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Friday, October 15, 2010

Library Thuggin' Ain't Easy

Some guy posted an anti-union, anti-library rant here:


He's just plain wrong (and he insulted my friend Ingrid in the comments). Subsequently, I couldn't keep my mouth shut. Here is part of my response to him (he called me a "liar," a "demagogue," and a "union thug" in return. Awesome!)

It’s clear you don’t understand why librarians require higher education and specific training. You also don’t seem to think that libraries are really all that important in general. Honestly, I’m not going to try to change your mind, although I do wish you would educate yourself about the subject a bit more. (And you can call my comments “idiocy” or use whatever other kind of ad hominem argument you’d like while evading/ignoring my actual points. That’s fine).

I do want to say to anyone else out there who might be reading this (librarians in particular): this is exactly why we need to keep advocating. Educated, informed, and rational people know how hard we work and what we contribute to society. I see it in the grateful faces of the adults, teens, and children who visit my library every day. However, there is still a staggering amount of ignorance and misinformation out there. We need to continue to fight it – through our work, through discussion, through organized advocacy efforts – on a daily basis.

Being a librarian is not something that everyone could or should do. We all worked extremely hard to get that graduate degree, but there is also a certain fanatical devotion that comes with being a librarian. For the majority of us, it is not just a job, but a passion. I will continue to advocate for libraries and librarians as long as it is necessary.

Thank you.



  1. I <3 Librarians and the library. Rock on!

    - Jackie

  2. People like that are, unfortunately, a lost cause.

    "They are just librarians!" he says. That's really great Warner. You certainly seem like a thoughtful, even-handed pragmatist. Not.

    Librarians are the best. And anybody who actually steps foot inside of a library knows it. The real problem is that, while libraries are essential to many people, those who don't use them can't possibly understand their value...it's their loss. Free access to information and technology and culture, job searching resources, and a community of helpful people seem to me like the perfect use of public funds ESPECIALLY in a down economy.

    I'm not unbiased, it's true, but with a mother who's a librarian, and all the time I spend in libraries, it's obvious to me that Rita is awesome and Warner is a jagoff.

  3. This is the same stuff that is so dangerous in the debate around education right now (and I include librarians as educators, obviously). People who don't know what they're talking about rail against unions and teachers (librarians) who work their asses off for pretty much no pay at all. Thanks for taking this one on. It's exhausting fighting with people who really have little sense and who like to pontificate on issues about which they know nothing.