Secrets From Libraryland

I am about to share some secrets from libraryland. In the old days, these would have been top secret/eyes only and, of course, we could have told you but then we would have had to shoot you.

All libraries are not equal. We have our hierarchies among the academics, publics, “special,” and school. Schools fell to the bottom when they became “media centers.” “Special” is what we call corporate libraries or, in general, those not publicly-funded. This is leading to something, by the way. And, by the way, special libraries are one again trying to decide if they want to be named special or if they want to be called something else. I keep voting for Information Wizards but no one else votes for that.

Parallel to the hierarchy, there were hiring standards to be maintained. Most of those involved squishy-soled shoes (aka sensible and practical) and many involved frowns, and eyeglasses. Academic librarians were old, special librarians dressed well, public librarians could wear pants but they had to have elastic waists, and school librarians frequently dressed as the Cat in the Hat. No one from one kind of library read the research lit from any other kind of library. That has changed, thank goodness. (Now we are getting to the point.)

One of my favorite blogs is the Ubiquitous Librarian; in pursuit of user-sensitive librarianship. This one comes from the academic side of librarianship.

The April 14, 2013 entry, by Brian Mathews, focused on the difference between DIY and Startup. If I haven’t already lost you, this is the part that is pot-luck’ish.

Mathews discussed destruction versus disruption, opining that “DIY wants to rebuild from scratch whereas startup wants to hack.” He questions whether systems are broken saying, “Don’t all systems break eventually?”

So, here is his question – Can you build an agile system?

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Ann Roseberry

Ann Roseberry

Ann is a librarian. She has been one since the age of seven, second grade. She discovered the library at Marcus Whitman Elementary and never looked back. Her heroes are librarians and spies.Her home has been invaded by house rabbits and she eats what they do – carrots and parsley.

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