Tuesday, December 31, 2013

How #librarianfestivus explains the states of librarianship in 2013

While I was burning vacation days, use it or lose it!, Andy Woodworth went and did it again.
His post was much more of an airing of grievances than a feat of strength, and then The Chronicle of Higher Education inexplicably sent out a tweet, since deleted, with the hashtag "librarianfestivus."

Thanks to The Stacks Cat for retweeting that before it was deleted,
enabling me to screen capture it.
The outpouring that followed nicely sums up the year in libraries, both for better and for worse.

Confession: I can never remember what the G stands for anyway.
On vendor relations:
I ranted about this earlier in the year and while I suspect the "Big Deal" is going to take some hits in the next year, I also think we librarians are going to be stuck with it.

On why unpaid internships suck (tl:dr, they perpetuate inequality, are exploitative):

My Place of Work has a position titled "Library Intern." It's paid, as it should be.

MLIS bashing

And of course "the graph" made an appearance.

Via Liz Lieutenant 
To make matters worse, the most popular metrics one might use to chose a school are flawed. But in 2014, maybe, just maybe, we will be in a position to do something about this.

On faculty passing the buck to libraries, giving up copyright...

On the price of textbooks:
In 2014 I hope academic librarians work closely with faculty on open-access textbook options, and that more faculty write and unlock said texts. The wheels are already in motion here, thanks to the State Universities of New York, the University of California system, the University of Minnesota, and Rice University, among others.

There's an article for that...
And of course the Think Tank was mentioned as well. Quote Andy:
Honestly, if you can’t control your resident lunatics, please at least keep them within the confines of your posting area. When people in the position of hiring within the library start talking about membership in the group as being a liability on the resume, you might want to work on your image within the library world.
Here's what I said to Hiring Librarians about ALA Think Tank, to be published by that site shortly (UPDATE on 1/3, here it is):
Membership in the ALA Think Tank Facebook group won't hurt a candidate in my eyes, but participation is another story. Ninety-five percent of what goes on in that group is fine by me, so if you use the group to "make it happen" and get ideas/feedback/discuss the issues of the day, that's great. But the remaining five percent gives me a great deal of pause. If your participation in ALA Think Tank includes making fun of South Asians, being sexist and using the group to create gendered spaces, subtweeting and bickering with your peers as if librarianship is junior high school, and generally acting like a "drunken embarrassment," then yes, participation in the group is going to hurt a candidate's chances with me.
via Twitter
I'm heartened that in 2013 I saw much more discussion (and please do read the links therein) of diversity, gender, race, class, and I aim to further this dialogue in 2014. However, this needs to progress beyond discussion.  While I grew up in one majority minority city and now work and live in another (thus as a hiring manager I have a slate of candidates available that other hiring librarians do not), if there's anything I can do to move this topic from one of position to one of maneuvers, I will do it.

Happy New Year!

Cheers, Jake

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