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.

5 thoughts on “professionally annoyed”

  1. I find Annoyed Librarian irritating as well, and for the same reasons. The library world is too disrespected already to disrespect itself, even in jest. For me its too close to the bone AND depressing.

    I find the comments drag me down rather than make me laugh. And you are right, we need to spend more energy on moving forward rather than whining about how things are unfair and annoying. I certainly do.

  2. This is why I wear my real-live (and comfortable!) ass-kicking boots every day!

    Because you know, if I hear one more of my “colleagues” from a research institution bitch about how much work a 2-2 teaching load (of 2 grad courses per semester=16[?] students total) is, particularly in public…. Well, I digress on my professional woes, but it’s the same phenomenon—if I wonder why people think professors are a bunch of lazy schmucks who get to sleep in, take summers off, and basically work 15 hours a week; if you wonder where people get their notions about (academic) libraries being dark, dank, musty, dusty spaces filled with out-moded technology and out-dated information, staffed by snooty Luddites who wouldn’t know a 2.0 tech if it bit them on the ass…. Well, my friend, we have our answers, I think.

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