Librarians

Librarians

Seven Library Myths...BUSTED!

From our friends Libraries as Incubators via The Huffington Post:

#1: Libraries are quiet spaces--all the time, everywhere
#2: Book clubs are snooze-fests
#3: Library craft activities are old-fashioned, boring, or for kids only
#4: Libraries are about books--and that's it
#5 Libraries are boring
#6 Libraries are for nerds
#7 Libraries are for little kids

Follow @IArtLibraries on twitter for more inspiration from Erinn Batykefer and Laura Damon-Moore and their team. Here's the website.

Back Before the Internet

For those of us over 35 (and some of us that are younger), it is well known that when you needed to have some critical information, you asked a librarian. NPR has a lovely story about questions patrons asked in the olden days (pre-Google).

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Overpaid $266.5K city manager vs. library books

Wonder why your local public library is underfunded? Overpay of top city officials could be one reason. Here’s an example from my hometown, Alexandria, VA. The city manager’s $266,508 salary and additional benefits are almost as much as the entire substandard budget for library materials.

http://www.teleread.com/ebooks/overpaid-266-5k-city-manager-vs-library-books/

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Are Your Favorite Magazines Doomed?

In a word, yes. Here's the straight scoop from librarian/writer Roz Warren on what's going going gone in the world of magazines.

I love magazines, which is why I am alarmed and dismayed by the fact that they’re doomed. How do I know?
I’ve read about it, of course. In magazines.

Not only that, but I process the incoming periodicals at the library where I work, which means I can actually see them dwindling before my eyes. What once were fat monthly issues are now alarmingly thin. Monthlies have increasingly resorted to publishing double issues. “New York,“ always my favorite weekly, now comes out every other week.

When I grew up, I looked forward to having my own “McCalls” subscription. (And, with any luck, my own “Playboy“-reading spouse.) Some periodicals still manage to thrive. The last issue of “Vogue” was so big I could barely lift it, as fat with ads as the models within were skinny. (And so pungent with perfume ads you could smell it across the room.)

“People“ will endure. We’ll never grow tired of celebrity gossip. “Sports Illustrated” is still going strong. And “Martha Stewart Wedding” will undoubtedly be around as long as women dream of finding both Mr. Right and a fabulous gown to marry him in.

But “U.S. News and World Report?” “McCalls?“ “Newsweek?“ Gone.

Burn the Libraries and Free the Librarians

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A Little Boring is Sometimes a Good Thing

Annoyed Librarian comments on the news story that the library in Ferguson was open during the protests and that it has been receiving donations.

Although it has "boring" in the title the post is a good read:
http://lj.libraryjournal.com/blogs/annoyedlibrarian/2014/12/01/a-little-boring-is-sometimes-...

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Omaha Public Library director has submitted resignation

Omaha Public Library director Gary Wasdin has officially accepted a library director position with King County Library System. His last day with OPL will be Jan. 16.

http://www.ketv.com/news/omaha-public-library-director-has-submitted-resignation/29946614

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Retired school librarian catalogues Ontario's historical plaques

The federal and provincial governments install lots of plaques; plaques about inventors, plaques about canoe routes, even historical plaques about historians. You’ve surely seen a plaque or a hundred in your day, but what you may not know is you can look up and locate many of Ontario’s plaques at ontarioplaques.com.

The website is one-man project by Alan Brown, a retired librarian from Toronto who says he’s had an interest in plaques since he was a kid. Brown started his website in 2004 with the goal of photographing and making a page for each of our province’s Ontario Heritage Trust plaques. In 2009, he started on the Federal government’s Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaques.

http://www.thereview.ca/retired-school-librarian-catalogues-ontario-s-historical-plaques?id=770

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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

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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...

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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/

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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

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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.

Wesleyan U. Librarian Fired for Disagreeing

Patricia A. Tully, a 10-year veteran with the university, served as the Caleb T. Winchester university librarian from March 2010 until her firing last month. The news was first reported by the campus blog Wesleying.

In a Sept. 2 email to the faculty listserv, Tully said she was fired because of her ongoing disagreements with Ruth S. Weissman, provost and vice president for academic affairs, “about how to lead people effectively in an organization.” The letter was later posted online.

“Both of us tried, at various times, to resolve these differences, but our efforts seemed always to be at cross-purposes,” Tully wrote.

Speaking to Inside Higher Ed, Tully said it was an “accumulation” of problems, and not a particular incident, that led to her firing. She declined to elaborate, saying she would be happy to have that conversation with Weissman.

Something is Rotten at the Queens (NYC) Library

From From the New York Times: As federal and city officials continue their investigation into spending at the Queens Public Library, the library’s board of trustees has placed its embattled leader, Thomas W. Galante, on paid administrative leave.

At a special meeting on Thursday, the board, besides voting to place Mr. Galante on leave, also moved to give Scott M. Stringer, the city comptroller, full access to the library’s financial records, including its entire $127 million annual budget.

Mr. Stringer has been pressing to allow his auditors to review not just the 85 percent of the library’s budget that comes from city coffers, but also the balance of the money that is provided by federal grants and private donations.

“There was no excuse for the library’s earlier decision not to cooperate with the audit,” Melinda R. Katz, the Queens borough president who has been pushing for months to overhaul the library’s operations, said in a statement issued on Friday.

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