Open Thread Thursday: Sparta Edition


[Click the picture for the explanation of the meme]

On the heels of winning the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books lolbrarian contest, I thought another lolbrarian style graphic might be a nice way to kick off this Open Thread Thursday. In working with Sarah to polish up and issue the eBook Readers’ Bill of Rights over the weekend and blogging on the HarperCollins timeline (1, 2, 3, 4 entries), it feels like I’ve been doing nothing but reading and writing in my spare time for the past five or so days. While I’ve been enjoying watching the issue move through the libraryland blogosphere, I took off Wednesday night to do other things and take a break from the keyboard. I really need to recharge the battery for the next round since I think it’s going to get, well, more verbose.

So, as a starter topic for this week’s open thread, I’ll toss out the concept of madness in library science (real or fictional). Bonus points for weaving the HarperCollins stuff or eBook rights into your comment. Triple score if you link a real libraryland behavior to Rita Mae Brown’s quote, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results”.

And now, your comments.

7 thoughts on “Open Thread Thursday: Sparta Edition

  1. Well, I’ve always thought there must be a hidden mental health question on library school applications. We’re all a little nuts if you ask me (myself included) – each in our own special way of course!

  2. “Insanity is doing something over and over again but expecting the same result” – that’s called budget negotiation.

    But more maddening than the HC kerfluffle is that the University of Washington iSchool, one of the top MLS programs in the nation (I believe it was ranked #1 by US News and World Report a few years back) faces a merger with another school to offset massive budget shortfalls facing the UW, losing its unique identity and course offerings. Sadder still, it’s the school’s centennial year.

    I’m not an iSchooler or iAlum, but I ask myself – as the iSchool goes, so does the rest of MLS education? If merger like this can happen at UW, chances are it can happen at your school – perhaps with worse consequences (i.e. closure).

    • I made this same comment over at Hack Library School: there are some benefits to consolidation. Two that come to mind: (1) new, integrated courses that bring together students and faculty from other departments with outside perspectives (Comp sci, humanities, education, e.g.) and (2) access to new sources of funding, including added percentage of tuition, alumni channels, and restricted funds previously not available.

      We talk a lot about changing MLS programs, maybe this would be the incentive to really look at the curriculum and ask “Do we really need this? and “What is really essential to what we want to teach?” I know from experience at MPOW that while budget cuts have been hard on all of us, we’ve made some interesting improvements to our services.

      I don’t want to belittle the situation: budget and course cuts are seriously frustrating, but even while we protest it, we should be looking to how we can get the most out of the deal. There are some serious benefits worth considering.

      • John, you suggested something I didn’t think about. This might be to the respective schools’ benefits. For example, if my library school (Pratt-SILS) combined with Pratt’s Department of Arts and Sciences, we would have wider exposure to certain classes we don’t have already, like basic education courses or art history courses. I regret not having more foundation in educational pedagogy that would help me get instructional positions. Student organizations might even be able to get more money with a larger population and combine forces across departments – we were asked by HASDA (the Pratt student org for art history students), to present an art librarianship event, but we never had time to get the idea off of the ground. I wish we did – many students come to Pratt-SILS for that unique combination of art and librarianship.

        So while I’ll be watching what happens to the iSchool closely, and hoping it can retain its individual presence, I will keep in mind that a merger like this may not be so bad after all.

  3. Pingback: Why LIS School Mergers/Consolidations May Not be a Bad Idea After All « The Librarian Kate

  4. Congrats Andy on the win. That is a brilliant LOLbrarian. I want to point though, you’re lucking I forgot to submit one (or ten) or I would have one.

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