Principles. Professional librarians.

How would individual libraries' users take up the matter
where there could be a lack of confidence in the
leadership of their public library?... Where generally
people might walk away from bureaucratic flaws, shall we
say, rather than get involved any further with a

Cluefull replies most appreciated !

At one of our Massachusetts public libraries in our
Minuteman Library Network several professional
librarians let other professional librarians know of
individual readers' book titles, transactions as a way
of characterizing the particular libraries' users'
foibles not in order to provide further library
services, as a manner of retribution or making fun of
libraries' users that might have displeased these
librarians in some way upon an encounter for a routine
library transaction.

Stereotyping the character of some of our public
libraries' users by the book titles, library
transactions that interest the people involved could be
stereotyped as a kind of gossipy librarian thing. Or it
could be questioned as a breach of the principles like
the Library Bill of Rights or other library service

It's one thing to provide readers with assistance by
consulting peers. It's another thing to use the book
titles transacted at our public library network as a way
to discuss the character of some of our public
libraries' users.

In Massachusetts our Minuteman Library Network includes...


I am certain you know that some people find you to be a pain in the neck and others think you are a nutjob (not that people don't feel the same about me). I've never had the pleasure of meeting you, but I have read some of your postings here and at various other locations.

At some point in time those that excel will realize that not everyone is up to their level. To put it another way eventually you will realize the Peter Principle is really a Law; people do rise to the level of their incompetence. It is an unfortunate realization, but sadly true. Harping on them does not help.

I think the people at BPL are simply sick of you. It does not matter that you may be right, they have done what they thought was their best and it didn't satisfy you so now you are the problem. Is that fair, or right? Most certainly not, but it is reality. While your cause may be noble you are beating a dead horse. If the library staff makes fun of you because of your reading choices who freaking cares. It is unprofessional certainly but so is carping about every little transgression.

So read Kuger and Dunning's Unskilled and Unaware and realize that there are some people too stupid to realize that they are stupid. Chalk one up for yourself for not being a moron and find something else to bitch about. That is what I did, not that I still don't bitch about things but I broadened my horizons - I bitch about more things. Same amount of bitching, just divided among more topics.

You might also try doing something about what you bitch about. If there are library organizations or committees that interest you then join them and work positively for change - remembering all the time the Peter principle and that others may have reached their level.

Work also for something everyone can be on the same side for. Raise money for cancer research (who could be pro-cancer?) Visit impoverished areas on a relief trip, make toys for children in hospital, agitate the UN about Dafur.

Lets face it, the BPL - or as I have unfortunately learned of late- any library changes as slowly as an old man changes his shorts, nothing you nor I can do will make it change more quickly. Boston is in organized labors womb so I must assume the staff feel secure in their positions. You have been a thorn in their side so frankly I can see why they don't give a shit about you.

Summarily you might want to consider some rules (not yet widespread enough to be Principles, Laws or even Rules with a capital R.)

1) 85% of the people you meet on any given day are going to be morons.
2) 99% of the people you meet on any given day don't give a shit about you or what you are saying and are simply pretending to listen.
3) The only way to get people to listen and respond appropriatly is to pay them either directly or indirectly. Think of your doctor or a museum guide.
4) Being smarter than others does not make life easier, on the contrary it makes life harder especially if you try to 'help' the pinheads.
5) If it is not going to get you laid, paid or into Heaven it is generally not worth doing.

These rules don't apply to just me, or just you they apply to everyone.

So DWS STFU about BPL for a week, go do something for a charity about which you care, and realize the world is full of idiots and you can't change them all and you are way ahead if can even get one to listen. See if life is not better after that week is up.

On Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom Marlin Perkins with his sidekick Bob would shoot wild animals with darts full of tranquilizers to study them. BPL needs to purchase one of these and fill it with a powerful antipsychotic and pop a dart in DSW.

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