Union Says Library Too Pop-fixated

kmccook writes "

"The library should keep up with the changes, but not at the expense of the written word," said Diane Boerman, a library employee and shop steward for the librarians union.

Sacramento library staffers are circulating a petition of no-confidence in management, decrying what they view as a departure from amassing a rich research collection to pandering to the whims of the YouTube generation.
Librarians question administrators' selection of materials, which include six copies of Paris Hilton's "Confessions of an Heiress" autobiography and 10 copies of the film "Jackass 2."

The dissenting librarians plan to present the petition with 600 signatures from staff, former staff and patrons to the library's board at a Thursday meeting. It asks leaders to reconsider modeling library branches after a popular book or music store while casting off books with lasting value.

For more info:
See Union Librarian."


"The union members were quoted as saying 'The rod up our collective butts has a rod up its butt. We believe that libraries should be cold, harsh, judgmental, strict and uninviting. We started by getting rid of all those English "translations" of the Bible. If our children want to read scripture they can learn Hebrew and Greek like I did back at Amherst in 1883.'"

Registration to read things at newspaper sites. Unions. Links to the exact same things at some other place.

I probably would agree with the union members on this one though, I don't think any library needs one copy of Jackass2, much less multiple copies.

Jackass 2 grossed over 84 million dollars worldwide. Whether you like the movie or not, millions of people enjoy that drek.I get really tired of hearing that X doesn't belong in a library because Y. Everything belongs in a library. If it never checks out, weed it. But if it does, it shows that at least one person wanted it and folks, we serve the people, not ourselves.

If libraries stocked nothing but National Geographic DVDs and "Learn to Speak Portuguese NOW" DVDs, we could watch our facilities slowly dwindle into dusty, book filled hovels. And then we could sit back and say "Yes! We are higher and more scholarly than any Blockbuster! Screw those jerks for actually stocking what people want."

Sure you should have Shakespeare and Byron and the classics. But if you really want people to come see you, you better stock a lot of popular titles too. And besides, it's pure stupidity to say anything about any generation, whether it's Gen X or the "YouTube Generation," whatever the hell that is. If you want today's children to remain tomorrow's patrons, you better freakin' stock what they want to read, what they want to hear, and what they want to listen to.

People come to libraries if you give them what they need. They'll stay if you also give them what they want.

The guy that sells crack on my block made $1100 last Friday. Does that make it a good thing?

Jackass is stupid.

I don't think libraries should carry current movies. Few people give a damn what I think.

More dangerous collection development bias: liberal or snob?

'Jackass' was funny. I have not seen 'Jackass Two'.

Paris Hilton is skanky, but I still skimmed through her book. I was thinking about subscribing to the 'National Enquirer' but our shelf space is tight.

Where did I say that I didn't order that sort of thing? Just because I think it is stupid does not mean I did not order what patrons asked for.

If you want feel free to look at OCLC's collection of videos for FYJ added to the catalog 8/05 to 5/06. I ordered them all (except the children's collection). Heck look at the adult books and even the Audio books - I had 3 copies of Clinton's AudioBook, 2 CD and 1 Tape - and that was too long for even most Democrats to listen to, but patrons requested it so I bought it.

Paris Hilton wrote a book? No really, I had no idea.

I just looked in WorldCat, she wrote it with Merle Ginsberg. That poor man.

Let them eat cake: If the folks who visit and patron our libraries want 10 copies of Jackass 2 (which reminds me to check and see if I can reserve it- shameless viewer of bad movies), let them have it. However, if those 10 copies are the only DVDs you are going to buy- that is a problem. After the first few months, those 10 DVDs won't be checked out that often and will be sitting on the shelf. But we live in a here-and-now society and the people want their demands met promptly. With all things in life, moderation and balance should be used in ordering for collections. Mostly (3/4) we should meet the needs of our constituents and (1/4) forsee the needs of possible constituents. Change is inevitable.

Damn right.

I don't know how many libraries do this, but we get most of our new DVDs leased through McNaughton or B&T. That way, we can order a bunch of the suckers to fill the demand for new movies, then send some back after the demand dies down.

Looking at our catalogue, I see that we have 142 copies of Jackass 2 in our system. All of them are temporary. I forsee us keeping around, oh, maybe 10 after we send the rest back. That'll put a few copies in our regionals and that's about it.

Customers wanted to see it. And while they're in checking out crap, maybe they'll get something good too. Most of the people I've seen snagging Jackass are also getting books or movies of a far higher caliber.

Then again, when we're talking Jackass 2, Debbie Does Dallas is of a higher caliber.

That Sacramento Bee article implies the petition was rescinded:

"Librarians began circulating their petition with the intention of calling for the library’s board — comprising members of the Sacramento City Council and county Board of Supervisors — to oust library director Anne Marie Gold.

But [Library empolyee and union steward Diane] Boerman said library staff softened their approach and plan to ask the library board for an independent review of their claims at a 3 p.m. meeting at Board of Supervisors chambers, 700 H St."

Part of this is about collection development and part of it is about painting a library interior with the colors and mascot of a private corporate sponsor. I'm rooting for them for the second part.

I got a book by Paris Hilton for my last birthday, It was hilarious. I laughed until tears were coming down my face. It is the Your Heiress Diary: Confess It All to Me. She gives you shallow prompts and you are supposed to write in your own life and make it sound as if you were Paris. You can say a lot of things about her but she, a high school dropout, does manage to bring in quite a hefty paycheck. I think she is a master manipulator of the press. If you were looking to be famous in Hollywood, maybe you could hire her to do your PR or find out who does hers. Let's face it, she doesn't have much talent and yet she gets a lot of attention and opportunities.

Do and Paris Hilton bring to mind many different thoughts than PR.