Librarians

Librarians: Sexy and They Know It

Though there is still tension about what the library and librarians of today should be, the connection between librarians and sex is surprisingly persistent.

One of the frustrations of being a librarian is the occupational stereotyping. Librarians tend to be depicted in books and movies as elderly spinsters, rigid and frigid. More recently, in a predictable attempt to subvert convention, the slutty librarian trope has emerged: young, hot-blooded, yet not exempt from the cats-eye glasses.

From The Millions, librarian Elisabeth Cohen reviews a few books on the sexy librarian phenomena that you might have missed.

At that time, I realized the smartest people worked at the library.

Article about librarian Will Johnson.

Will Johnson worked at the Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore for 17 years before coming to Cecil County eight months ago. He’s now manager of the Elkton Central Library. Johnson said he loves the area, especially how the pace of Cecil County compares to Baltimore.

How did you get your start? In 1996, I was working for Foot Locker in high school and went to Atlanta to work the Olympics. That experience changed my life. I met people with different nationalities and it opened my eyes. I came back and took a job as a security officer for the library. At that time, I realized the smartest people worked at the library. One day that week, I was watching Jeopardy, and the contestant was a librarian. I took that as a sign. I went to college and got my undergrad and decided I wanted to become a librarian. I worked three years doing clerical work while going to school.

http://www.cecildaily.com/news/local_news/article_68031536-675f-502d-b743-97b928e5ddf3.html

Why a town librarian has spent 102 days standing in front of Ferguson’s police department

Librarian Angelique Kidd has stood vigil for the past 102 days opposite the Ferguson Police Department, demanding change.

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2014/11/18/ferguson_librarian_fuelled_by_anger_over_shooti...

Rapper’s 1984 hit song at center of librarian lawsuit

A hip-hop pioneer was stunned to learn that his 1984 song “Roxanne, Roxanne” was at the center of an explosive legal war between a pair of Long Island library staffers.

“Before, we had to worry about mediating hip-hop beefs in the streets,” Kangol Kid told The Post. “Now, we have to worry about them in libraries. That’s crazy.”

Riverhead Free Library director Joy Rankin allegedly told underlings to only hire black and Latino job applicants to right historical wrongs committed against them, according to a lawsuit.

http://nypost.com/2014/11/08/rapper-shocked-his-song-dragged-into-legal-battle-on-li/

The Doomsday Librarian Preparing Our Reading for the Apocalypse

The average internet user who happens upon Survivor Library, a collection of about 7,000 books in PDF format that teach people how to rebuild civilization after the proverbial Collapse, may think it’s just another fear mongering, doomsday prepper site.

“What happens AFTER the Solar Flare that destroys the electrical grid and all electronics?" asked the site's About Us page. "AFTER the other 90% of the population has died from starvation, dehydration and disease. AFTER the roving gangs and raiders are eliminated and local communities form to provide security and relative peace. What Then?”

It’s easy to imagine that people who use this site are the ones that have homemade bunkers and have stocked enough canned goods to feed a family for weeks. But Survivor Library’s founder and administrator, who calls himself “The Librarian,” doesn’t identify himself that way.

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/survivor-library

Infighting in Libraryland

From The Annoyed Librarian in LJ:

A librarian named Joe Murphy is suing two female librarians for $1.25 million for claiming he sexually harasses women at library conferences. As sex scandals go, that’s pretty mild, but the standards for scandal are lower in libraryland.

You can go give them a donation or sign a petition asking Murphy to drop the lawsuit if those are your kinds of thing.

I haven’t seen a corresponding Support Joe Murphy’s Lawsuit website or petition, but if there is one someone can post it in the comments.

He’s also suing them in Canadian court, even though as far as I can tell both he and one of the defendants are Americans. Canadian libel laws are more friendly to plaintiffs, it seems, whereas American libel laws tend to favor something librarians are supposed to favor, free speech. So he’s a cunning little fella, you have to give him that.

I’m seeing the story pop up in more and more places, so it looks like Murphy has a growing reputation among librarians.

New Iowa State Librarian Chosen, He's Searching for the Next Big Thing..."Whatever That Is"

From From KIMT, Minnesota:

Michael Scott, who currently works at SELCO in Rochester, MN has been tabbed the new librarian for the Hawkeye state. Scott works with libraries across the area, including those in Olmsted County, but his new gig will find him working with many, many more. “I think it’s a great time for Iowa libraries,” Scott said. “It’s a great time for them to move forward to do that next thing, whatever that is,” he added.

Scott says he is excited to start his new job in November and get to know the great people of Iowa even better.

More Librarians Required in NYC Middle and High Schools

The New York City Department of Education must stop violating rules on the minimum number of librarians required at city high schools, state education Commissioner John B. King Jr. has decided.

The United Federation of Teachers had appealed to the commissioner several times in recent years to force the city to comply with regulations spelling out how many librarians are necessary, depending on enrollment. City school officials argued last year that fewer were needed because of advancements in technology and the ability of small schools to share them.

In a decision signed Sept. 15, Mr. King said the union didn't have standing to argue on behalf of students deprived of librarians' help, but the city must comply with the staffing minimums.

A spokeswoman for the city education department said it would work on a plan to address the issue, noting that school libraries have "tremendous value." Article from The Wall Street Journal.

New York City Librarian Gets Covered in Pasta.

Talk about dedication to her line of work! Click here to find out why.

How Ninja Librarians are Ensuring Patrons' Electronic Privacy

Librarians in Massachusetts are working to give their patrons a chance to opt-out of pervasive surveillance. Partnering with the ACLU of Massachusetts, area librarians have been teaching and taking workshops on how freedom of speech and the right to privacy are compromised by the surveillance of online and digital communications -- and what new privacy-protecting services they can offer patrons to shield them from unwanted spying of their library activity.

Library Patrons Are At Risk

One of the authors of this Boing Boing article, Alison Macrina, is an IT librarian at the Watertown Free Public Library in Massachusetts, a member of Boston's Radical Reference Collective, and an organizer working to bring privacy rights workshops to libraries throughout the northeast. Librarians know that patrons visit libraries for all kinds of online research needs, and therefore have a unique responsibility in helping keep that information safe. It's not just researchers who suffer; our collective memory, culture, and future are harmed when writers and researchers stop short of pursuing intellectual inquiry.

In addition to installing a number of privacy-protecting tools on public PCs at the Watertown library, Alison has been teaching patron computer classes about online privacy and organized a series of workshops for Massachusetts librarians to get up to speed on the ins and outs of digital surveillance.

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