Thursday, August 31, 2006

Out, Burning

Librarians should be weary of being too good at their jobs. The momentary high that comes with exercising your innovations, creativity, efficiency, and skill will only be followed by a deep dive into bitterness and cynicism. So skip all the hard work and join your miserable coworkers now in the professional funk that is librarianship.

13 comments:

plentyo'moxie said...

ouch. it wouldn't hurt so much if it weren't so durn true.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps we should form a committee to discuss this problem.

AnonymousX said...

But I thought we were supposed to LIKE being exploited for our high level of education, high performance requirements, and low pay with little chance of advancement? You mean I'm supposed to be bitter about this?

Dances With Books said...

My God, you must have taken a peek at my job. All that effort I put in, and for pretty much not much of anything to show for it. OUch indeed.

unstricken said...

It's especially telling that you (S or J) wrote "librarians should be weary" rather than "librarians should be wary." Yes, it *is* wearying.

J said...

Editor's note: Ha! A Freudian slip. I'll leave it.

Anonymous said...

j, I just found your blog two days ago while searching for "brown bag" and I love it! I was wondering if something happened to the format of your site/archives. Today I tried to show a friend your blog on "Professional Development" and only a portion showed up. :( [Sarcasm and cynicism were only just starting their slithering snake dance. Or is it a fox trot?]

And another thing. I have to click to see comments instead of being able to read them directly below your original post. What gives? Not to sound lazy, but I have to conserve my energy for professional development. It takes such strength to do even that on the Friday of a holiday weekend!

Anonymous said...

Nag nag nag.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Having experience both in libraries and the outside world I have to tell you that librarians-who-think-they're-managers are the worst of the lot when it comes to treating staff like dirt. "Professional" underlings need to be kept firmly in their place as it's character-building (leastways, it built these deformed characters!) and God help the other ranks! The professional differential must be maintained.

I was once in a national seminar where a roomful of public library managers where supposed to be discussing how to get the best from their staff. I'd hoped that things like recognition, motivation and clear goal-setting might feature. They spent an hour bleating that they couldn't get the staff. Sigh...

dj said...

I'm beyond burned out. I have my evaluation in a month. Is this something I should share with my supervisor, or is it the kind of thing that can come back to bite me in the ass? There's nothing he can really do to help me I don't think, but should he be aware of my feelings?

I need to ask library people who don't work at my library. :)

Anonymous said...

I guess it depends what kind of library you work in. If it's as dysfunctional as mine, no one will notice since they are all burnt out as well.

I would like to rally for a "National Slacking Off Day" for librarians. If 'Bosses' and 'Secretaries can get one day per year, we should get one too.

Kevin Musgrove said...

I was going to suggest that on slacker's day we could switch off all the computers and pile all the books any old how in a corner of the room. That was before I saw the plans for a new library location and found out that there aren't any electricity points and the architect says there's nothing left in the budget for shelving.

Matthew said...

hahaha! so true! i've seen the scorch marks the others have left behind. sad sad sad.

i've got 40 years before that type of hate sets in. i hope.

by then, i'll be retired.

M