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Not mean enough?

Sometimes I think I’m not mean enough to be a "librarian." Or maybe its because I work with both students and adults (teachers, parents, administrators) that I believe in civility. Maybe I’m just a prude.  You can decide for yourself. 

What brought this on? I am so annoyed with Library Journal’s blog Annoyed Librarian and most of the people who left comments there concerning paraprofessional certification. I defend their right of free speech, but I don’t have to go hang out there and read it. I admit that I wanted to wash myself afterwards and disassociate myself with LJ/SLJ/Reed Publishing from a feeling of contamination. 

Then I realized the best cleansing was to come here and share with you. I’m not a shill for ALA. I support ALA and when I want to make changes, I get involved and try to fix things. I don’t hide the fact that I’m serving an unpaid term on ALA’s board, nor do I hide my difference of opinion with ALA board members or policies as needed. 

I also try to see others’ points of view in an argument. The Library Support Staff Program that has just begun accepting applications was developed in part from a federal grant. According to the ALA/APA website:

Research shows that LSS certified in a rigorous certification program:

  • have more self confidence in their own ability
  • believe they provide better service to the public
  • better understand how the entire library operates
  • are more willing to accept responsibility
  • work better on the library team

Those look like great things that you would want of all your staff. Why is there such an outcry on Annoyed Librarian? Maybe they don’t have all the facts yet? Maybe I’m not as afraid that I will lose my job to a paraprofessional (the LSS program is not for school personnel). Maybe it’s that none of the people who comment on this blog treat each other so dismissively and rudely. Maybe it’s because I respect support staff and paraprofessionals.

There is room for dissension and controversy. Maybe the publishers like blogs like Annoyed Librarian’s because LOTS of people comment. People just don’t comment here as often. Is it because I’m just too darned nice? Oh, wait, I think it’s because you, the readers, are just much nicer and professional. I don’t even care if you have a degree or certification, your professionalism and respect for your clients – our students – shows in your posts. Thank you, readers. 

Now, tell me the truth, do we have to stir up some nastiness to get you to comment?


  1. teacherninja says:

    Here is a nice, civil comment for you to publish.

    Maybe you need your own “comment challenge” like MotherReader did.


  2. A lot of support staff end up becoming librarians. I was one such. I was an excellent library worker before my MLS, but I respect the work involved in getting the MLS. I think certification is a good thing.