Sunday, March 01, 2009

Misinformation from MSN

Sigh, in a list of 10 Jobs for Quiet Workers on MSN Careers, they had this to say about the profession:

It might seem obvious, but given that librarians work in a mostly "no talking zone," it makes sense that a librarian position suits quiet workers. Most of your time is spent organizing and maintaining library publications and materials, and the rest you'll spend directing people to whatever they may need.

I love it. They've obviously never been in a public library or a large university library. This is how we end up with all those misanthropes. They think they'll get paid to sit and arrange pamphlets on a table and maybe once in a blue moon answer a question. When that doesn't turn out to be the case, we have to deal with the passive-aggressive fallout. Can we sue MSN? Maybe form a class action suit?

I have a co-worker who has lost partial hearing in both ears because of how loud the public library was where she worked. Does that sound quiet to you, MSN?

A more accurate suggestion would have been cataloger. That is a job where you don't have to have any human contact. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of sociable catalogers, but if someone doesn't want to talk, they can just pop in ear buds and not miss anything.

What do you think?

(OMG, two posts in less than a week? I think I need to lie down.)


Anonymous gigi said...

I miss your posts. As a fellow librarian I can so relate to that comment. I miss the hustle of the school libraries as I am now in a museum library which is VERY quiet.

5:45 PM, March 01, 2009  
Blogger Vampire Librarian said...

Gigi, I'm sorry that I've been away. Just lost the passion to blog. Working days can be pretty boring.

6:18 PM, March 01, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss you too. I think MSN's reporters haven't been t a public library in a long time... And they certainly haven't read my blog! ;-)

7:31 PM, March 01, 2009  
Blogger Vampire Librarian said...

*Waves at librarianwoes* Hey, long time no see. Yeah, I'm wondering if the author Rachel Zupek has a library card.

12:53 AM, March 02, 2009  
Anonymous arkham said...

Heh. That's what happens when people don't actually RESEARCH before writing articles.

By the way, I'm one of those misanthropic catalogers :D

I actually find cataloging is great for me, as I'm not thrilled with doing direct public service - I'm pretty good at it, I just don't enjoy it much. I prefer to serve the public quietly behind the scenes.

However, even catalogers can get pretty loud and boisterous.

8:42 AM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger Vampire Librarian said...


I did Tech Services at my previous job, and I enjoyed it for the most part. It's nice when everything is orderly and laid out instead of walk-up insanity.

I think librarians should be rotated through different departments. Public Service for three months then cataloging then admin maybe. I think it would help a lot of people stay fresh. But it would probably be disastrous in most cases.

8:50 AM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger me, myself & i said...

I'm an assistant in an academic library and there are times when it is very quiet but those are few and far between. There is much hustle and bustle and we wouldn't have it any other way.

7:44 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger hamuhamu said...

If you do end up working in a 'no talking zone,' you will likely spend a lot of time telling people to shut up, turn their iPod's volume down, and turn off their ******* cell phones. There's nothing more irritating than playing quiet cop all day.

9:40 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger Vampire Librarian said...

Me, myself, and I - Yeah, quiet does happend in any library. For us it's usually around 5am when all the students have finally bedded down on the floor.

Hamuhamu, I hate hushing people too. I have done it on our quiet floor, and I felt awful everytime, but on the otherhand, the student doesn't need to be on that floor if they're not going to be quiet.

10:25 PM, March 02, 2009  
Blogger Nicole said...

I agree with you that the author(s) have never a) visited an actual working, large library or b) spoken with anyone who has, such as a librarian.

We've missed your posts - it's good to see you back. (My husband is a former university librarian, now a public librarian, all because he moved to live in the same city as his wife, poor dear.)

I really need to re-read The Computers Are Down. When one works in technical training (as I do), one does seem to have those conversations frequently.

Clearly, I now ramble. I return you to your lovely day.

11:03 PM, March 04, 2009  
Blogger Vampire Librarian said...

Nicole, ramble away ;) Oh, you've given me an idea for a new post! Will begin it nowish. Thanks! It will be about old tech.

11:49 PM, March 04, 2009  
Blogger JamiSings said...

What really stinks is they won't let you leave feedback on that article. I'd love to point out how Rachel didn't do a lick of research on real libraries. Otherwise she'd know it included such fun things as people yelling at you over a 25 cent fine or hold fee, men who apparently take out their glass eyes during arguments with the branch managers (I wasn't there, heard about it second hand), and people who get upset when you ask for their card before getting them their hold.

7:42 AM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger Vampire Librarian said...

But if it had been a wooden eye, that would've been awesome. Otherwise, ick.

2:02 AM, March 28, 2009  
Anonymous crsunlimited said...

Isn't it fun to work in a job that NO ONE thinks is actual work? I work at a public library albeit a small public library. We have 9 public access computers and are constantly over run with computer questions.

If the person who wrote that article had set foot in a library in the past 10 or so years they would have realized that libraries are not quiet, or just about organizing books.

In no way is our library ever quiet, and that's counting the hour a day we aren't open in the morning to get things straightened up as best we can.

3:55 PM, June 02, 2009  

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