Thursday, February 19, 2009

as a form of protest, i refuse to come up with a witty title for this post

ok, i feel like i should maybe weigh in on this whole Rutgers dropping 'library' from SCILS situation. i posted a comment on my friend mike's blog, and i guess if i'm gonna speak my mind there, i might as well post it here as well. since i am lazy and don't really feel like spending much time or effort stressing over the whole thing, i'm just going to copy and paste my comment. (and what an easy way to drop a post in, since i haven't written in awhile. heh.)

this whole debacle annoys me for two reasons:

1) isn't this whole name change thing taking up time and money (meetings, new letterhead, signage, etc) that could be better spent on just improving the school in general, including the library curriculum? i mean, really, all this effort just to remove the word "library" from your name? …and

2) how did they think that going to all that trouble to remove library from the name was not going to insult all of us libeerians? it's like they're distancing themselves from one of their largest constituencies (largest if you're talking about the grad school.) no matter what their reasoning is, that's going to be hurtful, and going to alienate us.

what i really wish is that instead of trying to distance ourselves from the word "librarian", we would redefine it as the tech-savvy, tech-centered, information-aggregating career it should and could be. we don't need to turn ourselves into "information professionals", we need to bring the field of librarianship into the future (and the now…) i know that's a bit off-topic, but i feel like we don't need to scrap the title, it's not completely a lost cause, we can still redeem ourselves! (maybe all we need is a good PR campaign?)

2 comments:

Mohamed Taher said...

Thanks for the lead, and for the post. I did my .2 cents on this-- http://lit2542006.blogspot.com/-- being an Alumni of Rutgers, the story involves me too.
Best regards, MT

Anonymous said...

So, Library schools want to drop 'library' from their name.

Libraries want to call patrons 'customers', in order to avoid gender dominance issues.

Libraries are dumping dewey in order to learn merchandising from the REAL experts at Barnes and Noble...

Soon, maybe next week, I expect to be called an 'information associate' instead of a librarian.

It's sad to see so many self loathing librarians sinking with this receding tide of intelligence and education... where once we were the university of the people, we are rapidly becoming the Walmart of the professional world, discounting what we know, and giving away our traditional ground to half-wit retailers who mostly lose money on books, and make it up in coffee and brik-a-brack. Instead of helping patrons find suitable materials, we are now 'merchandising best sellers' for our 'customers'.

[Last time I was in a hospital, they still called me a 'patient' (and I was anything but...]; when I stayed in a hotel, they called me a 'guest' [though I had to pay anyway]... so, why are libraries afraid to call their users 'patrons'? The answer: many library managers seem to yearn for the respectability of retail. [or maybe the low wages paid to 'associates'?] Go figure.)

What we call something still matters.

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