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 successful in putting me on the Proud Professional Librarian path than they were at teaching me anything valuable or practical about doing the work of librarianship, being that I already been working in libraries for six-plus years. Indeed, it seems that librarianship has been preoccupied with this question for approximately 150 years. If you spend that much time wringing your hands about it, perhaps it’s not really true? Read More

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 about management and leadership. Everything I do know I learned from my own bosses through the years.* Mostly, what I learned was not to do. I have had a lot of bad managers; some of whom probably never should have been in a position of power. I learned good things from the few good ones I’ve had, too. Read More

Obligatory Weekly Update

book and red wine on a marble table

Not much has been going on. The second week of the semester is over and I feel like we’ve settled in.

DeLyle was here for about twenty-four hours on Tuesday and Wednesday for a job interview on campus. Our fingers are crossed but her would-be supervisor said outright that she’d never supervised anyone older than her and was looking for someone to mentor,* so our hopes aren’t up too much. Read More

I’m a Survivor!


After last week’s freak out over the beginning of the new semester, three days into it and it’s not so bad. I’m exhausted and my feet hurt, but at no point have I been overwhelmed. This is in large part to the completely awesome staff I have working under me. There were times when we had all six of our service points in use to help our patrons, where we normally just use three or four. I saw no employee lose their cool and no patrons lose their patience. Read More



So, it’s happening, and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. There is a Dothraki hoard of students coming my way in five days which will not let up until mid-December. And I am not ready. I’ve been at this job approximately two-and-a-half months learning everything I need to know to lead my department through the upcoming battle (i.e. semester) and I do not feel like I can possibly be prepared enough. Outwardly, I’ve been trying to keep it chill. Trying to be as Dudeist as I can about it, but the closer I get the more inadequate I’m feeling. I’m fine with the day-to-day stuff, but if anyone asks me anything out of the ordinary I freeze up and go blank. It’s less that I don’t know the answer and more that I’m not confident in the answer I want to give. Read More

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 his automobile into a crowd of counter protesters injuring nineteen and killing one. This same tactic has been used by fascists in London, Paris, and now Barcelona (among other places) by anti-Western Islamic fascists and now these American fascists are emulating them. Read More

Free Speech and Free Societies, Pt. 1

Just over three years ago Michael Brown was shot dead on the streets of Ferguson, MO, by a cowardly police officer. Was Michael Brown completely innocent of any crime? Probably not, but that’s not the point. As far as I can tell he was guilty of petty theft, jaywalking, and assaulting a police officer, none of which are crimes that typically result in the death penalty. After the officer shot Michael Brown dead for failing to comply with whatever order was being shouted at him he was left out on display in the street for no less than four hours. That night, crowds gathered to protest the police violence. The evening news quickly began defaming Michael Brown, as if anyone deserves the treatment he received before or after his death. For the next several weeks peaceful, if loud, protests were mounted. Anarchists and those who did not know how else to channel their rage turned to violence and property destruction. Read More