Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Library school by any other name would smell.

The Annoyed Librarian has a column on how some library schools are dropping the word Library from their names and adding words like "communications" or "information" or "wizardry."

And I wonder why this is happening because so many libraries become what they need to be. The NYT has a story that shows how librarians become teachers (when the teachers don't seem to be teaching the right stuff) and they become tech gurus if that's what people want us want to know.

Libraries continue to reinvent themselves, but not in the scary may that Madonna still tries by adopting British accents or making out with Britney; they adapt to the needs of their customers. FYI, we tried the British accent at our library and it was a big hit. But it was a little difficult to remember to add -shropshire or -ingham to every place name when speaking, and Lord or Lady to every author name.

So when Libraries are doing so much to remain technological relevant, why do Library Schools feel that the name "library" is outdated? The library is what it needs to be; librarians are what our customers need for us to be. Did somebody miss that fucking lesson in school?

Librarians keep showing the public that libraries are evolving while Library Schools, say No, you're not. Library means books. Stop trying to change.

So, is this evidence that these library schools are not up with what libraries are doing now? If libraries are providing broadband Internet and connecting users' USB devices and uploading and download and editing files in a variety of formats, then what the fuck are these library schools doing that they don't notice?

As AL points out, it's just New Jersey who wants to change the name now. What the fuck, New Jersey? You fuckin' retahded? If you don't keep an eye on your library business, somebody is gonna come along and take it. You'll wake up with an unabridged dictionary in your bed with the section for L torn out. Fuhgeddaboudit.

Librarians continue to change the face of librarianship. If Library Schools can't see that, then what the hell are they doing?

I think library school boards, directors, whoever, think that they are like pharmaceutical companies advertising some new drug: Try Librexica™. Ask you doctor if Librexica™ is for you. Librexica™ may not be for you if you experience enthusiasm lasting more than twelve hours or if you are awesome or ever plan to become awesome, or if you suffer a sudden drop of hipness pressure from not purchasing the latest crap Steve Jobs wants to sell you.

The farther the library school gets away from the concept of an actual library, the cooler those directors must feel. So they call the college the "School of Bondage and Discipline," or the "School of Hard Knocks," or "Starbucks." Or even "???????."

Dude, look at the name of this college; it's just a bunch of question marks. Maybe part of the degree program is figuring out what the program is... maybe I get to make up whatever I want. That's awesome. Because I'm majoring in weed: I'm going to publish books on weed paper that you smoke after you read.. or before you read... DUUUDE! ReadWeed is our company name!

I don't really give a crap what a library school calls itself, as long as my degree is still useful and keeps me from getting thrown out on my ass and replaced by a recently laid-off barista.