This Book is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All by Marilyn Johnson was recommended reading for LIBR 203. Turns out I’d read it once already.
I had a different perspective on it this time, though. When I read it a year ago, I wasn’t a library student or even seriously intending to be one. So while I’d worked in a library for nearly 3 years then, I didn’t consider myself really part of the librarian profession. But eventually, after many more classes, I’ll be able to call myself a librarian. So my view before was as, not entirely an outsider, but definitely not an insider. Now though, I could someday soon be one of those people she’s writing about.
When I read it the first time, it was before our migration to a new ILS. So when I read of the troubles Westchester County had with theirs, it did not surprise me that it was SirsiDynix! Though I do feel like we dodged a bullet, in that our migration went okay-ish. We certainly weren’t down for weeks or months.
I will say that the library staff who were bumping people out of the hold queues? Well, they might have had more reason and justification than you think. Because when we got Symphony up and running, it defaulted to putting staff at the bottom of the hold queue. That means, even if you’re dying to read a book or watch a video, even if you place a hold just as soon as you can, your hold will keep being bumped down and down and down, until you’re the last person who gets to read or watch it. Months and months later!
Shouldn’t working at a library give you some perks, rather than punish you? Shouldn’t you at least be treated like any other patron and not be constantly at the bottom of the hold queues? Some default, SirsiDynix!
I can’t treat the word ‘cybrarian’ as a real, useful word without thinking of the software we use to control patron computers. That’s Cybrary-N.
This book does have a real joy about it. Librarians are awesome.
I don’t buy that librarians are at odds with ‘the computer people’ though. Too many librarians are the IT staff as well. Especially since most of her argument there is based on the troubles they were having with SirsiDynix.
I think libraries should really use open-source software that they have control over for ILSes. Though I get the impression I’m in the minority in that viewpoint.
Reading about Second Life, I do wonder how much (if any) I’ll have to use it for future classes. My brief foray there left me less than impressed. And our Internet connection is pretty crappy, so I don’t really look forward to trying SL again. Besides, I have a low tolerance for the random chatting of strangers.
When she quoted someone being OOC (Out of Character) at the Alice in Wonderland tea party, I just cringed. People who don’t play along ruin it for everyone else.
Though it must be nice to be able to splurge on buying fancy outfits in Second Life with real money, knowing you can write it off on your taxes later as ‘book research’.
One final thing.. was Meebo such a hot, new thing when she wrote this book? That only Darien library was using it? Because we’ve been using it for about as long as I’ve been working at the library. That’s going on 4 years now.
If anything, Meebo is outdated now. It runs on Flash, so you can’t use it on Apple iThings.
I’m still surprised that this book was written by a non-librarian. Librarians, as a general rule or even by definition, are very literate. And there are a lot of them that are writers as well. Like.. a lot. Why didn’t one of them write this book? Did it take an outsider to do it?