Likes: terrorizing mortals; libraries; serious eyeshadow; chain wallets; suspiciously lifelike marble statues
Dislikes: people who aren't statues yet; bros; Perseus
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I picked up Wandering Son partly because the nice color scheme and large format caught my eye, but I actually checked it out because it’s about a couple of kids dealing with questions of gender identity. The writing is pretty good so far, and the art is expressive but very clean and beautiful. Apparently there’s been at least 14 volumes already, and Fantagraphics has the license to distribute them in English, with several already released and more slated for later this year/early next year.
As a librarian, I would recommend this title for a wide variety of age groups and interests. An obvious audience could be younger patrons dealing with questions of gender, especially if they’re in a personal situation that makes them feel isolated or without support, but there’s no reason an adult wouldn’t be interested in Nitori and Takatsuki’s story as well. The writing is solid and the plot moves along nicely.
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my friend is hiding under this bean bag in the library so he doesnt have to go to PE
the only way you can see him is if you get on the floor behind the bean bag and see the light of his phone
I bet he’s on Tumblr
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Just talked about David Bowie, Kate Beaton, The Great Gatsby, and Tumblr with a person under 25
am I relevant yet
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Why in the name of Hypatia would I open a copy of Library Journal while eating my morning doughnut? The first thing I saw was some dudebro—an “R & D librarian,” from an academic library, all of which sounds suspiciously like someone who never gets his hands dirty and who knows jack shit about the daily functioning of public libraries—lecturing the now-laid-off staff of a Vermont public library about how terminating their positions was actually a “brave” move on the part of the board, and a signifier that the Vermont PL in question is truly devoted to “keeping the library from irrelevance.”
The only assholes I hear going on about the supposed imminent irrelevance of libraries are people who think that “relevance” means high salaries (but only for administrators!), no actual work once you hit a professional position (certainly no crowd control and no contact with *shudder* elderly people, poor people, or POC), and wearing a three-piece suit and a shit-eating grin while you network with a bunch of assholes from the Chamber of Commerce. I’m sorry that providing interesting, entertaining, and educational materials to the community isn’t sexy to you guys, or that helping elderly people with technology isn’t “relevant” to you, or that making sure a single parent trying to put himself through college has a quiet place to study isn’t what you think a library is for. I’m not sure just what you assholes think a library is for, other than your own self-aggrandizement.
You say that pathetic schlubs like myself only pay “lip service” to change, but I’d like to see you assholes do more than pay lip service to the actual values and ethics of librarianship for once. I’d like to see your definitions of “progress” and “relevance” actually come close to what the rest of society thinks those things mean, rather than, like Humpty Dumpty, making up definitions for words (you fauxbrarians wouldn’t know the reference—it’s from a book written more than ten years ago, so you probably had an underling weed it) and declaring that those definitions are now the official ones. For that matter, I’d like to see you stop redefining a library as “a place where I go to earn more than the people who actually do the work, while getting tons of attention for being an ‘innovator,’” and librarianship as “a means by which I abuse the public trust for my own selfish interests.”
Why I thought I would find anything more than fauxbrarianship and mansplaining in a copy of LJ I really do not know. My excuse is that I haven’t had my caffeine yet this morning. (Yes, caffeine. I know, I know—all the relevant librarians have switched to amphetamine. Call me old-fashioned.)
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I love my tech services peeps, but when they get huffy and insist “Tech service is public service” when I imply that perhaps our jobs have different challenges, it kinda makes my eyeballs boil. I know your jobs require going best two falls out of three with publishers, hog-tying and berating recalcitrant distributors, and wrangling the AACR2 into submission (and what the fuck is this shit I’m hearing about FRBR, what the fuck is a FRBR, it sounds like a kind of robotic furry toy, I feel so goddamn sorry for tech services people right now ngl). You do shit that I cannot understand despite taking both (non-mandatory, more’s the shame) cataloging courses in grad school. It’s amazing and totally necessary and, when dealt with in an engaged and ethical and dedicated way, absolutely is a kind of public service, yes.
But please, please don’t tell me that it’s stressful in the exact same way as answering the same questions over and over but having to pretend for decency’s sake that it’s the first time, or having to think of multiple unique but magically super clear ways to explain concepts to people who have important work to do, but who haven’t been prepared to do it by a society that has tried to leave them in the dust, or as unruly patrons literally trying to intimidate you off the public floor because they want to shout and play music and be disrespectful to the people trying to use the library. Being called names, being insulted, having people snap their fingers or raise their hand for you, being a combination of teacher and counselor to some and doormat to others—it is an entirely different kind of stressful, an entirely different kind of exhausting.
The answer a lot of new librarians or people transferring from tech services to a public service position have offered to this conundrum is to offer good-enough reference, disengaged tech support, and to refuse entirely to maintain a space relatively free from distraction and hostility. In other words, they want to be in public service without actually engaging in public service, and then they say “Oh, public service isn’t so bad.” No, public service, when done right, is that bad. It is also very rewarding and very important. One thing that can make the difficulties of public service less bad is if we all actually respect and support each other, too.
I JUST noticed something strange on Wikipedia. It appears that gradually, over time, editors have begun the process of moving women, one by one, alphabetically, from the “American Novelists” category to the “American Women Novelists” subcategory. So far, female authors whose last names begin with A or B have been most affected, although many others have, too. The intention appears to be to create a list of “American Novelists” on Wikipedia that is made up almost entirely of men. The category lists 3,837 authors, and the first few hundred of them are mainly men. The explanation at the top of the page is that the list of “American Novelists” is too long, and therefore the novelists have to be put in subcategories whenever possible. Too bad there isn’t a subcategory for “American Men Novelists.
The category “Person” is looking a little crowded…
When people whine “Why can’t I use Wikipedia?” it’s shit like this that comes to mind. There’s a lot of Wikipedia editors who are ethical, educated (including self-educated), and have a grounding in basic decency. There are a lot of others who want to be all those things, but aren’t, and don’t know enough to realize they’re not, so they make poor decisions based on emotions and not enough information (not knowing, again, that they don’t have enough information). And then, of course, there’s straight-up assholes.
People say “Oh, but the editors police themselves!” Yeah, to an extent they do. I’m going to believe that, say, 95% of Wikipedia editors act in good faith, consistently. That’s probably a high estimate, but let’s give them that. The thing is, all of these people acting in good faith have all of the problems I mentioned above, and then they police each other. Well hell, is anyone surprised that foolish shit goes down?
“But bad stuff creeps into official, academic resources, too!” Oh god, does it ever. But you know, people who contribute to those resources are paid to be experts in what they do; they’re paid to keep up with their subject, paid to research it, paid to devote at least 8 hours a day of time and energy to doing the job right. If they don’t do their job right, there will, eventually, be consequences, and the consequences are fucking dire—losing your job in this economy, if you work in academia in any way, is terrifying. Academia is certainly still doing problematic shit, and it is not always correct, but maintains, for the most part, standards and oversight that do not exist on the open web.
I think what people really mean when they wail about not being able to use Wikipedia is that they feel criticized for wanting to use it, or that they don’t want to expend the effort to actually research something—most teachers, past high school, won’t let you use the World Book or the Britannica either, because even if they are created to more stringent standards than Wikipedia (and I’m not sure they are), they digest information for the student, which is hardly the point of doing a research project—or that they know an editor or are an editor and feel like something close to them is being denigrated. You can feel what you feel, but those feelings are not the same as facts.
Source: The New York Times
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Someone keeps taking the Lesbian Art in America book I’ve got on our art display and hiding it—putting it behind other stuff, taking it off face-out display and shelving it spine-out, etc. I don’t think it’s a staff member, because they would just take it off the display if they thought it didn’t go there, and most of our staff are not bigots and are pretty happy to defend diversity and freedom of information.
I’m not psychic, but I foresee a near-to-immediate future in which every face-out book on that display is about gay/lesbian/trans*/genderfucked/queer/etc. artists. In fact, I might just track down every art book that conceivably relates to those subjects at all and populate the whole display with ‘em. Maybe the bigot(s) will just implode at the sheer magnitude of all that queer.
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[SubNormality comic #13: the library has merged with Starbucks, no longer has books or informational materials, is indistinguishable from retail while claiming furiously to be “for sure the same old library!”]
Good morning here is ur 7AM truth bomb
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