31 August, 2006

pungent annals immorality

I saw this (hot library smut) a little while ago (was it on LIS news?) but a friend just emailed me and asked why my library wasn't included on the list. OH ha bloody ha! But then I realised that while all of the pictures are fantastic, this is the one that appeals to me. Which to continue the analogy, probably means that I am into the library equivalent of midget amputee porn. I mean the red leather chesterfield sofas and brass desk lamps are fine and I can get all worked up about them, but it takes a nice big compactus to remind me why I'm a librarian.

28 August, 2006

Journalists can't understand statistics.

The Oz, has a story about the decline (yes?) of literacy and numeracy amongst our nations teachers (and the radio has picked it up and run with it). But it would seem that journos are the ones in need of a little numeracy training.
...in 1983 the average teaching student was drawn from the top 26 per cent of the nation's students (on a literacy and numeracy test) but this had widened to the top 39 per cent by 2003.

There follows a plea to government to raise teachers' salaries. But I think there is a failure to take into account literacy levels as a whole. Because while teachers may not be in the same percentile band, it is possible that their level of literacy and numeracy in real terms is exactly the same.
That said,
I'd still like to see teachers get more money (and nurses {and Librarians}).
I'd also like to think teachers were as a whole damn smart people. I didn't think that while I was at school, I tended to think I was smarter than my teachers. Once I left school and upon reflection I came to believe that this was an unfair belief based more upon my own overgrown ego. Now however I have children at school and I have revised my position again, I believe that there are some real morons in teaching and despite the fantastic ones I have come in contact with at different times, as a whole they are not doing our future any favours.
So any call to pay teachers more, is going to have to accept that it will involve overpaying the current crop of morons the same as the current cream of the crop. Then we'll have to overpay the next crop of dross to come out of the unis before we get to the stage that it become an attractive option for the real smart folk.

I'd like to apologise to all those who are teaching because they have a passion for the role. You folk are fantastic, and it is just a pity there are so few of you.

24 August, 2006

Noo Yoik

Ok, I did get half way through saying something and then end up somewhere else. But I'm sure that most people understood that my love of the random is unlibrarianish because librarians are all about order and classification.
You all got that right?

Thankyou to the person who alerted me to overheard in New York found conversation, nice.

23 August, 2006


One of my most pronounced non-librarian traits is a love of the random. I think I have mentioned before my enjoyment of found objects and found photo collections as an artform.
Librarywise I have always loved the ephemera I find inside books. Some of my personal highlights include, STD clinic results and Erotic photographs (that failed to be erotic). I have also found many many postcards and mothers day cards with all sorts of messages of love, hope and banality. Photographs of a more mundane nature are more common than the amateur pornography. Dogs, cats, kids, grandparents occasionally dogs in hats or grandfathers without teeth.

For those of you who also enjoy a bit of found action, try these links
Diddly random photo browsing
albums of found photos
Photos found when processing film from old cameras
PCL linkdump is a fantastic source of interesting banality like Moog Sythesizer Music or covers of men's magazines from the 30s
Found Magazine is where today's image comes from. Plus as an added bonus, the finder reports "I found this at the library in a Hellboy comic."

22 August, 2006

The Librarians' Eros

The original for the young lass whose clothing seems to have become lost in some sort of shelving mishap, and hasn't that happened to all of us. Can be found at http://photo.net/photo/pcd3391/library-reaching-16.4.jpg
Although I can't for the life of me think why several of you have asked me about it.
Thank you in particular to the reader who pointed out that the James Patterson book Kiss The Girls is ironically placed to the right of the poor lass' buttock. I can honestly say I had not studied the photograph in such detail, it was just the foil for a joke about librarians and our quest to be popular/trendy/loved/respected.

911, the musical

I haven't been visiting Wonkette very much of late, but a recent trip there brought this to my attention. A graphic novel of the "Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States"

I knew graphic novel publishers were getting crazy, and this idea cops quite a serve from Wonkette
...(the novel) will finally answer such burning, unresolved 9/11 questions as: Would Batman have been able to prevent the events of 9/11 if he hadn't been encumbered by bureaucratic red tape?

but I love it.
The idea of a government report in illustrated format is fantastic. I'm planning to present my next monthly report to my director as an interpretive dance.
And given what I read about the situation with any American libraries, I think the government should skip the text version. There probably aren't many Americans left who could wade through that sort of thing. Even then I guess most folk are just going to wait for the movie adaptation to become available on DVD.

questionable content

One of my favourite web comics Questionable Content, seems to be launching off into a library related story line. Oh happy day. Plus, we get a hip, tattooed, indie librarian (or something like that) although, she does have glasses. But then so do I.

21 August, 2006

more careers

Those blaggers at Office Pirates have come to a similar conclusion to your ADHD Librarian regarding the career prospects of waiting for baby boomers to die.

"It sucks to be young in corporate America right about now. Sure, you can get a job, and work your way up to middle management. But once there, you'd better get comfy. As CNN.com points out, young go-getters are trapped under the "Gray Ceiling" - all those Baby Boomers in lofty positions with no thoughts of retirement.

Boomers outnumber Generation Xers almost 2 to 1. Do the math, and realize that you're stuck for at least a decade or two, waiting around for these guys to die off."

read their suggestions for coping with this.

18 August, 2006

fraud, impostor, charlatan

Someone else is telling the blogosphere that they are the ADHD librarian. It is beyond the pale, I won't stand for it.
I will however sit and watch with interest to see how this 'other' librarian (Robin of the The Watzek Library in Portland Oregon) goes. After all, there is enough room for more than one ADHD librarian. I'm currently thinking one per continent.
So pop in and see Robin's take on the ADHD librarian mix. http://adhdlibrarian.blogspot.com/

blog the conf

A busy day on the ol' ADHD blog.
But I thought I'd point people to a blog for click 06.
The ALIA 2006 biennial conference, about to begin in Perth WA.
If you're going to be there, then sign up to write it up, I will be.
If you can't make it, then check it out to find out what you missed out on.

Fast Track - Dirt Track

In which the ADHD librarian implores librarians to go bush.

New grad, or perhaps just been sitting in that one office for too long now? Well what is the option for you, short of waiting for those damn baby boomers to retire and create a vacancy on the management team?
Well for this Librarian, the solution was "leave the land of your father and go to the land I will show you". No, not the Israel, but perhaps wandering in the desert could be a good move. So why go bush? Well, I'd been on the slow track (nine years part time study) and as a new grad I didn't feel like another nine years before I got the chance to make some decisions. I was competitive at interview in NSW, plenty of positive feedback and 'in other circumstances, but it was a competitive field …" So where is this less competitive field? It is country NSW, far north QLD, all of the Territory and probably most of SA and WA. In short there are a lot of regional and remote communities who are as desperate for librarians as they are for Doctors or Engineers.
Two years as a bush Librarian brought opportunities that Sydney promised I'd get in fifteen years if I stuck around and waited. I've been on management team, worked with architects to design a new library, acted as library manager, given aldermen tours (and argued with them about library directions), I've sat down with Directors to write strategy, in short I've been fighting well above my weight 'and loving it'. So much so that the two year stint has now become four and I'm still not planning my return drive to Sydney.
But there is a dark side, why couldn't I get a job like this in Sydney?
Because I didn't have the experience to do the job, so I've learned on my feet and made mistakes. Now however I do have the skills and if the harbour starts tugging at my heart strings then I'm sitting in a great position to argue my case.
So where are these jobs for you, who knows but the ALIA website will have the ads.
So what are the skills that remote or rural libraries need?
They need the ones you have, because the ones you have are better that none. But a willingness to be adventurous could help. A desire to be part of a small team, remember you can hide in a bigger organisation, perhaps deny a few mistakes, but when there are only a handful of staff (and you're the new one) you'll need to be open about how bad your grade was in cataloguing (but only after the interview).
You will need to be prepared to work on a smaller budget, fewer copies of the next Harry Potter and planning a few years in advance for the new chairs. I recommend sucking up as a great skill, but not to the boss (God no, never that), rather find the person who really runs the library, a technician who's been there since federation, this is the font of all knowledge for a new grad who is willing to admit that a one year post grad qualification doesn't make you infallible. It's a fine line between being willing to ask for help and palming off your work on others, make sure you know which side of that line you're operating on, because if that technician feels put upon by you, you might well be 'sans paddle whilst navigating an impolitely named watercourse'.
Experience will hold you in good steed when you go 'bush', experience of an inner city nightclub to hold in your memory but more vital experience of life. Work experience in any form, from stackie at your state library to circ work at your uni. Whatever experience you've got, look at it in a new light. Remember which team leaders and managers were appalling, who were the bosses who put their staff offside with stupid battles. Remember how you felt? Well you're going to be supervising people now. How about ensuring that you learn form your time at the bottom to make sure your rise to the top is comfortable. After all, you weren't a moron (were you?) and nor are the people your supervising now.
There is more to the rural life than work. In fact there is more to the country than rum and B&S balls (but don't let on to the ute drivers). Country towns need netballers, football coaches, scout leaders, singers for the church choir and rugby players. My time out here has involved several visits to the emergency ward as I hadn't played contact sport since high school (and even then I wasn't very good at it). Yet somehow this seems to be to be one of the highlights of my time in the desert.
One Saturday night a concerned community member approached a member of the sports medicine team at the rugby ground. "Which one is the librarian?" she asked. I was pointed out to her (the one in the headgear) at which point she walked off expressing her disgust at a librarian playing rugby. I never found out who she was, but no doubt she pops into the library occasionally for some large print Catherine Cookson, but only after making sure I'm well out of the way. I probably lower the tone of the place?
So what skills have I got out of my stint in the outback? You know with nine years library experience before I graduated, not a lot. But then again I've been able to put into play most of the brilliant ideas I'd been carrying around with me, I've used all my skills at a higher level than before and most importantly, my resume has doubled in size, I no longer have to say that I know I could, I shout out that I have and here are the photos....

Careers Night

I spent last night relaxing in a hall full of teenagers, all looking to find a career. Where was I? I was sitting at the "so you want to be a librarian" stand. I was lucky enough to get to talk to several nice bright kids, who were considering libraries as a career option. I was also lucky enough to talk to lots and lots of kids whom I'm quite happy won't be becoming librarians.
But ALIA were a bit remiss in sending me appropriate stuff, so I made my own ADHD librarian's career guide. I stole things from the net and put it together in an afternoon. I am happy to say it was well received, so I shal post the text of it here. The images I used were steriotypical librarian - shushing pictures. Although the one used here could have convinced more young men to consider the career.

Front cover
Librarians, We're all old and almost dead!
So, why would you want to be one?

because when we all die there'll be lots of vacancies!
Perhaps not all librarians are old.
And those who are probably hope to retire before they die.
And not all Baby Boomers are retiring...
But librarians have an average age of about 50, so if you like this type of work then there may well be a lot of opportunities for the next generation of Information Professionals.
Plus, the profession is not all dusty books (although it can be if that's what you like). There are librarians writing open source software,
There are more public libraries in Australia than there are McDonalds.
Librarians aren't in The oldest profession (although I guess some might be), but we’ve been around since 2700 BC and that's quite impressive. Isn't it?
NASA has a 'Dust Librarian' whose job includes preventing the dust from getting dusty.

You could be a:

Public librarian
Medical librarian
Reference librarian
Children's librarian
Library Webmaster
School librarian
Law librarian
Corporate librarian
Academic librarian

Not quite convinced?
Parallel careers include; Archivist, Knowledge Manager, Records Manager and Curator.
Librarians study; Information Technology, Web Design, Public Relations and Promotions as well as traditional library subjects such as Cataloguing and Reference Searching.
A career in Libraries can be as a Library Assistant, Library Technician or Librarian depending on how much you feel like studying.
Library Assistants require...
nothing, although preference is sometimes given to those studying in the field.
Library Technicians require an associate diploma.
Librarians require a Bachelors Degree in Library and information science or a Bachelors degree in another discipline and a Graduate Diploma in Library and information science.

Back Cover
If you tell everyone, they'll all want to be librarians. Keep this information secret and it'll be sweet for all of us.

For more information on study requirements for Librarians and Library Technicians visit, The Australian Library and Information Association.

Child Killing Librarians

What is the problem with people who don't have a Library Qualification calling themselves Librarians? After all, the internet makes librarians redundant. Yet somehow, Doctors get all huffy when people without a medical degree call themselves doctors. But I can diagnose myself online and buy my drugs online. I have a friend who is an accountant and she takes great offence to my claim that her job is irrelevant now that people can buy a copy of MYOB and do their own taxes online.
This is however only a small part of the problem!
People who call themselves Librarians but who don't have the required qualifications are Evil Child Killers! So if you are running a library, make sure you check the resume of any potential employees carefully. Because they never put "I Killed JonBenet Ramsey" (sneaky bastards) instead they put "2004-2005 Designed and maintained a small library..." Damn these paedophiles and their insidious codes.
Yeah, I designed her library! nudge nudge.
It makes you scared to have a conversation in case you inadvertently claim that you want to sodomise infants.