Unions – A Librarian’s Ethical Dilemma

2013-01-17_08-01-56_106You know the larger-than-life-sized reindeer that dance down Main Street, pulling Santa’s sleigh during the holiday parade at Disneyland? Well, for a very brief time, I was one of those. In fact, I was the first-ever female reindeer. My dimensions and dancing ability (such as it was) fit the Disney specifications. Twice a day throughout the holiday season I danced down Main Street, strapped into an 18-pound reindeer head that extended about 2 feet above my own while zipped into a head-to-toe fir costume. Continue reading

Beware the Bookless Library

C/O Bexar County Government

Designed like an Apple Store (gag!), the bookless public library in San Antonio is causing quite a buzz. Personally, walking into a space that looks like an overly-bright hospital cafeteria, lined with blinking electronic devices gives me a headache and makes me feel sorry for the employees who work there. Admittedly, I am not an Apple fan. I don’t get why iMac Groupies would clamor to get inside such a place to buy the latest iPhone when the one they’re talking on still works. Continue reading

PD Discrepencies between Public and School Libraries

c/o Shucker

Every once in a while an acronym gets thrown around and, I’m the dummy who has to ask, “What does that mean?” PD, for example, stands for Professional Development. I suppose I hadn’t heard the initials before because the public library culture is, as I’m discovering, different from that of school libraries’. Public librarians are amazing folk who scramble to meet the ever-changing needs of their diverse communities with shrinking staff, budget and support. I adore public librarians. However, they are not as into “PD” as my school librarian colleagues. Continue reading

Battleax Be Gone

by aka Kath

The pre-automated check-out process used to involve a librarian flipping through an alphabetized Rolodex. My husband, who is one of eight children, would watch those cards flip around with unease… make that panic, all because of a colored paperclip. Whenever the red paperclip appeared the librarian would take the opportunity to remind my not-yet-husband about any overdues owed by his siblings. This would have been no big deal had the librarian been remotely pleasant about it. She was NOT! Continue reading

Shame on Library Schools!

C/O Blue Robot

Finding work as a librarian is next to impossible, especially in California where budget cuts have slashed full-time public library positions and school libraries continue to be run by under-qualified paraprofessionals.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for librarians is growing at a slower pace compared to other occupations, a mere 7 percent from 2010 to 2020.  Forbes Magazine rates Library Science the worst graduate degree to obtain for jobs.

In spite of these facts, Continue reading

Librarians Make Libraries

Barbara Kay Stripling, current ALA President, has created a Declaration for the Right to Libraries to get passed around and signed by folks who support libraries.  Unfortunately, having groups of people sign the thing will do little to raise awareness about libraries because the Declaration for the Right to Libraries is inaccurate.  It states that libraries do such lofty things as to support literacy and lifelong learning, strengthen families, protect intellectual freedom, advance research and scholarship, discuss issues of common concern, and preserve heritage. Continue reading