“Jason Alston, a doctoral candidate in library and information science at the University of South Carolina, sometimes answers uncomfortable questions on why he selected his chosen career path. For starters, he’s preparing for a career in librarianship, an industry largely dominated by white women. As an African-American male, Alston is what some would consider a double minority. Many of his friends and relatives wonder about his future after having spent many years earning a master’s and now a Ph.D. in library science. “What will you be doing all day?” “What’s the future viability of libraries?” Someone even teased him once, “That’s no kind of profession for a man.”
via National Journal
“MaryKay Dahlgreen became Oregon’s state librarian nearly a year ago, during a tumultuous time at the agency. The man newly hired to the post had resigned after suspicion arose over his credentials. Not only did Dahlgreen have to restore confidence; she had to reduce management staff and reassign tasks for those who remained.
Still, she pointed out during a recent interview, she has a job where she can make a difference for libraries, librarians and readers across the state. She can visit a library any time and call it work.”
via Statesman Journal
“Large bright badges offering help to customers may have become a common sight in coffee shops. But the wearing of them by librarians at the University of Oxford has been seen as the latest insult in a row over changes taking place among the dreaming spires’ famous research collections. Anger has been growing in the past few months over developments at the Bodleian Libraries that have led to vast humanities collections being rehoused, including the History Faculty Library being incorporated into the main collections. Matters came to a head last week with a discussion in Congregation — Oxford’s academic “parliament” — about “the libraries and their future.”
via Inside Higher Ed
“The people who host NPR programs are often credited with — or accused of — being knowledgeable. But really, the most important bit of knowledge they have is just a four digit extension that connects to Kee Malesky in the NPR Reference Library. If you want the names and contact numbers for every left-handed plumber in Kuala Lumpur, she’ll fix you up. She’s the longest-serving member of a stellar company of reference librarians who check, double-check and mine miles of information, urban legend and spin for cold, hard, glittering facts.”
“At age 80, Chi Wang, the former head of the Library of Congress’ Chinese section in Washington, still has a dream – to open an office in China to enhance the country’s cultural interaction with the United States. Wang helped turn the Chinese section into one of the best library collections of its kind outside Asia, with about 1 million books, newspapers, magazines and films. The Library of Congress had only 300,000 volumes in its China collection when Wang began working there in 1957.”
via China Daily
“Now that everyone’s an expert on fast facts, I wonder what has become of those Free Library of Philadelphia treasures known as the Know-It-Alls. When I last visited these general-information specialists, in 1991, business was brisk. Surrounded by a wall of books and directories, they fielded 50 phone calls an hour from Philadelphians wondering how to spell Tiananmen Square, what glasnost is, how far to Fargo? The rotating staff of 14 librarians – each with a master’s in science – was in such demand that each caller was limited to three questions.
“These Brooklyn librarians have gone from shelving books to rocking out in a band. The six librarians have formed a roving band called Lost in the Stacks – a jazz and blues band that plays at book festivals and branches all over the city. The group is a far cry from the stern stereotypes of librarians. “This gives the people another image of librarians,” said the band’s founding member, Jack McCleland, 65, the head librarian at the main branch at Grand Army Plaza.”
via NY Daily News
“Solo” librarians like me can be found in nearly every type of library, from school to academic to special to (generally branch or rural) public libraries. One thing that most of us probably have in common is that we didn’t start out intending to work in a one-person library, and we weren’t trained for it since there’s no library-school track designed with solos in mind. If I could have enrolled in one before I started my solo job, these are some things that would have been useful to know:”
via Letters to a Young Librarian
KCET – “In the librarian history of Los Angeles, Charles Lummis and Mary Foy are two of Los Angeles’ better known librarians, though their tenures as librarians were brief compared to their larger roles in Los Angeles. Known as Miss Los Angeles, Mary Foy was the first woman to be City Librarian, serving from 1880 to 1884. She worked to preserve the city’s history in numerous ways, from organizing the Los Angeles High School alumni to organizing the First Century Families. Charles Lummis was never trained as a librarian and only served as City Librarian from 1905 – 1910. His acquisitions on the Spanish and Mexican period of California’s history are still held in the library’s collection today, and Lummis’ own private library became the foundation for the Southwest Museum Library, now part of the Autry National Center’s Braun Research Library. At the American Library Association convention in 1906, Lummis founded a briefly-lived tongue-in-cheek organization The Bibliosmiles, a “Rally of Librarians Who Are Nevertheless Human.” The organization’s motto was “To Keep the Bookdust Off Our Own Topshelves’.” (More details about the Bibliosmiles on blog “Library History Buff Blog”).”
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