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(Washington Post)   Fairfax County library system decides that maybe it doesn't want to become a Fark staple, after all   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 45
    More: Followup, Fairfax County, library classification, strategic plan, branch manager, library sciences, board of trustees, board of supervisors  
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7308 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Sep 2013 at 8:54 AM (31 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



45 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-09-11 08:57:35 AM
all?
 
2013-09-11 08:59:35 AM
After? After what? I must know!
 
2013-09-11 08:59:39 AM
-math?
 
2013-09-11 08:59:39 AM
the zombie apocalypse?
 
2013-09-11 09:00:28 AM
So we listened to input and restrategized to a floating system after an Australian ballot to emphasize our resource redistribution.
 
2013-09-11 09:00:50 AM
Birth?
 
2013-09-11 09:00:56 AM
the new trend of placing any warm body where the educated and enthusiastic once stood will not stop with librarians. they're coming after teachers too, then who is next?
 
2013-09-11 09:01:09 AM
We'll handle this internally and see to it that it doesn't happen again. After all, we know what is best for you.
 
2013-09-11 09:01:12 AM
The "all" was deemed surplus and thrown in the Dumpster.
 
2013-09-11 09:06:00 AM
AfterMASH?
 
2013-09-11 09:14:59 AM
Museums, archives and academic libraries are hurting for money. The library should see if they can rehouse their surplus at an interested institution instead of destroying.
 
2013-09-11 09:16:26 AM
What is this, I don't even
 
2013-09-11 09:17:07 AM
Replacing the requirement for educated people to run the county libraries by mouth breathers who want to destroy books... the conservatives win again.
 
2013-09-11 09:17:28 AM
Cooool. They're like, throwing away books.

i.imgur.com
 
2013-09-11 09:17:37 AM

rebelyell2006: Museums, archives and academic libraries are hurting for money. The library should see if they can rehouse their surplus at an interested institution instead of destroying.


Fairfax is one of the richest counties in the country.  I think they just like flashing cash.
comedycentral.mtvnimages.com
 
2013-09-11 09:22:56 AM

bigworld2000: The "all" was deemed surplus and thrown in the Dumpster.


OB-SOLETE!
 
2013-09-11 09:23:54 AM
...the rain washes away the tears and all the pain?
 
2013-09-11 09:31:27 AM

GoodOmens: rebelyell2006: Museums, archives and academic libraries are hurting for money. The library should see if they can rehouse their surplus at an interested institution instead of destroying.

Fairfax is one of the richest counties in the country.  I think they just like flashing cash.
[comedycentral.mtvnimages.com image 480x360]


Well when the Fairfax County Government Center was built it was nicknamed the Taj Mahal because of all the marble and other extravagant features they splurged on. They do like to flash their cash. On the other hand I just like to flash my penis. Excuse me while I whip this out.

/women scream
//not in a good way
 
2013-09-11 09:32:03 AM

Scorpio Rex: Replacing the requirement for educated people to run the county libraries by mouth breathers who want to destroy books... the conservatives win again.


I see people on Fark every single day whining about how employers are requiring college degrees to do jobs that clearly don't require one. It seems like requiring a bachelor's degree to be a library assistant might be going a bit too far. It doesn't take 4 years of college to figure out how to put away library books.
 
2013-09-11 09:34:14 AM

mod3072: It doesn't take 4 years of college to figure out how to put away library books.


A fraking robot could do it
 
2013-09-11 09:38:35 AM

mod3072: I see people on Fark every single day whining about how employers are requiring college degrees to do jobs that clearly don't require one. It seems like requiring a bachelor's degree to be a library assistant might be going a bit too far. It doesn't take 4 years of college to figure out how to put away library books.


I'm not sure if you're trolling or are an idiot, but last I checked libraries also involve the digital world, as well. You know, database management, computer repair, IT knowledge, that sort of thing? You might not know, seeing as how you've clearly never stepped in a modern library.
 
2013-09-11 09:44:31 AM

Cheeseface: mod3072: I see people on Fark every single day whining about how employers are requiring college degrees to do jobs that clearly don't require one. It seems like requiring a bachelor's degree to be a library assistant might be going a bit too far. It doesn't take 4 years of college to figure out how to put away library books.

I'm not sure if you're trolling or are an idiot, but last I checked libraries also involve the digital world, as well. You know, database management, computer repair, IT knowledge, that sort of thing? You might not know, seeing as how you've clearly never stepped in a modern library.


Plus librarians need to be able to develope educational programs, and grants and other funds are sometimes tied to the ALA certification of the staff.
 
2013-09-11 09:44:35 AM
It's been over twenty years since I lived in northern Virginia. It has a lot of flaws, but the library system was not one of them--it was really well run. Professional, on the cutting edge of technology, innovative, responsive to the community, heavily into expanding the public's cultural horizons. It was just a top notch library system. What the heck is going on that this mess happened?
 
2013-09-11 09:45:26 AM

Walker: women scream


You mis-spelled laugh.
 
2013-09-11 09:47:11 AM
I love my local library. They're small, but very on top of any requests I may have. See, I'm poor, so I can't afford to buy every book or movie I want to read, so I request them at the library, read them, then return them to let other people enjoy them.
 
2013-09-11 10:02:15 AM
Face it... libraries are obsolete.

With the advent of Wikipedia and Yahoo! Answers, there's no need to go to some dusty old building to find any information that you might need.
 
2013-09-11 10:13:49 AM

Eddie Adams from Torrance: With the advent of Wikipedia and Yahoo! Answers, there's no need to go to some dusty old building to find any information that you might need.


I suppose you torrent movies and books, as well?
 
2013-09-11 10:19:47 AM

mod3072: Scorpio Rex: Replacing the requirement for educated people to run the county libraries by mouth breathers who want to destroy books... the conservatives win again.

I see people on Fark every single day whining about how employers are requiring college degrees to do jobs that clearly don't require one. It seems like requiring a bachelor's degree to be a library assistant might be going a bit too far. It doesn't take 4 years of college to figure out how to put away library books.


Assistants don't do that.  Pages do, and page jobs don't require degrees.  Most place, there is no education requirement at all, even high school.

In addition to checking out books and assisting patrons, Assisants do all the behind-the-scenes work that makes the Library run.  It's not just a free bookstore.

That said, this director is in a world of hurt.  You never, ever let people see you throwing good-condition books into a dumpster.  This is why libraries rip the covers off before sending the pages to recycling.  Basically, they have to weed, to keep the collection current.  Eventually, you run out of shelf space.  So you run a report and get rid of everything that hasn't checked out in 3 years or so (more or less, depending on the material - computer books far less, cookbooks live forever).  But if they have a bookstore, why didn't they give them to the Friends?  This makes no sense.  Jesus - I have our folks put verythign we weed onto the books sale shelves.  Why not?  Unless we must recycle it (certain things, we can't sell), its a great bargain to the public.

But... where is the Director in all this?  Ed Clay is usually better at politics than this - Fairfax is consistently in the HAPLR Top 10, and you don't do that with just luck and a firm handshake.

Sounds to me like he's taking the Nuclear Option, using the Friends to go to the County Supervisors instead of fighting his Board directly over their Strategic Plan that he doesn't like.  That's a really dangerous game - not only for Fairfax but also for libraries everywhere.  If it sets the precedent that the County Supervisors take over direction of Operations (as opposed to impeaching them all and appointing a new Board which still only deals with policy), then all hell will break loose around the country as other county commissioners decide that the Library a safe place to swing their dick around.
 
2013-09-11 10:40:10 AM
Ha, you think that's bad, you should see the 6 dumpsters that are perpetually full at the Brooklyn Public Library. Not to mention all the historical artifacts that I've pulled out of the garbage. People die and leave their collections to the library and they just store them in the lowest stack where they get water damaged and then are thrown out. Art, signed historical books, maps, etc.
 
2013-09-11 10:43:48 AM

rebelyell2006: Cheeseface: mod3072: I see people on Fark every single day whining about how employers are requiring college degrees to do jobs that clearly don't require one. It seems like requiring a bachelor's degree to be a library assistant might be going a bit too far. It doesn't take 4 years of college to figure out how to put away library books.

I'm not sure if you're trolling or are an idiot, but last I checked libraries also involve the digital world, as well. You know, database management, computer repair, IT knowledge, that sort of thing? You might not know, seeing as how you've clearly never stepped in a modern library.

Plus librarians need to be able to develope educational programs, and grants and other funds are sometimes tied to the ALA certification of the staff.


For the majority of a librarian's day-to-day job, how is it any different than that of a stock boy? Scan incoming items, put on cart, distribute to proper place on shelf, answer a few simple 'where can I find ..?' questions, and then perform the periodical tasks (daily, weekly, monthly) like inventory reports or whatever.

For public libraries, where the most complex action you're allowed to take has to do with organizing after-school events and read-to-children circles - not even collection management - I can't see how it requires anyone with more than say, an 8'th grade education and a week of training.  There's no preservation work, no complex or long-term archival, no coming up with new indexing or cataloging systems.  You ~might~ be called on to rebind a book, but that's a skill that can be taught in an afternoon.

So why is there a degree requirement for the majority of these jobs, much less a post-grad degree in many cases?

I'm guessing that the small number of jobs available in this field, coupled with the fact that the skills required are remedial-to-basic and easily trained to boot has resulted in intense competition, and advanced degrees are the only way to show any sort of separation in qualifications when in reality, everyone is only a week or two away from being equally qualified.  Am I wrong?
 
2013-09-11 10:53:05 AM
Benevolent Misanthrope:

That said, this director is in a world of hurt.  You never, ever let people see you throwing good-condition books into a dumpster.  This is why libraries rip the covers off before sending the pages to recycling.  Basically, they have to weed, to keep the collection current.  Eventually, you run out of shelf space.  So you run a report and get rid of everything that hasn't checked out in 3 years or so (more or less, depending on the material - computer books far less, cookbooks live forever).

Actually, the purpose of ripping the front cover off has nothing to do with making them look bad so you can justify throwing them away.  The front cover is worth money.  The publishers will provide credit or a new replacement (if the book is still in circulation) in return for the old book, but not wanting to deal with massive shipping costs for heavy books, they accept the front cover as proof that the previous book was destroyed.  For those libraries who have explicitly purchased books (or have been given a gratis limit), this puts money or books back in their pocket.

You'll see this in bookstores too - non selling publications will have their cover ripped off, sent to the publisher, and the books dumped.  When I was a kid and had no real disposable income, I made friends with a bookstore owner, and he gave me first pick of the coverless books before he dumped them.
 
2013-09-11 10:54:55 AM

quietwalker: rebelyell2006: Cheeseface: mod3072: I see people on Fark every single day whining about how employers are requiring college degrees to do jobs that clearly don't require one. It seems like requiring a bachelor's degree to be a library assistant might be going a bit too far. It doesn't take 4 years of college to figure out how to put away library books.

I'm not sure if you're trolling or are an idiot, but last I checked libraries also involve the digital world, as well. You know, database management, computer repair, IT knowledge, that sort of thing? You might not know, seeing as how you've clearly never stepped in a modern library.

Plus librarians need to be able to develope educational programs, and grants and other funds are sometimes tied to the ALA certification of the staff.

For the majority of a librarian's day-to-day job, how is it any different than that of a stock boy? Scan incoming items, put on cart, distribute to proper place on shelf, answer a few simple 'where can I find ..?' questions, and then perform the periodical tasks (daily, weekly, monthly) like inventory reports or whatever.

For public libraries, where the most complex action you're allowed to take has to do with organizing after-school events and read-to-children circles - not even collection management - I can't see how it requires anyone with more than say, an 8'th grade education and a week of training.  There's no preservation work, no complex or long-term archival, no coming up with new indexing or cataloging systems.  You ~might~ be called on to rebind a book, but that's a skill that can be taught in an afternoon.

So why is there a degree requirement for the majority of these jobs, much less a post-grad degree in many cases?

I'm guessing that the small number of jobs available in this field, coupled with the fact that the skills required are remedial-to-basic and easily trained to boot has resulted in intense competition, and advanced degrees are the only way to show any sort of separation in qualifications when in reality, everyone is only a week or two away from being equally qualified.  Am I wrong?


Are you wrong? Yes. There is much more to library work than stocking shelves.
 
2013-09-11 11:04:40 AM
WTF?

A good condition copy of Ender's Shadow:
www.washingtonpost.com

And a good condition copy of Game of Thrones:
www.washingtonpost.com
Both of those books would sell to benefit the library. Hell you have volunteers willing to sort them, you dummies
 
2013-09-11 11:10:57 AM

zedster: WTF?

A good condition copy of Ender's Shadow:
[www.washingtonpost.com image 850x581]

And a good condition copy of Game of Thrones:
[www.washingtonpost.com image 850x581]
Both of those books would sell to benefit the library. Hell you have volunteers willing to sort them, you dummies


At least the Weight Watchers book is some place it belongs.
 
2013-09-11 11:11:10 AM

quietwalker: Benevolent Misanthrope:

That said, this director is in a world of hurt.  You never, ever let people see you throwing good-condition books into a dumpster.  This is why libraries rip the covers off before sending the pages to recycling.  Basically, they have to weed, to keep the collection current.  Eventually, you run out of shelf space.  So you run a report and get rid of everything that hasn't checked out in 3 years or so (more or less, depending on the material - computer books far less, cookbooks live forever).

Actually, the purpose of ripping the front cover off has nothing to do with making them look bad so you can justify throwing them away.  The front cover is worth money.  The publishers will provide credit or a new replacement (if the book is still in circulation) in return for the old book, but not wanting to deal with massive shipping costs for heavy books, they accept the front cover as proof that the previous book was destroyed.  For those libraries who have explicitly purchased books (or have been given a gratis limit), this puts money or books back in their pocket.

You'll see this in bookstores too - non selling publications will have their cover ripped off, sent to the publisher, and the books dumped.  When I was a kid and had no real disposable income, I made friends with a bookstore owner, and he gave me first pick of the coverless books before he dumped them.


Um... no.

Trust me, I'm a Library Director, and came up through Technical Services.  (That's the department that handles things like discarding, and updating the database, and ordering, and receiving.)  We don't send covers back for refund when they arrive damaged - I've never, ever dealt with a vendor who required that.  We take covers off books because covers don't recycle.  We recycle the pages and throw the covers away.  But as I said, we only recycle the weeded stuff we can't sell.

Library != Bookstore.  I have never understood why that is so hard for people to understand.
 
2013-09-11 11:21:45 AM
Has someone who works in a library, there's a lot of things in the proposed plan that I find objectionable. But the whole "discarding books" issue is so beyond objectionable that whomever decided that was a good idea should be banned from working any library job for the remainder of her or his lifetime. You NEVER trash books that are in good condition. You sell them to raise money for the library. You donate them to charity. But you do not toss them in the garbage.
 
2013-09-11 11:31:04 AM

Benevolent Misanthrope: Library != Bookstore. I have never understood why that is so hard for people to understand.


What's a bookstore?
 
2013-09-11 11:34:27 AM

desertgeek: Has someone who works in a library, there's a lot of things in the proposed plan that I find objectionable. But the whole "discarding books" issue is so beyond objectionable that whomever decided that was a good idea should be banned from working any library job for the remainder of her or his lifetime. You NEVER trash books that are in good condition. You sell them to raise money for the library. You donate them to charity. But you do not toss them in the garbage.


Or if you must, you make damn sure they are not in good condition when they go in there.
 
2013-09-11 11:57:20 AM
What a Fark staple might look like...

lh4.googleusercontent.com

/Belongs to an angry God.
 
2013-09-11 12:03:51 PM
Well, can someone explain to me WHY they were trashing these books in the first place? Just seems like a very very very stupid idea!
 
2013-09-11 01:47:03 PM

zedster: WTF?

A good condition copy of Ender's Shadow:
[www.washingtonpost.com image 850x581]

And a good condition copy of Game of Thrones:
[www.washingtonpost.com image 850x581]
Both of those books would sell to benefit the library. Hell you have volunteers willing to sort them, you dummies


What you didn't see were the two copies that were probably on the shelves, the 4 copies that were sitting in the "Friends of the Library" bookstore for 50 cents that haven't been sold in the past 2 years, and the two other copies that someone "donated" yesterday.  How many copies of a book are they required to keep on hand or up for sale before they're allowed to get rid of them?
 
2013-09-11 02:40:18 PM
The page wouldn't load for me, but is this a giveaway to publishers?
 
2013-09-11 05:13:49 PM

desertgeek: Has someone who works in a library, there's a lot of things in the proposed plan that I find objectionable. But the whole "discarding books" issue is so beyond objectionable that whomever decided that was a good idea should be banned from working any library job for the remainder of her or his lifetime. You NEVER trash books that are in good condition. You sell them to raise money for the library. You donate them to charity. But you do not toss them in the garbage.


What charities want books that libraries don't want?  The library is the book charity already.
 
2013-09-11 06:36:34 PM

Cheeseface: mod3072: I see people on Fark every single day whining about how employers are requiring college degrees to do jobs that clearly don't require one. It seems like requiring a bachelor's degree to be a library assistant might be going a bit too far. It doesn't take 4 years of college to figure out how to put away library books.

I'm not sure if you're trolling or are an idiot, but last I checked libraries also involve the digital world, as well. You know, database management, computer repair, IT knowledge, that sort of thing? You might not know, seeing as how you've clearly never stepped in a modern library.


Those don't require a bachelor's degree either.
 
2013-09-12 02:49:37 PM
There are also companies that will take unwanted library books away for donation/resale/recycling if the library doesn't want them (Better World Books, for one). Why aren't they contacting one of these groups?
 
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