Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Library Champions.

Bloggers who champion innovative, untested library services piss me off.

I hate people who have ideas to use a new thing and tell the rest of us what a "game-changer" that new thing would be, but yet, have no evidence that the new thing isn't just another turd on a stick.

You ever know a kid who thinks it's funny to jab a dog turd with a stick to pick it up so it's like a hot dog on the end of a stick like you might see in a cartoon of an old time campfire cookout? And then he runs around trying to tag someone with the turd. That's what these new ideas are like, to me.

If you are promoting a new idea that you have not tested and have no logical basis for pushing on everyone else, then drop it back where you found it or I'm going throw a rock at your head.

But we have these librarians who continue to shout, "Wouldn't it be great if..."

Yes, it would be great if... something. But the point is that you're too much of a pussy to try it. Or you're too small of a fish to get your boss to try it, or too flaky and you've already had too many of your big ideas fail that your boss it tired of you making her look stupid. Or you really have your head way up your ass.

"Would it be awesome if we let our library patrons blah-dee blah? And then they could blah-dee blah-dee blah-dee blah-dee blah so much better or faster or easier? Wouldn't that be awesome?"

That's why you can't copyright an idea. Because ideas are bullshit. But plans aren't bullshit. Where is your plan? But no, you have no plan. Just some vague feeling that some new thing will somehow validate all the time you spend sitting on your ass at your job while everyone else does the actual work.

"Now remember, I said it first. So when this becomes a thing because of some other librarian's actual hard work, don't forget to give me the credit!"

Your boss doesn't listen to you for one of two reasons: either she's an ass or you're an ass. Since she's your boss, and as a boss myself, I tend to lean towards your being the ass.

These asses see the library failing because it doesn't do or have all this different crap. When the truth is, the library already incorporates many cool ideas. One of which is the ability to get one location to move items to another location so you can pick it up from a more convenient place. Can I get Walmart or Best buy to do that? Hell no. I go to their website and it says that item is not available from my local store so I need to pay to have it shipped to my home. Libraries do this for free. This is a great, useful service that if we were a business, we might be able to charge a buck for.

And interlibrary loan? Why don't you go down to the Apple store and ask them when they can get you an Android phone? What? Apple doesn't cooperate with competing businesses? But the library will get you any book (within reason) from almost any other library in the country.

Why don't you write down all the things your library does now and see how this new thing is better? Do you even know all the cool shit your library does now?

Now I'm not picking on a specific group of assholes, or even one asshole, but you know who you are. If it's different, it's better.

Because you're the dreamer of beautiful dreams. You imagine a world where your ideas are the honey that nourishes the rest of us.

Don't get me wrong; I love ideas. Keep them coming. But don't think you invented something just because you post it on your blog. We all have good ideas, but most of us work on them at home to prove they aren't bullshit before we shout them out in public.

You know what happens when you shout out ideas that no one adopts? You look like some crazy person shouting out ideas. You might as well wear roadkill for a hat and load your pants with chocolate pudding. The key is to get your idea to work and then tell us about it.

And if your idea is really good, I'll steal it for myself. Because I'm the boss.

Oh, and you want a concrete example of this? But completely unrelated to the library world? How about Betty White hosting SNL this past week? She thanked Facebook because of some campaign to get her to host.

If you saw the show, it was funny. Betty was great. But you can bet that the person who started the FB page is congratulating himself, or FB corporate is congratulating themselves without any of them acknowledging that the writers had anything to do with it. If you've seen the last few SNL's then you know a slamdunk was not a guarantee. Betty's show could have tanked. And then what? All the Facebookers who joined Betty's group would say, "Hey, I did my part."

Yes, it was a good idea. But that's how it is with ideas: you need people to make them real.