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24 February 2010

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Wow, so what you're telling me is that some day I'm going to run screaming from librarianship into professional book reviewing and writing for readers advisors? Because those things are already driving me up a flipping wall, and I've only had my MLIS a couple years. Ugh.

Maybe what we need is librarian revolution.

Oh, gosh, Rachael, if you run from librarianship into anything else, I hope you find something better paid than freelance editorial work and/or RA writing and book reviewing. Although, in all fairness, I ran screaming from the patrons (the producers of all the questionable body fluids) more than I did from the profession.

Interestingly enough, all the things that seem to make Marilyn Johnson excited about libraries were the things that made me nuts. I'll admit I most likely would have done better in the non-subverting-of-the-stereotype days, when we were into shushing and books and reading (actual books, that is, not tweets).

seriously can't even respond to this. just thinking about reading this book is frustrating me. gah.

I have not read the book and do not plan to (though I'm glad on principle that someone wrote it), BUT: I do have one overriding criticism, in that she did not write about me. While it is true that I am a single female who lives alone with three cats, in very many ways I combat the stereotypes, dammit.

p.s. I'm in the bored and frustrated phase, five years (keee-rist a'mighty) after getting my MLS, but I do not plan to jump careers into book reviewing and reference book writing. It's just that I don't know what career to jump to.

I wonder if my son would like this...he's thinking about getting an MLS.

CR, come back to the Dark Side! You are very much missed.

Have you read Dan Borchert's Free for All: Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangsters in the Public Library? I can't remember if you or Intrepid Reader Katharine introduced me to it. It was upbeat, but not relentlessly so.

Beth,
Yes, I wish I could suggest reading it. But I really can't. It was kind of a struggle for me to get through it, although parts were interesting, but I could never suggest a struggle to any other reader.

Lesbrarian,
No, I don't think you'd find much to enjoy here either. For one thing, you ARE subverting many stereotypes (cats notwithstanding), so that chapter will be completely redundant for you. Oddly enough, I think it was meant to be an inspiring book, so I'm sad I can't tell you to read it and it'll help you over the five-year doldrums.

Bybee,
Can your son do anything tech-y instead? No kidding. He would still be able to find work in any library (although not as well paid as other work) and he'd get a lot more respect and job possibilities. Especially now that libraries are hiring librarians and staff without MLSes left and right, I really wouldn't spend the money to get one. That's horrible of me to say, I know. I've never really regretted my library degree, but I do wish I'd learned something more technical instead (or at least in addition to it). Maybe programming? Although I probably didn't have the detail orientation for that.

Oh, Robin dearest,
I spent years on the Dark Side (the Dark Side that is circulation in today's public libraries, anyway)! It was time for a slightly lighter side. But maybe someday?

I did enjoy Borchert's "Free for All" (I think maybe Katharine turned me on to it and I passed it on to you?), the most of any library memoir I've ever read (and way better than Scott Douglas's Quiet Please: Dispatches from a Public Librarian), but I'm still waiting for a hilarious LADY librarian (unlike Borchert or Douglas) to write an even better library memoir. Perhaps you will make my dream come true?

Oh, Quiet Please was not what I thought it would be. I wanted more bite, or...something. It was just kind of blah.

For me, it's not the patrons (I used to work in advertising, and they are basically as bad or good as my clients ever were. Not saying much about either group, actually). It's the leadership, both at the local, regional (system and state), and national level. I find it lackluster or misguided at best, and very frustrating. Meh.

Rachael, my kindred spirit,
Yes, I was totally bored by "Quiet Please..." I thought it was somewhat sanctimonious, in a weird way.

I completely agree with you. The patrons are one thing, but sometimes you don't expect a lot from the patrons. But the management? You don't want to be fighting it at every turn. I'm so sorry you find it frustrating and hope that turns around for you.

Don't even get me started on the national leadership--I'm annoyed with the ALA this week (and, if I'm honest, perpetually). Whazzup with not posting the content of their magazine "Public Libraries" anywhere? I heard their latest issue was about readers' advisory, but as I'm not a member, I have no access to it (can't get it from the library either--it's in "professional collections only," and I'm cut off from those now!!)--it's not online and it's not included in any of the very expensive databases my public library pays for that. They can't even put the table of contents online? For an organization supposedly dedicated to the freedom of information, I find that HILARIOUS, in a pathetic way, and totally typical.

Aren't you sorry you got me started on that rant? :)

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