Marginalia Winter Wrap-Up Part II

Here’s part two; professor quotes from last semester’s Organization and Management of Public Libraries class.

On religion: “The Church has always been interested in libraries – either building them or burning them.”

On Irish monasteries, where much classic literature was preserved while the rest of Europe was in the dark ages: “No one bothered to pillage them, they were too far away.”

On public library work: “Plumbing – that’s the number one thing they SHOULD be teaching you in library school.”

On funding: “They will fund ANYTHING that’s big and red and has a flashing light on top.”

On the limitation of the power of library directors: “NOBODY gets to do whatever they want.”

On the importance of contracts: “If nothing else, it cuts down on the number of times you’re gonna get sued.”

On the emergence of bar codes: “That was some kind of magic.”

On Boards of Trustees with too many members: “If there was a just and loving God this sort of thing wouldn’t happen.”

On Public Relations: “Nobody says no to a Children’s Librarian! They’re the best PR we’ve got.”

On the Chinese lead-paint-in-toys-scare, and deaccessioning: “It’s not going to be a problem until somebody sues you – and nobody’s going going to sue you for having children’s books. They’re gonna sue you for throwing out children’s books!”

On the 1950s: “The heyday of paperweights.”

On different rules for the teen room in a library: “You should be able to swing from the chandeliers in the teen room!”

On centralized selection: “It’s cold and heartless, but it’s brutally efficient.”

On the public’s reaction to outsourcing selection: “Can you imagine [the] Cambridge [Public Library] outsourcing selection? No! They’d burn the place down. They’d have a rally…”

On the obvious: “Librarians love to organize things.”

On power: “It’s amazing how much good you can do in a position of authority.”

On (dis)organization: “There’s a section where they stuffed a puppet!”

On catalogers: “Catalogers are obsessed with accuracy.”

On research: “I’m amazed at how often you go looking for information about libraries and end up in Australia.”

A guest speaker, on politically correct terminology: “I don’t think it’s pejorative – golfers still use handicaps.”

On the timeline: “[Public libraries] have been around for 150 years. That’s current events, not history.”

On the need to justify library costs in business terms: “Don’t blame me for this, blame Reagan.”

On upcoming lecture material: “Next week’s topic is puppets and power tools.”

On customer service: “The customer is NOT always right. Half the time the customer is INSANE.”

On humor and statistics: “There are very few statistical jokes out there.”

On the wording in job ads: “‘Scenic’ means COLD. ‘Scenic’ in Wisconsin means there are no hills to block the wind.”

On the difference between logic and reality: “That’s a logical statement, not a realistic statement.”

On literature, quality of: “SOMEONE should stand up and say Nora Roberts sucks.”

On the ‘Cockroach Principle’: “If one person wants a book, there are five other people who are too socially inhibited to ask for it.”

On strategic plans: “If you are within three years of being perfect, well then, you don’t belong on this earth.”

On the consequences of quoting inaccurately: “Now I’m going to misquote Oliver Wendell Holmes, for which I will burn in hell.”

What I’m reading: First Among Sequels, Jasper Fforde
What I’m listening to: The Hour of the Bewilderbeast, Badly Drawn Boy; Mae’s indie mix

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