The semester starts on Monday, and as a result there are small hordes of students and parents staring at maps in puzzlement, waiting for books and IDs and paperwork, lining up for pizza and mac and cheese, and generally filling the campus with stressed-out joyful buzz. The College Libraries are also almost ready to go… or, we will be on Monday, regardless. In this buzz of chaos, there are some questions I’ve been thinking about that I don’t have time to write full, thoughtful posts on, but which are deserving of some attention:
- Why are librarians so eager to adopt cutesy gimmicks? What’s with faux words like “guybrarian” and “gaybrarian” and all of our ridiculous acronyms and names for services that are supposed to be catchy but really are just unprofessional? Why do we feel so drawn to twee as a profession? Why did it feel so very refreshing to agree that we’d just call it the “new catalog beta test”?
- Why do so many LIS grad students (or, more specifically, the ones on the internet) seem startled to discover there aren’t many men in their graduate programs? Did they miss the “feminized profession” memo? Have they ever been to a library and looked at the staff?
- How do we move past the depressing trend of managing library staff by either a) ignoring the problem, b) waiting for the problem to quit or retire, or c) making the problem miserable until it reverts to option b? If new managers feel that the majority of current and past library managers are modeling ineffective skills, how do we find good mentors to learn from?
- Why did no one tell me how important it would be to make friends with custodians and carpenters, and where did I miss the course in How To Take Care Of Your Library’s Carpet?
- Nooks, Kindles, or iPads? Discuss.
- What shall I do with the squadron of yellow velvet ropes and stanchions that are in our locked storage room?
Happy semester start, academia. May you remain sane long enough to get the doors open, the lights on, and the coffee hot. Remember: So long as the doors are open, the lights are on, and the coffee’s hot, they won’t know how many things you didn’t get done this summer.