Monday, October 29, 2012

Thanks Sandy!

Hey Hurricane Sandy,

Thanks for the paid day off today, now if you could keep the power on that would be great...

Monday, October 15, 2012

I had to become a Librarian to enjoy reading again...

Shawshank Redemption Andy Dufrense - "I had to come to prison to be a crook."

When I was in grade school, I used to love reading.  I was going through Hardy Boys like nobody's business.  It all came to a halt when teachers gave us reading and forced all of the "author's" analogies down our throats.  It completely ruined the enjoyment of reading for me and it became a chore to me.  I think it's also a personal issue with me, I hate when people tell me what I should think and feel without letting me analyze it for myself.  "This is what this story is about," "This is what the author really means," "This is a symbolism for this and this only."  Damn, can't someone think on their own!??  

I'm not going to lie, all through my undergrad and grad school I didn't read any of the material unless it was directly related for a group project and/or grade.  At my last branch, my coworkers always used to call me out on it: "You're going to school to be a librarian but you don't even read!"  But that all changed when I got my first tablet.  As you can see in the sidebar of the main page of this blog, my reading has exponentially gone up.  

Even the few titles that I did read outside of school were school-related.  I was one of those snobby, non-fiction readers, "I only read non-fiction; if I'm going to read, I want to learn something."  I have come across some of the patrons in the library too, always complaining about the collection: "Why are there so many fiction books?  You guys should buy more nonfiction."  The things I did read were all books recommended by my business school professors: The World is Flat, Good to Great, etc.  But that also changed when I got my first tablet.  Now, the vast majority of my reading is fiction, and it's pretty damn good too!

So that leads me up to the present, it has been almost a full year since graduating with my MLIS (December 2011) and I have not been able to find a full time librarian job.  I have looked at other non-library related jobs, but damn it, I didn't get this degree to NOT work in a library.  I really enjoy working at my branch, I love the patrons and my coworkers, so I can ride it out for a little bit longer.  Due to all of these factors, I have decided to add "Literacy Council volunteer" to my resume.  

Honestly, I should have signed up to do this when I graduated.  I have not yet started tutoring just yet, I will in a few weeks, but I am excited.  When I filled out the application to become a literacy council volunteer tutor, I realized one of my favorite things about being a public librarian is seeing people get excited about reading.  From little kids to adults, when they see that long-awaited book sitting on the holds shelf for them the excitement is contagious .

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Publishers' Most Wanted: The Public Library...

Money Talks, BS Walks... Time to ante up...
First off, <^>(-_-)<^> middle finger salute to all you stingy-ass, stubborn, myopic publishers.  You all are acting like a bunch of jackasses.  What the hell has the public library ever done to you, except give you money and support?

You get all pissy in the digital age just because you think you'll lose millions of dollars in revenue if you sell an ebook to a library.  The publishing world is evolving and you're trying to fight the change.  So print is slowly losing ground to digital format, it's all new to you, but take a note from the music industry.  They've made the physical to digital transition and they haven't gone bust.  I remember when CD's used to sell for over $19.99 and singles used to cost $4.99.  Now single songs cost .99, let's be honest, CD-buyers were screwed over because most of the songs on a full-length CD were crap anyways.

So you think a fair compromise would be to give libraries copies limited to 26 loan periods.  I have seen copies of books that have checked out over 125 times that are in still excellent condition.  The other option is to pay over 100% the physical book price for the ebook one.  Who was the genius who made that decision?

I find it hard to believe that digital editions carry the same manufacturing costs as print.  If they really do, then you're doing something wrong. You know libraries across the country have been battling budget cuts for several years now, but yet you insist on strangling every dollar out of them.  Have you ever considered that libraries would purchase MORE digital copies if prices were reasonable?  And selling more copies at a lower price could help the bottom line better than selling a lot fewer at a hyper-inflated price.

I'm just saying, you can't keep doing this forever.  Something's gotta give and you act like you don't really need or care for libraries' business.  I can't wait til more authors and independent publishers step up.  See what happens when the paradigm shift comes and libraries turn their backs on you.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Welcome to the Library Circle-Jerk: Banned Books Week

From one librarian to another --- You're awesome,
now spread the word outside of The Library...

If there is one thing I have learned about librarians, it is that they are pro-fresh-shun-owls when it comes to talking about how great libraries are and how undervalued librarians are... TO EACH OTHER. The library's intranet blog is full of stories submitted by library staff on articles about the "greatness" of the public library which happened to be posted on a library-specific website which only reaches a specific group of readers: library staff.

This week is the high point of library circle-jerking: Banned Books Week. 
"Libraries the defenders of everyone's right to read, unless it's 50 Shades of Grey."  Of course everyone who is usually all rah-rah about Banned Books Week were no where to be found or heard from when a public library said that they weren't going to carry that horrid book.  Of course the library system  caved when media picked the story up. --- yay, public library ridiculousness! 

Now, if only The Library was as good as getting the word out to the general public, maybe we wouldn't be in this annual tooth and nail fight for every single budget dollar.