Random thoughts again

Between looking at the "biblioblogosphere" reaction as well as the comments on recent Annoyed Librarian's posts, I am confused. I don't get the virulence. I really don't. The rampant conservativism as well as fundamentalism is also breath-taking.

I understand that there seems to be veneration of Library Journal as an institution. I don't understand why there would be such a vehement reaction to this whole matter. What Library Journal did is hardly earth-shattering and has popped up elsewhere in far larger publications.

Librarians traditionally had at least a small amount of appreciation for what goes on in the content production side of things. This whole incident shows nothing in the same ballpark as that. The more I look at it, the more I get disturbed. Are librarians really masters of information in its many respects or are we merely warehouse managers?

It scares me that so many notables within librarianship would rail against this. As I said in the current podcast, if this is such an existential threat to the profession and its image there is the offer made to try to write your own counter-balance. What am I missing here? To a rational observer, librarians should be leaping for the opportunity. Yet as far as can be seen, nobody has stepped up to the plate. Is it that much easier to just whine about how bad the hiring of somebody like the Annoyed Librarian is rather than make a difference that could even help tenure cases potentially in terms of intellectual output?

Blogs are blogs. The Annoyed Librarian's presence is grouped with other opinion entities. I am not worried about the Annoyed Librarian harming the public's view of the profession. If anything the Annoyed Librarian has plenty of analogues in publications from the tech realm like Robert X. Cringely or Spencer F. Katt. When one regards Library Journal as what it is, simply a commercial publication, then this is a pretty mundane thing. To see an example of a Spencer F. Katt piece, all you need to do is get up and move around in your library in the direction of your periodicals and look at the back page of any recent issue of eWeek. In this case, you potentially have a non-librarian analog to the Annoyed Librarian in print within your facility...and you likely pay good money for it too.

What is being taught in MLS programs lately? I know these things not due to library school but because I have been in the media business off and on since 1998. Librarians certainly do not speak with one voice and never really have. If these strictures by various online personalities were applied to Sandy Berman when he challenged the validity of various subject headings in Hennepin County, I frankly imagine that we would not have as accessible of an LCSH as we have now.

Sometimes things that help may be bitter or just not taste good. Why else would so many medications say to take with food perhaps? The Annoyed Librarian does play a valuable role pointing out issues to think about. Today's post brought up an interesting point or two about separating knowledge and counter-knowledge as well as pondering the role of librarians in such.

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Frankly the Annoyed Librarian reminds me a bit of Jerry Springer. I just think that we have such a problem being taken seriously already, and this does not help our cause. So maybe "far larger publications" are hosting anonymous drama-filled blogs--but are they in the library field? What are these "far larger publications" who are publishing anonymous inflammatory blogs? I have no problem with controversial subjects that need to be addressed; however, there is a way to do this in a professional manner rather than resorting to the library blog world's version of crap reality TV.

Well, my best barometer for that is to see how offended my own mother would get reading such. Even though she is not a librarian, she found today's piece cute and actually identified with it from her own experiences. If that is the written equivalent of crap reality TV, we're working from different definitions.
Stephen Michael Kellat, Host, LISTen
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