School…new job…stuff….

Posted by lynn on Mar 28, 2007 in Favorite Links |

Hi everyone. I’m in the last throws of completing yet another assignment, but I figured I’d give everyone an update. Without incriminating myself too much prior to graduation, shall we say that one class I’m taking is pretty good and I’m learning a lot and the other is a huge disappointment? Let’s, shall we?

Good class is, well, good. Not my favorite class, but not my least. Disappointment class probably beats the other not-so-awesome class taught by the Dungeons and Dragons-obsessed cat lady for Lynn’s Least Favorite Class. The instructor is extremely disorganized and that means everything is like shooting at a moving target. Assignments change, get renamed, disappear – all at the last minute and with little notice. All very frustrating – especially more so when I’ve already got a major case of senioritis. Cat Lady was just a visiting instructor. Sadly, this dude is tenured faculty. Oh well – I guess 2 lackluster classes out of 11 ain’t so bad.

On the job front, I’m starting to settle in. It’s a little overwhelming. I have a commute now. I have a Blackberry (which appears to be only good for shopping lists and looking up directions while you’re in the car). I have to walk down the Sunset Strip to get to work. It’s all a little surreal, but I like it. So far the people and projects are cool. Here’s hoping it stays that way after the honeymoon is over.

As a final note, I placed my ballot for the ALA Elections today. It was a slow time at work (you have a lot of those when you’re new), and so I read each and every one of those bios and placed my votes. First of all, I’d like to say – write something unique, folks. I swear, almost every candidate statement contained at least one of the following five statements:

• librarians need better pay
• we need to protect intellectual freedom (and all things I consider related – ie., copyright, PATRIOT act stuff)
• we need to recruit, mentor and help find jobs for new librarians
• we need greater diversity within the profession
• we need more visibility for the profession and the ALA

Those are all nice things, but it’s hard to select 33 people out of 80 some-odd candidates all saying the same thing. A few did stand out though. Most notably there were two candidates who made it quite clear that they were conservatives (one stressed “Christian conservative) who felt that the ALA was too left-leaning. I didn’t vote for either of them, although part of me applauded the fact that they admitted their political leanings considering that their views probably won’t strike much of a chord with ALA members. One of them stated (this is my attempt at paraphrasing, mind you) that he felt that intellectual freedom was all well and good, but “pornography” wasn’t needed in libraries. That statement made me recoil a little since that statement goes right to the heart of the idea of intellectual freedom in the first place. I have suspicion that some of what this man calls “pornography,” I, an arguably educated, practical person, would call “art,” or at worst, “erotica.” I would also guess that even the stuff I would call “pornography,” may have some real, intrinsic value beyond it’s obvious sexual one to someone as well. As such, I don’t think it’s a librarian’s place to say “That stuff is porno; I’m not having it here.” It’s one thing to say, “I don’t think my user community would want or need something like this,” but not “I don’t think they should see it.” You know – the whole “selection vs. censorship” argument. It’s a fine line that sometimes gets inadvertently crossed (humans are humans and are prone to error), but I think this dude doesn’t get it. That’s my $0.02 for what it counts.

If you’re interested, I leaned towards voting for people who wanted to make ALA more efficient and accessible to its general membership as well as represent those five ideals above. It took me about an hour.

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