much frigging material that it is just endless.
but if you're thinking about retiring i have to say i am just glad my own professional career ends in 9 days. i could not face the library without you.

Anonymous said...

When I retire, I would like to get a job driving the Bookmobile.

Anonymous said...

It would seem to me that the AL is becoming disillusioned with being disillusioned with librarianship. Makes sense? It's easy to make fun of and rally behind all the disillusioned MLIS grads and jaded librarians when you have it made as an academic librarian, wouldn't you say? Sort of like the rich rallying behind the poor whom he or she may secretly despise--it's not sincere. Ah, but what do I know, I'm not a librarian, and, thanks to the AL and other blogging librarians, I don't think I plan to go to library school and become one. It really does sound like a joke, and I think of all the professions out there librarianship seems to suffer from some collective complex, perhaps this is due to the fact that the MLIS lacks the intellectual rigors of other grad programs. But what makes this complex obvious is how librarians jealously guard their professional title "librarian" and take offense at anyone who is called a librarian without having earned an MLIS. Speaking of which, what makes it a science?

Anonymous said...

The "science" in library science comes from an older use of the word to mean an organized body of knowledge about a particular issue, in this case the organization and retrieval of books and other sources of information.

LJ said...

Ha! I worked with/went to school with a lot of those "wacky" librarians. All I can say is that it reeks of Corporate.

Speaking of, our handbook said we should strive to make our branches be like Crate & Barrel (but not like Bed Bath & Beyond). That kind of sentiment really turned me off public libraries--constant corporate tinkering.

Anonymous said...

If I knew who you were, I'd buy you a drink at ALA....but then I decided to be anonymous myself.

I also blog, one is anonymous about visiting all the bars in my town (86 bars, it only took 7 months), and one actually has some minor traction in the Library world.

If you figure it out, find me, and out yourself to me, I'll buy you (and me) a conference hotel martini (extra dry Beefeaters, up, with a twist for me).

Keep up the work, and your wonderful and refreshing attitude. Anyone who gets John N. Berry pissed cannot be all bad!

Dances With Books said...

I was wondering that as well. Where is that academic library that closes over the summer so their workers can have a break? Because it sure as hell is not mine. Heck, I even have to work 4th of July weekend. Seriously unpatriotic if you ask me. ( ;) )

Hey AL, ups and downs happen. Hang in there. I am sure things to be annoyed about will come around soon enough. Hey, people are people, and you can't fix stupid.

Kevin Musgrove said...

I thought AL was loved up and mellow?

While we're all here asking for directions to libraries, please could somebody point me towards the public library management team that shows any signs of an "organized body of knowledge."

contrarian said...

Good to hear from you.

"The regressive librarians have remained blessedly silent recently. Not much talk about how they're going to socialize the world one library card at a time."

They're getting a little nervous over Cuba and bashing a rural librarian for expressing some different views, basically they're a bore these days.

Amanda (the librarian) said...

Anonymous @ 1:23 PM wrote, Could someone please point me to the academic library that closes in the summer, because I really want to work there.

Well, I was interviewed at one such library that was closed July and August. The pay reflected that, though (but one did retain benefits).

AL, seems like all the library blogs are on hiatus this summer - there just hasn't been a lot posted anywhere, so there's not much to be annoyed about.

TJPaladin said...

Hey Yeah ! I'm with _Dances with Books_ - Who has a summer break ?

My Academic Library is busy as heck in the Summer. It is the time we get to catch up on Inventory, Binding, Shelving, Shifting, building and manageing the colection, and budgeting ( You know, real librarianship stuff ) ... without all of those annoying students and professors bothering us.
- - -Quick where is my XBOX .... ?

Anonymous said...

Well, for us public librians, summer is the beginning of our most stressful period of the year. Have you ever heard of SUMMER READING? If you are bored, go visit your local public library, sign up to help the librarians with their statistics quota, and help discipline the dozens of kids abandoned at Camp Library over the summer by parents who cannot afford real camp or childcare.

Anonymous said...

My Academic Library is busy as heck in the Summer.

Yep! We all have several projects that need to be completed before the fall semester.

Anonymous said...

It must be tough in the summer in Academia with all those students around demanding things, plus special projects, plus going to conferences, and having time to take a vacation.

My heart bleeds for you.

Kristen said...

I work at neither a public nor an academic library, but this "my job is harder than yours" whining and shin-kicking is incredibly silly.

Anonymous said...

I'm getting annoyed by all the references to martinis, as if they're the drink of choice among librarians (annoyed or not). How about equal time for mojitos?

RCN
San Francisco Bay Area

soren faust said...
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soren faust said...
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Anonymous said...

In Australia we are heading into winter. The sounds of summer sound great at the moment. I really enjoy the blog, at times you hit the nail right on the head. It is something that alot of us are thinking but are not game to make public. Even if it is a blog once a month, keep it going, it is the only professional blog that gives me a great laugh. Some in our profession are just a little precious for their own good.

lotus5673 said...

Dear blogger,
Annoyed Librarian has been a wonderful blog. I really dont think it should die off. The blog of this kind has a long way ahead. Keep it up! We all look forward for interesting posts as it used to be. May be you can invite few enthusiastic authros for this blog to make it more spicy. best wishes..

RajLibrarian, India
email : lotus5673@yahoo.co.in
blog : http://indialibrarian-intl.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

A little university in Aliso Viejo, CA had a library that was closed for the summer. We all had to work, which made for long days at times. Unfortunately, I think it is now open for summer.

Anonymous said...

What kind of Special Projects in the summer? I would be interested to know? Preparing those "bib" classes so you are not at the mercy of the faculty?

Anonymous said...

What kind of Special Projects in the summer? I would be interested to know? Preparing those "bib" classes so you are not at the mercy of the faculty?

Anonymous said...

What kind of Special Projects in the summer? I would be interested to know? Preparing those "bib" classes so you are not at the mercy of the faculty?

Anonymous said...

What kind of Special Projects in the summer? I would be interested to know? Preparing those "bib" classes so you are not at the mercy of the faculty?

Anonymous said...

What kind of Special Projects in the summer? I would be interested to know? Preparing those "bib" classes so you are not at the mercy of the faculty?

Anonymous said...

What kind of Special Projects in the summer? I would be interested to know? Preparing those "bib" classes so you are not at the mercy of the faculty?

Anonymous said...

I stand corrected.

Academic libraries are working overtime in the summer.

So much so that no one in any of those esteemed institutions has time to anonymously comment on blogs.

I am so ashamed at my prior attitude.

Can you ever forgive me?