Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I've had this fermenting in my brain for a while, but as I come off the Thanksgiving turkey high and watch A Charlie Brown Christmas this evening, there's something I have to say.

I am very, very happy that I somehow got mixed in with the Library Society of the World and my Tweets. There have been a lot of changes in my life this year, not the least of which was leaving my first professional librarian and moving from Ohio to Arizona to start a new professional position at a much larger, much more research oriented institution.

I don't know where I first saw posts about the LSW. It might have been over at A Wandering Eyre, Librarians Matter, Young Librarian or any number of blogs that I was reading then (and there are a lot more that I read now). Regardless of where, I'm just happy that I did.

Throughout the move cross country and my first five-ish months here, my online network has kept me going at times. They were there through my last day at the FPOW, when I held it together well. Until the last 45 minutes or so, when I completely lost all decorum. They've been there when I've had minor breakdowns at the new job - even if sometimes they didn't realize they were there for those :) . I got the chance to "meet" someone local, even if I didn't actually meet her until we were both in California for IL2007. It has been a lonely six months since I arrived here in a lot of ways. I'm not sorry that I made the move, but that doesn't mean there haven't been second thoughts and times of self-doubt. These folks, this online network, got me through a lot of those moments.

Thanks, y'all. Especially to the Neff and the others who thought up the LSW - and not only thought it up, but who took the initial steps that others could build on. So many of you helped, even when you didn't know it.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Back to work

After a thoroughly relaxing Thanksgiving break, it's back to work tomorrow. I didn't hit many of the Black Friday sales, and didn't go to any of the early butt-crack of dawn ones - 4AM is too early for me to be shopping, unless I want to completely lose my judgment about what to buy.

Anyway, on the agenda for the week is a brown bag covering what I learned at Internet Librarian. Luckily, there are a few things in my favor, since it's been almost a month:
  • A good number of the presentations are now linked from the IL07 Page.
  • I do have pretty good notes from the sessions I attended
  • A good number of folks blogged about the conference, which should be a significant help if there are things I don't remember specifics about.
Right now, though, I've got the rest of today and apart from making laundry & turkey stock, I'm going to relax.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The inbreeding of social networks

I've come to the conclusion that my social networks are decidedly inbred. When I take a look at my Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter friends - or for that matter, almost any of the social networks I'm in - the same people appear. Sure, there are some slight variations - but for the most part, my friends on one network tend to be my friends on others. The network itself may expand slightly, but there ends up being a stable group of people, most of whom are also friends with each other.

The exceptions tend to be my family members - and the tendrils that spread from there. The core of my social networks are librarians, though. Which can make for interesting conversations - or boring ones, depending on your point of view.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Police/Crime Dramas on television

I don't get them - I just can't get into shows like Law and Order or CSI.

But bad science fiction movies (Like SciFi shows constantly on the weekend)? I can't leave them alone. I'm currently sucked into Asteroid. They're almost always implausible, with horrible acting (and often Tom Skerritt, though I don't know why). But I can't help it.

Currently on Asteroid, they're evacuating a Kansas City nursing home and an elderly man is pitching a fit saying that he won't leave. Why? Because they didn't take the photo of his wife and "He won't go anywhere without his wife".

It is better than one earlier - The Black Hole (and no, not the one from 1979).

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What I wish I'd learned in library school

After reading this essay by Nancy Larrabee on LIScareer.com, along with this NPR story, I've sort of been thinking about what I wish I'd learned in library school. I could go with the usual complaints that people include - the lack of instruction on instruction, the lack of a required management class, or any number of things. The reality is, I've recently realized that there was something that could have really helped me significantly, both at MPOW* and at FPOW**.

The class I wish I'd had was Vendor Relations 101. I have no idea how to deal with vendors on a regular basis. Sure, I can have a chat at a conference, but when they're actually trying to show me a product or tell me something, I've got no clue. And then there are the ones who want to know what the process is at MPOW. Well, I have no idea what I can and can't tell vendors - and I'm not sure if this comes from my years as an auditor when I did have to be very careful about who was told what, or if it's reasonable caution, or a combination of both.

Hey, if this was offered as a CE class, as a seminar or as a preconference or session at a conference, I'd be there in a second.

For those who haven't seen them:
*My Place of Work
*Former Place of Work

Monday, November 12, 2007

I am Annoyed Librarian

This is just to make it known that I am Annoyed Librarian. Though I think it would be obvious, you just might wonder why I'm annoyed.

I am annoyed because so many librarians are blind to viewpoints other than their own when it comes to libraries - yes, I believe that libraries are a Good Thing - I did, after all, leave a lucrative career to become one. However, not everyone sees them this way. We have to be willing to step back and view the library the way those who don't see libraries as a naturally good thing do and we must be willing to prove our value to those people. Yes, libraries have to justify our existence to those who think in business terms. Being angry about this does no one any good - instead, we have to learn to do it.

I am annoyed because libraries can be so slow to change, because in almost every library there is an old guard who say "yes, but..." to any new idea, because as a profession we are so in love with committees and discussions that we don't get things accomplished.

I am annoyed because it seems so very difficult for new/young librarians to break into the field - there is now an "old guard" of young librarians who, for whatever reason, seem to make it difficult for newer librarians to be involved. I don't think it's intentional, and I do think it may be a function of profession structure, but I still feel like it's there.

I am annoyed because the profession is represented by a top-heavy organization that is made up of the true old guard, who appear to be are the kings and queens of the "yes, but..." when new ideas are proposed.

I am annoyed because this is a profession with women in the majority - and with that come the things that I dislike about groups of women. Not all women in any group do this, but there can be a cliqueishness to groups of women that reminds me of high school - I'd like to think that as adult professionals, we would have grown out of this, but I know that not everyone has.

Ok, maybe I'm not THE Annoyed Librarian. But I am a librarian, and I am annoyed by things in the profession. I am also at times annoyed by people in the profession - whether the old guard or the "twopointopians" (as the real AL calls us) who don't see the forest for the trees - or the trees for the forest.

My point? We're all Annoyed Librarians in some way, shape or form. The AL does not have a monopoly on annoyance. What s/he does have? A voice that's gotten out there, however anonymous it may be. A turn of phrase that makes people talk - no matter how annoyed we may be by the saying of these things.