Pop Goes the Library

Using Pop Culture to Make Libraries Better.

by Sophie Brookover, Liz Burns, Melissa Rabey, Susan Quinn, John Klima, Carlie Webber, Karen Corday, and Eli Neiburger. We're librarians. We're pop culture mavens. We're Pop Culture Librarians.

2008-02-22

Libraries: Centralized Ordering

Pam Coughlin writes about libraries and centralized ordering of materials over at Shelf Space, the blog for ForeWord Magazine.


Sometimes, I get a bit disheartened about libraries and books.* Two reasons I went into librarianship: books and information. Silly me; because the current "joke" I hear about and read is a variation of this: "you went into libraries for the books? ha ha ha. It's not about the books." So I wonder, where should I go, where should I work if a library isn't about people coming in and finding the books and information they want and need? (Another version of this: a study shows when people hear libraries, they think books, and the library reaction is "silly people!" when my reaction is "dude, the people are telling you your strength, why not build on that instead of run from it?")


Centralized selection and ordering of materials is often explained with the argument, "it frees up librarians time!" Now, no doubt there is some truth to that; but totally removing librarian input into the process? Not good; especially since I'm not the only one who went into this because of the materials. You're not "freeing my time"; you're taking away one of the things I liked, no, loved, about this job.


Anyway, go read Pam's thoughts on the issue. What do you think?


*Ty, for purposes of this post I include music and DVDs and any materials in "books." OK?

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2 Comments:

  • At 12:36 PM, Blogger waltc said…

    "a study shows when people hear libraries, they think books, and the library reaction is "silly people!" when my reaction is "dude, the people are telling you your strength, why not build on that instead of run from it?""

    "The library reaction" represents a few people who've fallen a little too much in love with their own view of libraries. I don't believe that view represents the majority of libraries or librarians.

    I can guarantee you that thousands of library people would say what you do (in some form): Build from your strength, don't run from it. (OK, I'm one of those thousands--but certainly not the only one.)

     
  • At 3:34 PM, Blogger Zee said…

    We moved to centralized ordering a couple years ago. When we first heard, most of the librarians in the system were shell shocked an disappointed. Now, I love it. The people who pick the books are librarians, not just robots. And we have advisory groups so there is input from the librarians that work in branches. There are problems with ordering for your library. We were in a system, but people were putting the needs of their branch over the needs of the system. I think there are postives and negatives about both ways. What I lost was reading the book reviews all the time but now I read blogs and find out about books just as well.

     

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