This is something I should have done when responding to The Good Library blog and his post If these libraries were any good councils wouldn't be closing them. I wrote about the post here yesterday.
Unfortunately, Tim's post seems to have riled a few feathers (me certainly included). Comments on Tim's blog say the following:-
I wish everyone would stop squabbling about the usefulness or otherwise of 'professional' librarians. It's time to put differences aside and concentrate on fighting the cuts otherwise there will be no public libraries/librarians left to disagree about.
I whole heartedly agree. I realise Tim and Voices for the Library are trying to stop closures, but I do feel Tim's approach rather takes a simplistic look at things. His original post was a sweeping generalisation of libraries and librarians such as:-
The library profession get very cross with me for saying it, but, in regard to public libraries, they have an awful lot to answer for, and instead of looking in my direction, it would be better if they faced and tackled their own problems. They insist they have a monopoly of know how, but that is hard to believe and there is not much to show for it.
Tim, what do we have answer for? Reductions in investment and staff under continual cut backs? Increasing needs for computers from patrons and the previous government? And what statistical facts do you have to back this up?
Also, if you put up a post at least be civil in response. Its basic blog etiquette. Here is an example of Tim's response to one comment on his blog (to a post he put up later, which supported his view point from the comment section of his original post) :-
As a librarian I worked with amazing library assistants.....now I'm a library assistant I appreciate the input of the librarians in the service, although they are few in number and decreasing because vacancies are being left unfilled.
Incidentally, an authority which I used to work for, ceased insisting that librarians' be qualified let alone chartered, years ago.
There are many public library authorities, all have different staffing structures, job titles and staff relationships. Can I suggest that people stop making generalisations based on their personal experiences.
Posted by: Library Assistant at December 6, 2010 10:03 AM
Well now Loughton Library User, you have been coming here for years to tell us, as a user of your local library, how wonderful your local librarians are and what a brilliant service they give. I never believed you for a minute. Now you tell us that actually you are a professional librarian. ho ho ho. You kind of make my entire point really. Though I guess you won't see it. It's called being a wolf in sheep's clothing. How jolly gracious of you to value the work of your lowly assistants.
Posted by: perkins at December 6, 2010 10:11 AM
I give up. I see no point in making any kind of contribution whilst you continue to make malicious comments.
Posted by: Library Assistant at December 6, 2010 10:20 AM
I'm sorry Tim, but being rude hardly forwards your argument in any way or form.
In many ways i'm glad Tim is passionate about libraries. But in creating inflammatory posts, he certainly does create tensions that are certainly not needed with the closures to public libraries. Like a commentator said before 'I wish everyone would stop squabbling.'
I am now going to step away.
*I am not in any way connected with Voices of the library, and certainly not talking on there behalf. I just like what they are doing.