professionally annoyed

I don’t understand the appeal that the anonymous blogger “Annoyed Librarian” has among certain segments of the profession. When s/he entered the blogosphere, I read the entries for a while, mainly because so much buzz had been generated around them. But, after a while, the bitter negativity wore me down and I started avoiding it.

I know things aren’t perfect in Libraryland. We have a lot of work to do to catch up with the tools and services that our for-profit competitors provide. Will we be able to move forward and fix what needs fixing if we spend all of our time wallowing in complaints and self-hatred? No.

I put on my metaphorical ass-kicking boots every day and try to do what I can in my job to make library services and resources more accessible and functional for my library’s users. Occasionally, I do slide into fruitless complaining — we all do — but I don’t stay there for long. I’m lucky to have good people working with me, and as long as we support each other, it will be alright.

There was a flurry of tweets, blog postings, and other social media exclamations of WTF? when American Libraries Library Journal hired the Annoyed Librarian to be an official blogger for the magazine. I shrugged it off, since I rarely read the American Libraries Library Journal website anyway, unless I’m looking for an article I want to share with a colleague. However, it seems that was only the tip of the iceberg. Volume 5, issue 4 of Haworth’s Journal of Access Services is an entire issue of essays written by the Annoyed Librarian.

The Journal of Access Services. The “one-of-a-kind, peer-reviewed quarterly journal” that “covers the full range of access issues affecting libraries today.” Seriously? An entire issue of a journal subtitled “Service Innovations for 21st Century Libraries” is now dedicated to an anonymous someone who’s best known for trashing any sort of innovation or philosophy that the Librar* 2.0 movement puts forward? What were they thinking?

ETA: Wrong library journal up there. Fixed it. Also, an indication of how much that concerned me, no?

Addendum: It seems that not all members of the Journal of Access Services editorial board were aware of the decision to make the special issue entirely Annoyed.

yup, it’s monday

A long story about my Monday from hell.

I figured it was just a typical Monday when I woke up two hours late. Little did I know that this was only the beginning. I was house sitting out at the farm this past weekend, so by the time I got everyone fed and the car loaded, it was around 8:30, 1.5 hours after I should have been at work. I hit the gas station at Georgetown at 9am, put about 5 gal in and called my boss to give her the ETA. At that point, I figured I could get home, drop off the cat and my stuff, and be to the office by 10:30-ish. Late, but with enough time left in the day to get something done.

At around 9:30, I’m cruising around Lexington on I-75, listening to WRFL and thinking about what I was going to work on today. I noticed a SUV pull up on my left side, and the woman in the passenger seat is trying to get my attention. I look over, and she mouths something like “flat tire” and points to my rear wheel. I don’t think much of it at the time, since I have a full load in the car and sometimes that makes my tires look a little low. I decide to wait until I get to Richmond (25 mi away) and check the tires then. That was a mistake.

About 10 mi down the road, I’m getting close to the bridge over the Kentucky River. I thought that my engine seemed to be louder than normal, but I wrote it off to being hyper-sensitive. Generally, I don’t notice anything mechanical about my car unless I’m worried that something may be broken. Suddenly I hear a pop and the road noise gets really loud. I make my way over to the side of the interstate and discovered that my driver-side rear wheel is flat.

I’ve never had to change my tires before, so I’m a little freaked out, but I know what I need to do. I pull out the jack and the spare from the trunk, and get to work. A few minutes later, I have the car jacked up on that corner and the hub cap is off, but I can’t get the bolts to loosen. I’m starting to get really freaked out and very frustrated. I know that my cell phone battery is very low, so I pray that I have enough juice to call Progressive roadside assistance and get someone down there to help me change the tire. I do, and the automatic confirmation a few minutes later relates the unwelcome news that it will be an hour and a half before someone can get there.

Thankfully, while I was waiting for the confirmation call, a Kentucky State Trooper pulled up and got out to assist me. He was able to get the bolts loosened (put the emergency brake on, lower the car so the wheel is on the ground) and replaced the tire with the spare for me. Turns out that I had run over a screw at some point this morning which caused a leak and then the blow-out. I’m thankful it didn’t happen while I was on the bridge.

Limping along at my 50 mph limit, I get into Richmond and stop by my tire place. They have a replacement in stock and they can get to me today. I head on to my house from there to drop off the cat and my stuff, then I return to the tire place. At this point it is 11:30 am, so I call my boss to let her know that I don’t know when I will be at work today. Then I settle in a comfortable chair in the waiting room and watch an episode of the Brady Bunch followed by The Love Boat. I was going to read, but I really needed the bad TV just to get my mind off of worrying about my car and how I was going to pay for the repairs.

Around 1 pm, the service guy comes over and tells me that my rear brakes are very thin and probably should be replaced. He also shows me my wheel bearings, and it looks like those may need replacing soon, also. I’m not thrilled with this surprise, much less the estimate price tag that came with it. However, it can wait a little while longer, so I decide to have this work done some other day soon.

About 25 minutes later, all the work is finished and I’m back in my car. At this point, I have a half an hour before I need to leave for Lexington for my regular Monday afternoon on the radio. So I swing by the library, relate my story of the day so far, and show of my new laptop (more on that later), and then head on up to Lex. Not much else eventful or disastrous happened after then, but as my boss said, I’ve had enough of a Monday to last me for a while.