effinglibrarian's blog

Should you become a librarian?

Use this flowchart to decide whether you should become a librarian. I hope you find it helpful.

'Keep Libraries Open' Poster

link to full-size version is here, http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z213/effinglibrarian/keeplo.png

feel free to use however you wish.

Library student answers worth $7.93 each

Library school students answered reference questions on the street to raise money for charity. On one Saturday, they answered 63 questions and raised over $500.

I often wonder what my help is worth. When asked, I say, "a million dollars." But eight bucks a question isn't too bad. So far today, I would have made $224.

But since I'm a real librarian and not a student, I might be worth a little more.

story here: http://www.thevarsity.ca/articles/21741
"Sidewalk librarians collect donations for answers" by Christine Jeyarajah.

Who ever thought that a librarian would be overqualified to work in a library?

[visit my blog for uncensored version -- a while back I semi-promised to tone down the cursing.]

This trend of deprofessionalizing librarians, in Edinburgh's (Scotland) case, calling librarians "audience development officers" deserves a ginormous WTF??!!

Where do Audience Development Officers work? In a library, or in an Audience Development Station? I don't even know what those three words are supposed to mean. It's like they took all the words in the dictionary that could relate to a librarian and threw them all out and these were the three that were left. Seriously, all I can think is that an Audience Development Officer is just someone who opens the doors in the morning and lets people into the library.

Culture leader Cllr Deidre Brock said: "Growing use of the internet for reference and information is enabling us to structure the service so that our staff can better cater to our customers' needs."

Really? "Enabling" Let's put that positive spin on a bad situation.

So Dierdre is telling us that libraries are killing off the librarians.

Figures show there were only 66 full-time equivalent (FTE) qualified librarians in May this year, compared to 85.2 a year earlier. And 24 per cent of the city's 26 libraries no longer employ a head librarian.

Under the council's libraries review, all 300 staff are to be given new job roles and job descriptions, while staff have new teams and managers. -- Read More

Introducing AnyBookLibraries™, a New Style of Library for the year 2015

(For Delayed Release)

A small district in Any County, America, is changing the face of public libraries. Introducing AnyBookLibraries™, a new style of library that celebrates imagination, research and solitude. Studies have shown that people who are left alone quietly at their local library are less likely to become assholes and annoy others.

Recent changes to libraries have moved them away from physical books and into econtent. Downloadable materials dominated the menu of traditional library offerings; but AnyBookLibraries™ is willing to move forward to engage readers with solid, tangible, physical resources. Traditionally, libraries have been spending their tax dollars on materials their users couldn't even see unless they carried some electronic handheld device in with them. But the new philosophy surrounding the AnyBookLibraries approach gives readers a world of exploration that they experience with their senses, free of that expensive, electronic crutch.

The AnyBookLibraries™ model was designed to help libraries remain relevant by offering books to their customers. Books and books and more books. They offer programming around books, technology for improving access to books, and a "reasonably adequate" level of customer service so that everyone who walks into an AnyBookLibraries™ feels welcome, so long as they silence their phones, spray a little Febreze under their pits, and can keep their mouths shut. -- Read More

7 out of 10 parents want kids to be teachers...

7 of 10 parents want their kids to be teachers. When asked about kids becoming librarians, parents said, "That's a job?"
http://ow.ly/lyf1

(from twitter, and no, the parents didn't really say that.. it's a joke)

Where do we Tweet when Twitter gets Thwacked?

When events happen around the world, Twittererers send their tweets to alert us all. But what happens when Twitter isn't there to accept our 140-character thought balloons? Where do we say what we need to say when our saying place shuts down?

Twitter has been down or mostly down for at least two hours. What happens to all those tweets that never got tweeted? Are they saved in Tweetdeck awaiting confirmation that they can fly off to achieve Tweetisfaction?

Oh, the humanity. But seriously, when people can't tweet, do they just, oh God, dare I say it, just talk to other people? Face to face????

So LISNews has disabled anonymous commenting???

I just saw that I could only comment if I register or log in?

What are pseudonymous commenters supposed to do when we can no longer comment anonymously? (log in, first? but I'm really really really lazy!)

Librarians: at "Bargaining" in the grief cycle

In response to Restore the Noble Purpose of Libraries, by William H. Wisner:

I'm sorry to tell you, Mr. Wisner, but the Noble Library is dead.

It died when my local library purchased a vinyl copy of the album KC and the Sunshine Band back in 1976. Yes, I agree "Boogie Shoes" is an awesome song, but I have to place the death of the traditional, noble, enlightened library at that ignoble event. Up to then, the library never bought any popular music: no Led Zepellin or Rolling Stones or The Who or David Bowie. There were only albums of Prokofiev, Mozart or the Boston Pops.

And librarians have been dealing with the loss for the last thirty years.

The Kübler-Ross Five Stages of Grief are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. And librarians are smack in the middle of this process.

Some say the Denial stage is still ongoing, but I'm pretty sure it ended around the time your library made you learn about the "23 Things" and "Library 2.0." If creating ten different online accounts and solving the accompanying CAPTCHAs didn't shake you from that initial defensive response, then you're so deluded you probably think The Beatles will still get back together one day (all four of them). -- Read More

What is anything worth in a Free world?

Yes, I'm still pondering Free: The Future of a Radical Price by Chris Anderson. (See my other blog.)

This week Twitter was hacked. Someone on Twitter's staff had their Gmail account opened by someone who shoudln't have access. Then, because we are all so connected, the hacker was able to access stuff like Google Docs and anything else that we all find google-icious.

And from what I see now, TechCrunch published online some of the hacked (stolen) documents, and Twitter states,

"We are in touch with our legal counsel about what this theft means for Twitter, the hacker, and anyone who accepts and subsequently shares or publishes these stolen documents."

Well, going back to Free, I'm wondering what value intellectual property has when the product is free. If Twitter is free to use, and not publicly traded, then what is the current value of its corporate secrets or intellectual property?

Twitter must have value as a company. They have investors who probably hope to turn their investments into yachtfuls of money. But what is the intellectual property value of free in dollars? Do you have a right to keep competitors from stealing something even if if's free? Does something that's free have any monetary value at all?

I know that free isn't always free. A bowl of free chocolates on a sample table doesn't give me permission to eat the same brand of chocolates that are for sale in the candy aisle. -- Read More

Cheap is the new black.

I keep reading news stories about people ditching their cell phones and dumping cable TV and saving money, but none of these people are my friends. My friends have everything: smartphones with full Internet, smart 42" LCD televisions, smart kitchen appliances, smartpants.

Me, I wear the same old dumb pants and my cell phone only makes phone calls, which I only make about 3-4 times a week. But it only costs me $7 a month. I don't need my phone to do everything, and especially not right now. I grew up in a time when you had to find a phone, so whatever I need to do or say can wait ten minutes. Really? You absolutely need to text someone "lol" right now?

So Cheap is cool. Or so says The Ultimate Cheapskate. The one thing I disagree with is that America's economy has changed from a saving economy to a spending economy. Whole industries are built on constantly moving dollars, not stationary ones like in banks or CDs or treasury notes. Money needs to change hands very rapidly otherwise we will all see just how broke we really are. It's like a game of musical chairs with 10 people and 2 chairs; as long as we keep moving, none of us will end up on our asses.

So Cheap for America shouldn't be about saving; it should be about spending. But spending in a way that creates jobs. Cheap is putting people to work.

And since we love our smartphones so much, I think we should combine the two and use our phones to create jobs. -- Read More

In the new Pixar movie UP, a child brags about ripping a page from a library book.

In the Pixar movie UP, Ellie shows a picture that she "tore from a library book."

Well, she dies in the movie, so, 'nuff said about that. Right, kids?

Why the.effing.librarian opposes the technocracy.

Or maybe it's a gadgetocracy or an webocracy, but I don't care what you call it because I'm against it.

As a result of another study that confirms that a tiny minority controls the majority of output, following ones done in the last few years on Digg and Wikipedia contributors, the.effing.librarian has decided to stick to his guns when making decisions regarding patron privacy, social networking, and life, the universe and everything.

Just as the richest ten percent of us possess ninety percent of the world's wealth, ten percent of the users of every social networking site can claim ninety percent of the content. The most recent study on Twitter adds to this theory.

So this is why I oppose giving patrons more control over their library records or borrowing history and privacy, or incorporating more social networking tools into our online library presence. We would make ten percent of the people happy at the expense of the rest.

I know that it's not ninety percent who would unhappy with the changes, but I'm pretty damn sure it would be over half. I'm sure over half our patrons are years away from understanding any of the consequences of online privacy. And I don't like to make decisions that piss off over half of the people; I can usually only kick one person's ass at a time, at work, when I'm drunk, and I don't need a second patron hitting me on the head with a flower pot from behind. However comical that may appear. -- Read More

"Look Inside" the effing librarian.

I probably haven't said it enough to bother me hearing it (although most other people would disagree), but the.effing.librarian has books.

I keep saying that all the librarian bloggers should compile their blog posts and publish them, but no one seems to want to do it. But I did it. And I'll say it again, it cost me almost nothing. I had to pay for the proof ($10), but that was all. Except for the 12,000 copies I purchased to try to influence their populariy on Amazon's bestsellers list. But other than that, it was pretty much free.

I used CreateSpace, an Amazon company. They supplied the bar code and the ISBN. And now what's cool is that when the book appears on Amazon, it also includes the Look Inside! feature.

I always like to look inside a book before I put it in my Cart then get busy and forget to Checkout and never remember to buy it. I forget to buy tons of books. And now you can do the same with all the books in the effing librarian's huge library (of two books -- how many books make a library anyway?).

So I feel like an author now. An author who no one knows and who sells no books... but not one of those bestselling, dime a dozen, authors you find in all the libraries. A special, secret author.

Microsoft unveils, then shutters Kumo.

What makes a great search engine? The first rule apparently, is that it must have fewer letters than "Google."

Last year brought Cuil, and now Microsoft presentes Kumo. Or is it pronounced Kumo? (See? You don't know either.)

Kumo is named for the little boy in the Japanese anime, "My Clumsy Evil Fighting Sister from the Future is a Cat Robot."

But on the first rule, Microsoft is a success. Kumo definitely has fewer letters than Google. But it's still two syllables, so it's not any easier to say.

Will anyone say, "Just Kumo it"? I don't think so. "Come on, Kumo!" No, not unless they're directing a porno.

What will it take for Microsoft to compete with Google? Is Kumo a better search engine? Who cares?

Kumo has already been used as the name of a Web tool: I wonder if anyone at Microsoft knows that?

Why am I still on Facebook?

I just saw a news story that says Facebook actively blocks users with unsual names. So how does the effing librarian get to keep his account when Alicia Istanbul lost hers?

I'm kind of offended that my fake name isn't fake enough to alert Facebook's name goons. My fake first name is Effing and my fake last name is Librarian; is there a country where that's common?

I just feel sorry for the real people who need to prove they exist when I and Seymour Butts and I.P. Freely seem to get a free pass.

storyofstuff.com says I am an evil, vile, horrible person.

So the NYT has a story on this video called "the story of stuff." And so I clicked on it. But unfortunately, I could only watch 3:59 of the 20 minute presentation before I felt so absolutely horrible about being an American human person, that I had to just shoot myself in the head.

Okay, I didn't shoot myself in the head because the bullets and gunpowder and metals and plastics used to make the gun were part of the vast exploitational conspiracy of Americans over the world's poor that I gave the gun to one of the world's exploited poor people so he could rob the nearest department store. Which he did. But first he stole my watch.

(Well, not stole because the gold was originally stolen from his country first by evil Americans; so I was just giving the gold back to him in the form of a very expensive Swiss watch.)

QUESTION:

If you had a paperback-sized device that allowed you watch any movie or show on demand, anywhere, for free, would you still read books?

Saga of the.EX.effing.librarian.

I don't know if you noticed, but there's a lot of stuff I need to do. And that's it. If there's an answer for why someone quits a blog, then, "I got other shit to do," is it.

People talk about "tipping points," and I hit mine when there was something I missed because I was being the.effing.librarian. I was blogging or tweeting or commenting and I missed something that my real life should be doing.

And that's when I realized that I had to stop.

And It stopped being fun. If I had to give the simple answer as to why I stopped blogging, that would be it. It stopped being fun. Nothing complicated. I just made the choice that something is less important than I thought it was. There's no deep philosophical lesson I discovered. It's just that some shit is more important than other shit. And I have to get back to it.

I gotta go, but you guys have fun.

Effing Free Effing Book

FREE EFFING BOOK GIVEAWAY

The Effing Librarian blog is finished. What? You never read it? Go back to your Dostoyevsky, egghead.

Before I go, I'd like to give away one copy of each of my blobogoks. So if anyone leaves a comment (on my blog, not here), I will enter you into the drawing and two people will get books; one will receive an actual paper, easy-to-burn, copy of the first book, Fame and Fortune and Other F Words and the other will get a copy of the second one, METAL ASS. If you don't want to leave a comment, use the handy-dandy form thingy ("send some effing love") to send me your email address. I can't contact you if I can't contact you.

If you are from outside of the United States, please, only enter if your country allows mail from here and doesn't hate us so much that you burn everything with our flag on it.

If you leave a comment now, I will enter you into the drawing for a free book, but that means you need to give me a place where I can mail it (if you win-- don't go posting your home address in the comments now-- wait until I tell you I need it). I'll take entries from April 21, up to April 30, 2009.

If you win one of the books, I'll try to come up with something witty to write in it (but so far, I got nothing).

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