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David Lee King

I Don’t Trust the Library Journal



What’s more ironic than Michael Gorman complaining about blogs and wikis on the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s blog? How about Library Journal’s recent decision to host the Annoyed Librarian’s anonymous blog?

Yep – that’s right. The same organization that publishes the Transparent Library column is now giving voice to … an anonymous blogger.

Library Journal claims to be “the oldest and most respected publication covering the library field.” I’ll ask – do you respect a publication that allows one of their writers to be anonymous, when that anonymity has been used in the past to attack other librarians and the work they do? Who also allows and encourages other librarians to anonymously say mean, hateful things in the comments of his/her anonymous blog? To me, that’s simply juvenile and irresponsible.

And now that same juvenile, irresponsible behavior has been paid, and has been given a voice … by “the oldest and most respected publication covering the library field.” Hmm… another irony noted.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for tearing down bad ideas, pointing out inconsistencies, sharing what I think … and have no problem when people do the same with me. That’s expected. But I also think it’s important to own one’s words … and you simply can’t do that when you’re anonymous. Maybe just me – but I think if you can’t say it when your name’s attached … maybe you shouldn’t say it at all.

So when a “respected” library publication starts writing with an anonymous voice, I get concerned.

Library Journal – As a 2008 Mover and Shaker, and as one who has been published in Library Journal publications in the past, I stand behind the words I write, and I expect you to do the same.

Readers – what do you think? I’d like to know.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://members.linc.lib.il.us/ Carol Dawe

    I think transparency is vital and that anonymous blogs are more harmful than helpful. I agree with you completely. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

  • http://members.linc.lib.il.us Carol Dawe

    I think transparency is vital and that anonymous blogs are more harmful than helpful. I agree with you completely. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

  • lisa

    Actually, i have less respect for the annoyed librarian for being hired by an “establishment” journal; I think it will be difficult to maintain it’s free-wheeling outlook; I doubt any librarian thought the AL was a legitimate journalist, an idea that being hired by the Library Journal promotes.

  • lisa

    Actually, i have less respect for the annoyed librarian for being hired by an “establishment” journal; I think it will be difficult to maintain it’s free-wheeling outlook; I doubt any librarian thought the AL was a legitimate journalist, an idea that being hired by the Library Journal promotes.

  • http://librarianbyday.net Bobbi Newman

    Well said David. Thanks for saying this publicly, under your own name in a well thought out, constructive way.

  • http://librarianbyday.wordpress.com Bobbi Newman

    Well said David. Thanks for saying this publicly, under your own name in a well thought out, constructive way.

  • Blake

    “do you respect a publication that allows one of their writers to be anonymous, when that anonymity has been used in the past to attack other librarians and the work they do”

    Yes, they’re taking a chance and doing something different, I respect that.

    And I’m with Lisa. AL is a sell out.

  • http://lisnews Blake

    “do you respect a publication that allows one of their writers to be anonymous, when that anonymity has been used in the past to attack other librarians and the work they do”

    Yes, they’re taking a chance and doing something different, I respect that.

    And I’m with Lisa. AL is a sell out.

  • http://www.goblin-cartoons.com/ joshua m. neff

    I completely agree, David. The AL is petty, mean, smug and self-serving, and won’t put his/her own name to his/her petty, negative writings. LJ adding AL as a blogger smacks of desperate attention-seeking rather than mature journalism.

  • http://www.goblin-cartoons.com joshua m. neff

    I completely agree, David. The AL is petty, mean, smug and self-serving, and won’t put his/her own name to his/her petty, negative writings. LJ adding AL as a blogger smacks of desperate attention-seeking rather than mature journalism.

  • Chris O.

    It is a very strange arrangement, and undeniably a sell-out by someone whose raison d’etre is to post anonymous snarky anti-establishment things. It will probably increase LJ’s hits on their site but I don’t know how it advances their mission.

  • Chris O.

    It is a very strange arrangement, and undeniably a sell-out by someone whose raison d’etre is to post anonymous snarky anti-establishment things. It will probably increase LJ’s hits on their site but I don’t know how it advances their mission.

  • http://librariesbuildcommunities.org/ Chrystie

    I personally disagree with AL most of the time. She or he has taken some nasty shots at people that I believe are doing important work and with good intention. The tone of the blog is rarely constructive and I guess I’d say “it’s not my style” and that I disagree with the approach.

    That said, AL is sometimes funny. There’s a brand there. If you’re the Annoyed Librarian, we’ll, you should be blogging about things that annoy you. It seems to me that there is some attention-gathering, but also some real and substantive critique under that snarky sensationalism. To be honest, he or she sometimes offers a critique that I appreciate (but typically disagree with). When I’ve appreciated it, it’s usually later, when I’ve had some time to let things “marinate” and I realize that there is a lot of like-minded people out there talking to each other. “we” are doing it and “they” are doing it. There doesn’t seem to be a lot (though there is some) of *constructive* debate out there. (I’m reminded of Michael Porter and Tim Spalding’s riff at the BigWig session at ALA a year ago. That was an example of constructive discourse, but even in that case some pretty “inflamatory” things needed to be said to get the conversation going.) Are there other examples of positive, constructive, respectful discourse in library land? Maybe this one. :)

    Barthes (and Foucault) argued against incorporating the intentions and biographical context of an author in an interpretation of text; that text and creator are separate. I know that this is very theoretical. But I think it’s useful here in that they recognize that text and author relationship are essentially commercial impositions (from the publishing industry). A lot of what the new web/media are about is the dismantling of that relationship. It’s about dislocating the expert, authenticated, and “condoned” voice. You might even say that Library Journal is taking a step in the *right* direction by publishing an anonymous author; it takes the stance that LJ is not the authority, they are merely the facilitator.

    I agree with you that AL’s content is sometimes distasteful. But I think our counter work and our counter text can stand up to it, and so I don’t mind that LJ is publishing this blog under their banner. Speaking personally, she or he can go ahead and take another shot at me. I can take it.

  • http://librariesbuildcommunities.org/ Chrystie

    I personally disagree with AL most of the time. She or he has taken some nasty shots at people that I believe are doing important work and with good intention. The tone of the blog is rarely constructive and I guess I’d say “it’s not my style” and that I disagree with the approach.

    That said, AL is sometimes funny. There’s a brand there. If you’re the Annoyed Librarian, we’ll, you should be blogging about things that annoy you. It seems to me that there is some attention-gathering, but also some real and substantive critique under that snarky sensationalism. To be honest, he or she sometimes offers a critique that I appreciate (but typically disagree with). When I’ve appreciated it, it’s usually later, when I’ve had some time to let things “marinate” and I realize that there is a lot of like-minded people out there talking to each other. “we” are doing it and “they” are doing it. There doesn’t seem to be a lot (though there is some) of *constructive* debate out there. (I’m reminded of Michael Porter and Tim Spalding’s riff at the BigWig session at ALA a year ago. That was an example of constructive discourse, but even in that case some pretty “inflamatory” things needed to be said to get the conversation going.) Are there other examples of positive, constructive, respectful discourse in library land? Maybe this one. :)

    Barthes (and Foucault) argued against incorporating the intentions and biographical context of an author in an interpretation of text; that text and creator are separate. I know that this is very theoretical. But I think it’s useful here in that they recognize that text and author relationship are essentially commercial impositions (from the publishing industry). A lot of what the new web/media are about is the dismantling of that relationship. It’s about dislocating the expert, authenticated, and “condoned” voice. You might even say that Library Journal is taking a step in the *right* direction by publishing an anonymous author; it takes the stance that LJ is not the authority, they are merely the facilitator.

    I agree with you that AL’s content is sometimes distasteful. But I think our counter work and our counter text can stand up to it, and so I don’t mind that LJ is publishing this blog under their banner. Speaking personally, she or he can go ahead and take another shot at me. I can take it.

  • Laura H.

    I agree with your take on things, David.

  • Laura H.

    I agree with your take on things, David.

  • Leigh Anne

    I always thought the AL was going for satire – not always excellently executed satire, mind you, but still…

    I tend to take a moderate view on such things, and since moderation is not “sexy,” and does not bump one’s Technorati rating, I’ll confine myself to one simple observation: nobody gets up in the morning and says to themselves, “How can I ruin the library profession today?” Everybody has different views of how to make library world better. AL’s view is that anonymous skewering of any sacred cows s/he can find is the way to go. I’m not entirely convinced, but s/he certainly does get people talking. And since more speech is better than less speech, maybe instead of wringing our hands, we can take this opportunity to make sure that we respond to LJ’s move by taking AL to task on those things we personally do not find professionally sound.

    Then again, I’ve been wrestling with technology for a few hours, and have possibly blown a fuse. So, your mileage may vary. :)

    Thanks for posting this, David. You’ve really got me thinking, now, about the future of our profession, and how on earth we’re going to bridge our differences and actually get constructive things done…

    LAV

  • Leigh Anne

    I always thought the AL was going for satire – not always excellently executed satire, mind you, but still…

    I tend to take a moderate view on such things, and since moderation is not “sexy,” and does not bump one’s Technorati rating, I’ll confine myself to one simple observation: nobody gets up in the morning and says to themselves, “How can I ruin the library profession today?” Everybody has different views of how to make library world better. AL’s view is that anonymous skewering of any sacred cows s/he can find is the way to go. I’m not entirely convinced, but s/he certainly does get people talking. And since more speech is better than less speech, maybe instead of wringing our hands, we can take this opportunity to make sure that we respond to LJ’s move by taking AL to task on those things we personally do not find professionally sound.

    Then again, I’ve been wrestling with technology for a few hours, and have possibly blown a fuse. So, your mileage may vary. :)

    Thanks for posting this, David. You’ve really got me thinking, now, about the future of our profession, and how on earth we’re going to bridge our differences and actually get constructive things done…

    LAV

  • http://www.joystickcafe.wordpress.com/ Brandon

    By hiring the Annoyed Librarian, Library Journal is entertaining thoughts that conflict with their own; counter-arguments and perspectives on hot topics in the library world, an alternative viewpoint. This is the very mark of professionalism in my book, to allow conflicting opinions to freely flow.

    As far as AL’ anonymity and snarkiness, that is part of her creative voice, and who would want to stifle that?

  • http://www.joystickcafe.wordpress.com Brandon

    By hiring the Annoyed Librarian, Library Journal is entertaining thoughts that conflict with their own; counter-arguments and perspectives on hot topics in the library world, an alternative viewpoint. This is the very mark of professionalism in my book, to allow conflicting opinions to freely flow.

    As far as AL’ anonymity and snarkiness, that is part of her creative voice, and who would want to stifle that?

  • Julia

    I’m not sure why people are so up in arms about LJ hiring AL to write her blog there. She’s a librarian. She faces the same issues and irritations we all have seen in libraries — obnoxious co-workers, annoying patrons, jobs that suck, politics, professional associations with no direction or drive — and she expressed her opinions. Why can’t she voice her opinion? Is it that she’s anonymous?

    AL is still doing what she did before. She’s writing her opinions in a forum to make librarians think about the profession. I don’t consider her a sell-out. I consider her smart for getting paid to voice her opinion.

  • Julia

    I’m not sure why people are so up in arms about LJ hiring AL to write her blog there. She’s a librarian. She faces the same issues and irritations we all have seen in libraries — obnoxious co-workers, annoying patrons, jobs that suck, politics, professional associations with no direction or drive — and she expressed her opinions. Why can’t she voice her opinion? Is it that she’s anonymous?

    AL is still doing what she did before. She’s writing her opinions in a forum to make librarians think about the profession. I don’t consider her a sell-out. I consider her smart for getting paid to voice her opinion.

  • http://effinglibrarian.blogspot.com/ the.effing.librarian

    wow. about 50/50 on the AL, blogging, breathing.
    I’m glad she’s writing for LJ; it makes the statement said above, that LJ can take the occasional criticism and can let an anonymous someone dish it.
    I respect LJ for this, but lost a little respect for AL for taking the $$.
    But still, if she writes well, that’s all that matters to me.
    And if you need to be anonymous to be able to express yourself, then why should anyone complain.

  • http://effinglibrarian.blogspot.com the.effing.librarian

    wow. about 50/50 on the AL, blogging, breathing.
    I’m glad she’s writing for LJ; it makes the statement said above, that LJ can take the occasional criticism and can let an anonymous someone dish it.
    I respect LJ for this, but lost a little respect for AL for taking the $$.
    But still, if she writes well, that’s all that matters to me.
    And if you need to be anonymous to be able to express yourself, then why should anyone complain.

  • Juliette

    In other news: The Annoyed Librarian still exists??!?!?!? I thought his/her/its brand of will-I-won’t-I-aren’t-I-cheeky-yum-martinis-daddy-love-me self-promotion had mercifully run itself into the ground years ago. I can’t remember the last time I saw AL linked or referred to. I guess when Meredith Farkas “came out” as the AL. Even that seemed like it was a year or two after AL’s expiry date.

  • Juliette

    In other news: The Annoyed Librarian still exists??!?!?!? I thought his/her/its brand of will-I-won’t-I-aren’t-I-cheeky-yum-martinis-daddy-love-me self-promotion had mercifully run itself into the ground years ago. I can’t remember the last time I saw AL linked or referred to. I guess when Meredith Farkas “came out” as the AL. Even that seemed like it was a year or two after AL’s expiry date.

  • http://stevenbell.info/ stevenb

    I’ve gone on record saying that I don’t have a problem with anonymous bloggers. There are some good reasons for it, and it can allow certain issues to be discussed that might otherwise be difficult – although it shouldn’t be – but it is. Among faculty there are many anonymous bloggers and no one seems to have a problem with it. But I have also gone on record saying it’s cowardly for a blogger to attack or criticize others (not their ideas – them – personally) behind the cloak of anonymity. If you want to attack someone else, have the guts to stand behind your words and take responsibility for what you say. LJ is a business and they are motivated by profits and web clicks. They do what they need to in order to stay in business. If they think this is a way to do that I don’t have a problem with it. If enough librarians don’t like it they’ll go elsewhere. But if their gamble pays off…more power to them.

  • http://stevenbell.info stevenb

    I’ve gone on record saying that I don’t have a problem with anonymous bloggers. There are some good reasons for it, and it can allow certain issues to be discussed that might otherwise be difficult – although it shouldn’t be – but it is. Among faculty there are many anonymous bloggers and no one seems to have a problem with it. But I have also gone on record saying it’s cowardly for a blogger to attack or criticize others (not their ideas – them – personally) behind the cloak of anonymity. If you want to attack someone else, have the guts to stand behind your words and take responsibility for what you say. LJ is a business and they are motivated by profits and web clicks. They do what they need to in order to stay in business. If they think this is a way to do that I don’t have a problem with it. If enough librarians don’t like it they’ll go elsewhere. But if their gamble pays off…more power to them.

  • http://www.swissarmylibrarian.net/ Brian Herzog

    I agree with you David. Anonymity is important, but it also has its limitations. I read the LJ because I trust the authors – but I’m certainly not going to trust someone I don’t even know. They might have great ideas, but without owning up to them, they are worth a little less. Especially now when lies become true if they are repeated often enough, I think it’s vital to be able to trace ideas to a verifiable source and not just to “the man behind the curtain.” By the way, does the New York Times have any anonymous journalists?

  • http://www.swissarmylibrarian.net Brian Herzog

    I agree with you David. Anonymity is important, but it also has its limitations. I read the LJ because I trust the authors – but I’m certainly not going to trust someone I don’t even know. They might have great ideas, but without owning up to them, they are worth a little less. Especially now when lies become true if they are repeated often enough, I think it’s vital to be able to trace ideas to a verifiable source and not just to “the man behind the curtain.” By the way, does the New York Times have any anonymous journalists?

  • http://www.safelibraries.org/ Dan Kleinman

    Let’s face it. The AL has got the consistently hottest librarian blog of anyone, and by far. By very far. Even the ALA’s own American Libraries Forum is hardly visited by 65,000+ members, but the AL gets hundreds of comments per single post. The ALA Forum has a hundreds comments total since it opened almost a year ago.

    Further, the AL’s blog is interesting because it’s not just another outlet for the same old same old from the ALA. Look at all the blogs talking about how wonderful Banned Books Week is–sometimes cutting and pasting directly from the ALA at the ALA’s urging. The AL, on the other hand, can be countered on for a refreshingly different point of view, all done with dry wit, like her martinis. And with those hundreds of comments, many of them are really quite interesting as well.

    The Library Journal, in picking up the AL, has just added a major magnet pulling in hundreds of people per day. I think it’s a great move for both the LJ and the AL. Yes, it’ll benefit the LJ’s bottom line (and even the AL’s), but at the same time it will provide a wider platform for freedom of speech and all those other high minded ideals librarianship is all about. It will open up honest discuss to an even broader community of librarians and patrons.

    Bravo to the Library Journal, and brava to the AL.

    The AL’s being anonymous is part of the fun and allure of her web site. I hope she stays anonymous.

    The question is, given the relatively few comments on the LJ’s site compared to the AL’s, will the LJ become the Annoyed Library Journal?

  • http://www.safelibraries.org/ Dan Kleinman

    Let’s face it. The AL has got the consistently hottest librarian blog of anyone, and by far. By very far. Even the ALA’s own American Libraries Forum is hardly visited by 65,000+ members, but the AL gets hundreds of comments per single post. The ALA Forum has a hundreds comments total since it opened almost a year ago.

    Further, the AL’s blog is interesting because it’s not just another outlet for the same old same old from the ALA. Look at all the blogs talking about how wonderful Banned Books Week is–sometimes cutting and pasting directly from the ALA at the ALA’s urging. The AL, on the other hand, can be countered on for a refreshingly different point of view, all done with dry wit, like her martinis. And with those hundreds of comments, many of them are really quite interesting as well.

    The Library Journal, in picking up the AL, has just added a major magnet pulling in hundreds of people per day. I think it’s a great move for both the LJ and the AL. Yes, it’ll benefit the LJ’s bottom line (and even the AL’s), but at the same time it will provide a wider platform for freedom of speech and all those other high minded ideals librarianship is all about. It will open up honest discuss to an even broader community of librarians and patrons.

    Bravo to the Library Journal, and brava to the AL.

    The AL’s being anonymous is part of the fun and allure of her web site. I hope she stays anonymous.

    The question is, given the relatively few comments on the LJ’s site compared to the AL’s, will the LJ become the Annoyed Library Journal?

  • http://librarian.net/ jessamyn

    Wow, what a weird decision on LJs part.

  • http://librarian.net jessamyn

    Wow, what a weird decision on LJs part.

  • http://digitalpermanence.blogspot.com/ David Kemper

    Back in 2006, I was one of the first people in the blogosphere to write a blog post about the Annoyed Librarian blog. At that time, being an Annoyed info pro myself, I found some, shall we say, kinship with her Annoyed-ness, her wit, and her acidic style of writing.

    After a while, however, I found the posts were becoming increasingly contrarian, lacking fresh ideas or perspective, merely opposing any and everything that was being proposed by other librarians, be it gaming in libraries or ALA politics.

    Slowly, I began to sense that there was more than one librarian behind the AL. The output was far too much for one librarian (unless that one librarian was an extremely idle and workshy individual), and the wide-range of topics seemed to point to different people with different agendas. Therefore, I believe the Annoyed Librarian is in fact a collective of librarians each sharing a common twisted bond. Who knows. Maybe I am one of them, maybe someone posting a comment here is one of them.

    So now that the Library Journal has given the AL a home to call her/their own, I believe LJ is essentially, and tragically, endorsing this Annoyed and Anonymous behavior.

    But to be fair, one must give credit where credit is due. The AL is a motor of social media 2.0. She/they are earning money from her/their blogging activities. How many of us can say that? I surely can’t, though I have a few loyal readers (three at last count). Furthermore, I have never seen another blog other than the AL generate so many comments (albeit some comments can rightfully be called comment crud, but that’s another story once again).

    The AL is controversial and as a result she/they attract a very large readership. She/they can be so blunt because she/they are anonymous. Readers are abuzz each time the AL posts something new.

    Perhaps the LJ wants the same buzz – and notoriety.

  • http://digitalpermanence.blogspot.com/ David Kemper

    Back in 2006, I was one of the first people in the blogosphere to write a blog post about the Annoyed Librarian blog. At that time, being an Annoyed info pro myself, I found some, shall we say, kinship with her Annoyed-ness, her wit, and her acidic style of writing.

    After a while, however, I found the posts were becoming increasingly contrarian, lacking fresh ideas or perspective, merely opposing any and everything that was being proposed by other librarians, be it gaming in libraries or ALA politics.

    Slowly, I began to sense that there was more than one librarian behind the AL. The output was far too much for one librarian (unless that one librarian was an extremely idle and workshy individual), and the wide-range of topics seemed to point to different people with different agendas. Therefore, I believe the Annoyed Librarian is in fact a collective of librarians each sharing a common twisted bond. Who knows. Maybe I am one of them, maybe someone posting a comment here is one of them.

    So now that the Library Journal has given the AL a home to call her/their own, I believe LJ is essentially, and tragically, endorsing this Annoyed and Anonymous behavior.

    But to be fair, one must give credit where credit is due. The AL is a motor of social media 2.0. She/they are earning money from her/their blogging activities. How many of us can say that? I surely can’t, though I have a few loyal readers (three at last count). Furthermore, I have never seen another blog other than the AL generate so many comments (albeit some comments can rightfully be called comment crud, but that’s another story once again).

    The AL is controversial and as a result she/they attract a very large readership. She/they can be so blunt because she/they are anonymous. Readers are abuzz each time the AL posts something new.

    Perhaps the LJ wants the same buzz – and notoriety.

  • Francis

    Don’t get your panties in a bunch. LJ has every right to dip its toe in the 2.0 waters and see what happens. Sadly, working in an organization as large as Reed Elsevier is as much a burden as it is a benefit. Let’s see what happens before the whole experiment is condemned. If you don’t like it, it’s easy to post a comment.

  • Francis

    Don’t get your panties in a bunch. LJ has every right to dip its toe in the 2.0 waters and see what happens. Sadly, working in an organization as large as Reed Elsevier is as much a burden as it is a benefit. Let’s see what happens before the whole experiment is condemned. If you don’t like it, it’s easy to post a comment.

  • http://fiksz.klog.hu/ Paszternak

    I think you should LOL on this one – I know, it’s easy for me to talk from the other side of the world but… I think LJ’s doing this for the visitors and to collect those guys’ clicks who are actually against transparent libraries.
    I think it’s great to have both sides on the same sites – Library 2.0 guys and traditionalists. The only thing that bothers me a bit about this one is anonimity, as David wrote.
    There’s a need for this kind of “counter-blogs” – anyway, I read Annoyed Librarian just for fun, not for the deeeeeeep content… :D
    Greetings from Hungary!

  • http://fiksz.klog.hu Paszternak

    I think you should LOL on this one – I know, it’s easy for me to talk from the other side of the world but… I think LJ’s doing this for the visitors and to collect those guys’ clicks who are actually against transparent libraries.
    I think it’s great to have both sides on the same sites – Library 2.0 guys and traditionalists. The only thing that bothers me a bit about this one is anonimity, as David wrote.
    There’s a need for this kind of “counter-blogs” – anyway, I read Annoyed Librarian just for fun, not for the deeeeeeep content… :D
    Greetings from Hungary!

  • http://bpl.org/ Scot Colford

    Oh, David. I agree entirely with your take on this.

    I’ve long been wary of the whole “I don’t agree with AL but I think it’s important to read varying opinions” meme. I tried that, but I don’t really find any value in reading unsupported and uninformed opinions. Add to that the fact that the author writes anonymously and I’m afraid we’ll soon see the word “professional” go the way of “politically correct”. That is to say, it could become a convenient excuse to be a rude, snarky, arrogant purveyor of rumor, innuendo, and insult.

  • http://bpl.org Scot Colford

    Oh, David. I agree entirely with your take on this.

    I’ve long been wary of the whole “I don’t agree with AL but I think it’s important to read varying opinions” meme. I tried that, but I don’t really find any value in reading unsupported and uninformed opinions. Add to that the fact that the author writes anonymously and I’m afraid we’ll soon see the word “professional” go the way of “politically correct”. That is to say, it could become a convenient excuse to be a rude, snarky, arrogant purveyor of rumor, innuendo, and insult.

  • davidleeking

    Here’s what we have so far:

    agree with me – 6
    disagree – 6
    less respect for AL – 4
    sees both sides – 4
    other thoughts – 2

    Wow – viewpoints all across the board. That’s what I like about y’all – I can always count on thought-provoking comments!

    Scanning through the comments:

    On the “sell-out” bit that a few have mentioned: I hadn’t thought about that. Another irony, I suppose – building a blog by complaining about “the library establishment” … and then being hired by it.

    Chrystie – LJ as a facilitator… interesting thought. As long as they ALSO do that with non-anonymous writers and bloggers, I suppose that’s cool.

    Brandon and Julia – not trying to stifle the AL’s anonymity and snarkiness – just not sure LJ should be paying for it.

    [and an aside – she’s getting a paycheck, so someone at LJ has to know who she is, right? Not sure she’s completely anonymous anymore]

    On the AL getting paid for blogging – way to go, AL! I had an opportunity to do that (not with LJ) last year, and ended up not doing it (way too busy doing presentations and writing books and articles). I can’t fault anyone for wanting to be paid.

    stevenb – I agree. My take is that now, when the AL decides to attack and criticize others, technically speaking it will be the LJ doing the attacking (as far as I can tell, there’s not an “LJ doesn’t agree with the opinions of their bloggers” statement).

    Dan – Yes, the AL gets lots of comments. Mostly anonymous (so it could be the same 100 anonymous commenters every time).

    David and Francis – the LJ has had blogs and RSS feeds for awhile now, so they’re doing nothing new with the AL. Other than going anonymous to attack their own authors (again, no statements about bloggers there).

  • davidleeking

    Here’s what we have so far:

    agree with me – 6
    disagree – 6
    less respect for AL – 4
    sees both sides – 4
    other thoughts – 2

    Wow – viewpoints all across the board. That’s what I like about y’all – I can always count on thought-provoking comments!

    Scanning through the comments:

    On the “sell-out” bit that a few have mentioned: I hadn’t thought about that. Another irony, I suppose – building a blog by complaining about “the library establishment” … and then being hired by it.

    Chrystie – LJ as a facilitator… interesting thought. As long as they ALSO do that with non-anonymous writers and bloggers, I suppose that’s cool.

    Brandon and Julia – not trying to stifle the AL’s anonymity and snarkiness – just not sure LJ should be paying for it.

    [and an aside – she’s getting a paycheck, so someone at LJ has to know who she is, right? Not sure she’s completely anonymous anymore]

    On the AL getting paid for blogging – way to go, AL! I had an opportunity to do that (not with LJ) last year, and ended up not doing it (way too busy doing presentations and writing books and articles). I can’t fault anyone for wanting to be paid.

    stevenb – I agree. My take is that now, when the AL decides to attack and criticize others, technically speaking it will be the LJ doing the attacking (as far as I can tell, there’s not an “LJ doesn’t agree with the opinions of their bloggers” statement).

    Dan – Yes, the AL gets lots of comments. Mostly anonymous (so it could be the same 100 anonymous commenters every time).

    David and Francis – the LJ has had blogs and RSS feeds for awhile now, so they’re doing nothing new with the AL. Other than going anonymous to attack their own authors (again, no statements about bloggers there).

  • John Berry, Library Journal

    David: Free expression is free expression. I dislike anonymous ad hominem attacks too, but they have always been part of our professional discourse, and Annoyed Librarian does it with attitude. I’ve been attacked, and attacked back, and the reward has aways been new allies, new readers, and, of course new adversaries. It is important that our field of all fields empower people to exercise their right to free expression anonymously so they don’t have to worry about their jobs, reactions from their bosses, or damage to their other personal relationships. I’m glad Library Journal still supports such expression.

  • John Berry, Library Journal

    David: Free expression is free expression. I dislike anonymous ad hominem attacks too, but they have always been part of our professional discourse, and Annoyed Librarian does it with attitude. I’ve been attacked, and attacked back, and the reward has aways been new allies, new readers, and, of course new adversaries. It is important that our field of all fields empower people to exercise their right to free expression anonymously so they don’t have to worry about their jobs, reactions from their bosses, or damage to their other personal relationships. I’m glad Library Journal still supports such expression.

  • davidleeking

    John – thanks for your comment. Nice to see another LJ blogger commenting! Again, I don’t really have a problem with the AL’s “anonymous ad hominem attacks” – you’re right, that’s free expression.

    What I have a problem with is that Library Journal is paying for it, and therefore now officially supports “anonymous ad hominem attacks.” That, I don’t think I agree with.

  • davidleeking

    John – thanks for your comment. Nice to see another LJ blogger commenting! Again, I don’t really have a problem with the AL’s “anonymous ad hominem attacks” – you’re right, that’s free expression.

    What I have a problem with is that Library Journal is paying for it, and therefore now officially supports “anonymous ad hominem attacks.” That, I don’t think I agree with.

  • http://www.safelibraries.org/ Dan Kleinman

    David Lee King said, “Dan – Yes, the AL gets lots of comments.” Well, David, this comment is #25. Even the LJ is commenting.

    Brush up your resume!! :)

  • http://www.safelibraries.org/ Dan Kleinman

    David Lee King said, “Dan – Yes, the AL gets lots of comments.” Well, David, this comment is #25. Even the LJ is commenting.

    Brush up your resume!! :)