Librarians

Dead-End Job: Librarian - Alternative Career: Nutritionist

Five dead-end jobs, and how to escape them

Why Avoid It: Nolin says that this is a dying occupation simply because information now is so readily devoured using technology. Plus, she says that federal funding for new libraries is basically non-existent, and job growth is expected to follow suit.

Why Nutritionist A Better Choice: "With our aging and waist-expanding population, the number of people who visit a nutritionist to help address health issues is exploding," says Nolin.

Via KGS

Huge Thefts from Girolamini Library with a Librarian in the Plot

Big story from Naples Italy via The New York Times. Here's the perp, Marino Massimo De Caro, now on trial.

It was one of the most dramatic thefts ever to hit the rare-book world, the disappearance of thousands of volumes — including centuries-old editions of Aristotle, Descartes, Galileo and Machiavelli — from the Baroque-era Girolamini Library in Naples. Now, prosecutors at a trial here are trying to show how such a wholesale violation of Western cultural patrimony could have taken place.

The very man charged with protecting these treasures, Marino Massimo De Caro, a politically connected former director of the library, is accused of being at the center of a network of middlemen, book dealers and possibly crooked conservators — all part of what prosecutors say is a sometimes corrupt market for rare books in which much is spent and few questions are asked. Apart from Mr. De Caro, 13 others are charged, including a priest.

Some interesting backstory on the theft here and and here from the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.

A Mild-Mannered Librarian on the Today Show

Writer and Philadelphia area librarian Roz Warren writes about her experience as a guest on the Today Show in the Huffington Post. She was invited to appear after writing an essay about being self-accepting wearing a bathing suit. Warren is 58.

Here's the original post: At Ease With a Body Fighting Gravity from the NY Times Booming.

Turning A Page Inside A Rural One-Room Library

Rachel Reynolds Luster took over this branch four months ago with the goal of creating a learning hub. She calls herself a curator, not just a librarian.

Her first task? Filtering out some of the favorites of the previous librarian.

"It's been interesting working this transition with her," Luster says. "She was quite upset that the cooking magazines were gone. But we recycled them all, and we kept some holiday cookie editions."

Full piece

Fired for...Talking Too Loudly?

From the Flint Journal:

MONTROSE, MI -- A former Montrose librarian is suing the Genesee District Library over claims she was fired for talking too loudly.

Susan Harshfield, 30, of Swartz Creek, said she was fired for talking loudly to police after she called for help with a patron who refused to leave the library.

Library spokesman Trenton Smiley declined to comment on the lawsuit. Library attorney Patrick Parker also declined comment. No response to the allegations has been filed with the court.

Harshfield's attorney, Tom Pabst, said his client was serving as a whistleblower when she was fired by the library.

"The taxpayers and library lost a good worker in Susan," Pabst said.

The lawsuit claims that a loud dispute arose Sept. 5 between Harshfield and the library patron over DVDs. Harshfield claims that she asked the patron to leave but the patron refused, so Harshfield called the police.

Librarian Who Struggled to Read as a Child Now Helps Others in Staten Island

From The New York Times:

Patricia Ann Kettles did not read her first book until she was 10. She knows what it is to struggle with the very act of reading, trying to make sense of words on a page long past an age when other children can polish off a thick Harry Potter or Twilight novel as quickly as a wedge of cake.

Now 40, at the library on Staten Island where she presides and where patrons know her fondly as “Miss Patty,” she talked recently about what it was like to be illiterate while others around her were devouring entire worlds.

“The family’s name for me is Patty Ann, and for the longest time when I wrote the name ‘Patricia,’ I thought I was writing ‘Patty Ann’ because I had memorized it,” she said. “I didn’t realize I was not writing my right name.”

Forced to repeat first grade and twice made to switch schools, she was so lost that she was in fourth grade before she conquered an entire book. “That was ‘Dear Mr. Henshaw,’ by Beverly Cleary,” Ms. Kettles said. “I remember, because I was so proud.”

Today she is the manager of the Port Richmond Library, which operates out of a stately brick edifice that Andrew Carnegie’s largess built a century ago on “one of the finest residence streets on Staten Island,” as the area was described in The Staten Islander of March 1905. There is a theater in the basement bestowed upon the library 74 years ago by the Work Projects Administration.

Tattooed Librarians

...on Huff Post.

Librarian Shaming

A lovely tumblr, linked in today's New Yorker blog.

Another entry:

"I use hand sanitizer any time after handling Twilight, 50 Shades, any movie with Mel Gibson or Tom Cruise, High School Musical, anything by Michael Moore, Richard Dawkins, Phillip Pullman, Rush Limbaugh, or Ann Coulter. I feel disgusting every time I have to touch these things."

Librarians, Get Yer FREE Copies Here!!

Who could refuse? Workman Publishing, via Early Word is offering a FREE COPY of a new book by Chip Kidd, GO, an introduction to graphic design for kids, but also a wonderful primer for adults. Be one of the first 50 librarians or instructors to respond!

Do School Children Really Need Librarians?

Yes and no, according to your perspective.

City Limits, a NYC blog reports that earlier this summer, the Department of Education requested a variance from the state, asking official permission to offer fewer librarians in schools. While the DOE says it recognizes librarians' value, in the face of fiscal challenges and technological changes the department is looking for alternative ways to provide students with library services. In place of hiring certified librarians, schools could train teachers to offer the same services, bring in parent volunteers or have librarians circulate between schools.

Meanwhile, elementary schools are exempt from the regulation altogether. Some elementary school libraries are staffed by teachers or librarians without certification. Some even go without.

And from the librarians' POV: "The idea that a shelf full of a books somehow replaces a librarian is wrong," says Christian Zabriskie, Executive Director of Urban Librarians Unite, a professional group that supports librarianship in urban settings. "If I'm exploring things about, say, my sexuality, drug issues, health issues, I can't grab those books in front of my peers," he adds. Zabriskie's own middle school librarian had a significant impact on his life by supporting him when he was being bullied and teaching him how to stand up for others.

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