The biggest issue with equating the library with a Netflix for books is that it sends a false message that libraries are worth little more than $8 or $12 or $20 a month. That the services offered in libraries are little more than options to which people can subscribe, rather than actual services anyone can utilize at any time.
When the library is made to be seen as a business, rather than the heart of a community or a fundamental service made possible through citizen-approved tax dollars, it makes the library expendable. That expendability then moves down the chain: staff salaries get cut, then staff withers, then more programs and projects that benefit the community — books and movies and CDs and magazines and newspapers and wifi and computer access and database subscriptions and programs for all shapes, colors, and sizes of people — disappear, too. It detracts from the unique aspects that make a library what it is: a place for all, rather than a place for some.
Libraries reach out where Netflix reaches in.
What Candidates Want: How to Practice Compassionate Hiring
Hey lookit I wrote this! Thanks to all the job hunters who’ve shared their perspectives.
So excited to see this published!
My alma mater, San José State University SLIS, is changing its name to SJSU “School of Information.” Libraries aren’t dying, but library schools think they are. From their new “About” blurb:
"Graduates work in diverse areas, such as information governance,…
It’s not shame, it’s lack of work. You gotta be able to have your grads go on to work, and there are not enough library jobs for all the people SJSU wants to graduate.
If you'd been looking for a library job and was offered one at ITT Tech, would you take it?
I had to look up ITT Tech - didn’t know what that was. I probably wouldn’t, because I’m a public librarian at this point.
If I was an academic librarian, and the potential coworkers were cool, and the pay was ok, and I’d get to do fun things, I’d take it. If it didn’t seem right, I wouldn’t.
I don’t have any particular prejudice against taking jobs at for-profit schools. It’s more about the fit of the position.
People who feel strongly about retaining books in libraries have a simple way to combat the removal of treasured volumes. Since every system of elimination is based, no matter what they say, on circulation counts, the number of years that have elapsed since a book was last checked out, or the number of times it has been checked out overall, if you feel strongly about a book, you should go to every library you have access to and check out the volume you care about. Take it home a while. Read it or don’t. Keep it beside you as you read the same book on a Kindle, Nook, or iPad. Let it breathe the air of your home, and then take it back to the library, knowing you have fought the guerrilla war for physical books.