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Emotionalism, the Trials of Public Service, & Vulcans

We’ve all been there. You’ve got a line backed up to the exits, the phone is ringing off the hook, and a patron is standing there wanting to argue policy with you. You could be working in retail, a public library, an academic library, or anywhere there is a front-line public service desk. It is difficult.…… Continue reading Emotionalism, the Trials of Public Service, & Vulcans

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Things They Don’t Teach in Library School: Part 1, Collective Grieving

It is a dark time for the library. A few months ago, one of my employees –a woman in her early forties — was diagnosed with colon cancer. This week we learned that she has passed away. I only knew the woman for a short time, but she was a quiet and kind person whom…… Continue reading Things They Don’t Teach in Library School: Part 1, Collective Grieving

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The “P” Word

In the first year that I was in library school my early classes were frequently preoccupied with the question “Is librarianship a profession?” And the answer was, of course, “yes!” But the yes wasn’t a confident one as much as a desperate defense of the profession as such. In fact, the early classes were more…… Continue reading The “P” Word

Biography · Leadership · Library Philosophy · Service Models

Humanist Leadership

I’m new to being a boss. I’ve supervised student assistants for years, but this is the first job in which I’ve supervised “grown-ups.” Currently, I have five full-timers and two part-timers underneath me, not counting the small army of student workers they supervise. There are whole ranges in libraries that contain everything I don’t know…… Continue reading Humanist Leadership

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Free Speech and Free Societies, Pt. 2

I’ve not watched the Charlottesville news coverage thoroughly. I don’t know exactly what happened, but I know whatever everyone else knows. Fascists brought assault rifles to a “peaceful” political rally to protest the removal of a statue to a traitorous slave owner. A counter protest congregated. Tensions mounted and boiled over, and one fascist drove…… Continue reading Free Speech and Free Societies, Pt. 2