Friday, August 18, 2006

the "you're so vain, you prob'ly think this song is about you, don't you? don't you?" rant

Warning, kiddies, this one might be tersely worded.

"You had me several years ago when I was still quite naive."

This is not an old guard v. new guard thing -- it's not a left v. right thing. It is a past v. future thing. Are you going to want to have libraries in 50 years?

Yes is the answer you're looking for.

So let's get a few things straight. Or just skip this post. You already know all this. Or you've already heard too much of this elsewhere. Or whatever.

. We're going to have to reach out and get involved with new media. You're going to have to embrace the MySpaces and what-comes-next. We're going to have to make ourselves a bit uncomfie if we want to be picked up and tracked-back by the next set of upcoming.

. Long-term administrators, particularly in academic librarians, are in danger of falling on flat on their asses -- and not just that, but tripping lots of others with their clumsiness while they're at it -- if they get too comfie with the illusion that just because faculty is friendly and library instruction / info literacy classes are semi-regular it means the students give a cuss about Gale Literary Index.

. Pick up a goddamn .mp3 player and use it. Put some songs or lectures on it. Learn it. Now.

. Listen to the whole question before you give you're [your] answer, asshole.

. Pick up a phone gizmo and learn to text message with it. I don't expect us to get all ketai krazy, but take a photo now and then. Download a ringtone. See what the hell it is that you're trying to ban, please.

. Put something, anything, on your faculty web page. Just show me you know the web exists.

. We've got to "think different", quick now, about library programs. The Friends of the Library are awesome. But fewer scones. More Mountain Dew, and make this happen yesterday. Inter-generational dialogue: make that happen too. Exploit the young to teach the old.

. Buy DVDs of television shows that come on networks other than PBS, sometimes.

. Get some graphic novels. Get some gaming books. Invest in manga and anime like you give a shit about your YA patrons.

. Ask artists and storytellers and knitters and woodcarvers and quilters and scrapbookers to set up shop on Saturdays. Give them nice things to eat. Introduce them to folks.

. Use volunteers like they're going out of style, because they're going out of style.

. Do more. Do better. And you 2.0 next-gen post-yuppie tattooed librarians who think you're already all that? Rest on your new laurels at your peril: you will become Vogons shortly unless you start sweating harder.

Who's reading this, anyway?
"Your scarf it was apricot."

I say these things with love in my heart and blood on my chin.

That's all. Back to work.


Dances With Books said...

Some of us may already know this, but how do we get the other sheeple and deadwood to either learn it or get the hell out of the way so we can make it happen? When someone finds that answer, let me know.

Actually, reading your post now may have been great (or the worst thing for me) at the moment since I am wondering some of these things back at my place.

Steve said...

I don't know what a vogon is. Up until that point, I was so with you.

CW said...

Hear, hear, Woody!

Oh, Steve, a vogon? See wikipedia. :)

CL said...

I am so loving the scones comment!

The average age of our Frinds group is 150. Now, don't get me wrong, their dedication is awesome, their hearts are in the right place, but outside of what I try to do with no money and little support means that our library hasn't had a program or fundraiser that appeals to anyone between 13 and 40 in, oh, ever. Even my mom, who is pushing 60, remarked that she was the youngest person in the room at the last fundraiser.

So, I totally agree with Dances with Books - as the only person on a staff of 20 that cares that we have no programs that appeal to teens or adults under 40, how do I make your suggestions happen - without losing my job? I already have the rep as a chronic complainer about this issue...

tin166 said...

Reading your posts reminds me something. Oh well of course some of us know all about this but we just play ignorant sometimes. Human as we are we tend to commit mistakes and love them.

Dr. Curtis Rogers said...

sometimes changes this monumental (which really aren't) are able to happen only one funeral at a time ;-)

Aunt Phetamine said...

I caught this link from The Lipstick Librarian. As a library student in his first year, I find it incredibly encouraging that people think like this.

Thinking that we're coming in to replace Marion is way off base. I can't wait to finish and find a mentor like you!

As always,
Aunt Phetamine

Anonymous said...

oh hell, y'all. it's getting to the point that i do believe i'm going to go and grow my own business. we