OMG, Claire Danes and I have the same tastes in books!

Forget about Oprah's book picks, I want to know what her famous friends are reading. Please Oprah, stop telling us what to read and let us see what other famous people are reading.


The Kids Are Alright

Last week was atwitter about this Boston Globe article that had a few choice quotes from NEA Chairman Dana Gioia about how kids aren't reading. . . . books.

Today's O'Reilly Radar has a guest blog from two of their summer high school interns about the state of reading.

This is a great entry and something I think most librarians and publisher need to read and think about it. It offers some real thoughts from two people who are a) interested in books and b) interested in publishing. What can we learn from this entry?

  • Advertising books in the insular community of bookstores and book reviews can not compete with billboards and commercials and online ads for everything from video games to movies to web sites to TV shows.
  • Books are not considered more important than other media. That cultural hierarchy is gone.
  • Cultural literacy is not as important as information literacy.
  • Web 2.0 isn't connecting everyone together, it's allowing those with like interests to connect. These new tools aren't to get the Lowest Common Denominator. The LCD can't be targeted the same way as small groups can be on the web.
And Elizabeth and Cristina are only high school seniors. Can you imagine when they get to college and there are new resources from Proquest and ScienceDirect to virtual campuses in Second Life and distance learning?

What will your books service look like in 5-6 years? What will Elizabeth, Cristina expect from you once they leave the University?

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When Hip Librarians Attack!

I guess I forgot that I'm not a hipster librarian and therefore missed the entire point of the NYT article. It wasn't about what I do in the library every day. It was about librarians from Williamsburg, which has a minimum level of hip to live there, or so I've been told.

Anyway, here's more coverage of the article:

Information Wants To Be Free points out how limiting the article is and also use the journalist's viewpoint back on journalism.

Pop Goes the Library focuses on how this reinforces stereotypes, although a different kind of stereotype.

Free Range Librarian takes on the sexist attitude and has a few responses from people who tell the librarians upset with the article to get over themselves. Apparently making a profession seem cute and charming to the general public is okay. I'd love to see how people would react if this was about the business world. Oh wait. They probably already did that article in association with web 2.0 startups. "With a tattoo and nose ring, Sean McGillicutty is not what you picture when someone says 'CEO'."

The Gothamist at least reminds us that Party Girl covered the same topics (DJing, drinking, funky-clothes wearing) years ago.

It's all good rounds up the three articles from NYC this week and talks a little about the Desk Set, who are the main focus of the articles.

Informationatrix hits the nail on the head about why this article bothered me. It's not about librarians, but the librarian pose that some people strike.
"It smacked of the same attitude of people who listen to movies only long enough to parse out their favorite quotes and repeat them ad nauseum to their friends, or who listen to indie rock only long enough to figure out which bands are acceptably underground, solely for the purpose of buying that band’s t-shirt and impressing the emo hottie that they’ve been scoping all week at the bar."
And then there's Snufkin who sums it all up with "MLIS is the new Barrista."

You can call me a guybrarian if I can call you a girl reporter

This is why I really don't like to read MSM. Way to make vapid assumptions about librarians in order to do some cool hunting. Remember that news article about Seattle in the 90's where someone gave bunch of nonsense and claimed it was the new lingo? Well, thank you NYT for attempting to reach that level with a look at hipster librarians.

Imagine, people in their 20s and 30s wanting to be cool like all the other people with these crazy tattoos and funny haircuts. Can you believe it?

And yes I take offense to the tone about men in the library profession. If you're going to continue believing that professions have a traditional gender that should be assigned to them, at least be more tongue-in-cheek about it.