What do you know about your librarian, really?




Librarians have a different reputation than they used to. Is it any better? Let’s see. Do you remember, in It’s a Wonderful Life, what would have become of George Bailey’s wife if he had never existed? Clarence the angel shows him she would never have married. She would have become an old maid. A librarian. What about The Music Man? When we first meet Marian the Librarian, she has no friends. And why should she? She’s full of book learning. She considers herself superior to townspeople who don’t come to the library. And she’s not very nice to people who … Continue reading






New Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden




Carla Hayden has recently been sworn in as only the 14th Librarian of Congress in history. Most reports emphasize that she is the first woman and the first African-American to hold that position. Those are important milestones to be sure, but attention to them obscures some others. Carla Hayden is The first Librarian of Congress with a limited term of appointment Only the third professional librarian appointed to the position. Fully backed by the American Library Association (ALA), which opposed some of her predecessors. … Continue reading






The school librarian: an endangered species?




Every good school has a library. And a school librarian. Too many school districts have decided that having good schools is too expensive. School librarians, like other librarians, have a master’s in library science They must also have a valid teaching certificate. Unfortunately, many school districts are getting rid of their librarians. I wrote earlier specifically about Chicago, but the problem is nationwide and has been building for years. … Continue reading






22 ways to use the library




Do you know what’s going on at the library? Even if you’re a regular library user, you may may be missing something interesting. Libraries represent a kind of “third space,” which is neither home nor work. Unlike many others, they are not a business. They don’t carry with them the expectation that you will pay for something. Of course, libraries offer numerous services you can use. You’re paying for public library services with tax dollars. You’re paying for academic library services if you are part of a college/university community. For most purposes, then, you never have to dig out cash … Continue reading






Raucous good times at the library




I hope the stereotype of a librarian as a frumpy woman with no friends and a fetish for quiet had a decent burial long ago. Librarians are very creative people who enjoy having fun as much as anyone else. A few years ago, I presented some videos of library book cart drill teams! You might find similar shenanigans at a parade. Some librarian conferences have regular drill team competitions. But what about singing, dancing, running, riding book carts, and even laughing aloud in the library itself? At the reference desk and circulation desk! Even in the stacks!! Librarians do all … Continue reading