Dec 092004

I am very pleased! I have finally gotten a card to a neighboring city’s library which is much nicer and have a competent library staff. When I went to my city’s library and asked the circulation librarian about the Lancet Neurology article he had to get up to see if it was one of the 20 or so periodicals that they get – pretty pitiful. He was then asked to ILL the article and it has never arrived making me think he never made the request. Especially damning since he seemed pretty put out to do it – and since we were the first ones ever, for him, to request a periodical article. It’s librarians like this that give them the reputation for being incompetent and only good for telling people to be quiet – not as a resource to help you do your searching, etc. On a plus not I should be able to get a TexShare card and go down to the UT SW Medical School Library to get a couple of books. I am especially interested in getting a book on immunology since I know nothing beyond the small basics of how the immune system works. As is no surprise SWMed Library has quite a few excellent books on that topic. I also plan on getting a book on neurophysiology but the neighboring city’s library has a book on that subject with a specialty on the brain. First things first the book “Curing MS : how science is solving the mysteries of multiple sclerosis” is due back this Saturday and I have a hold placed on it so with any luck that will be my reading material for next week.

 Posted by at 7:57 pm

  6 Responses to “Library”

  1. Maybe Becca can answer this. Does the oral exam for being a librarian involve how many times you can say “Shhhh”? Do you get extra points for making a frowny face/glaring while saying “Shhh”?

    Based on the expectation for quietness for my 2yr old even in the kids section I think there should be a minimum age of 21 before you can enter the library w/o duct tape over your mouth! 🙁

  2. The book you mention… “Curing MS”… what year was it published? I find so many of the so called recommended reading is pretty outdated. It’d be nice to get something more current to reference. – Kim

  3. Hmmmm, Erik, becca is going to get you for that one! 😉

  4. First, let me HIGHLY recommend “Curing MS.” The author, Dr. Howard Weiner, is, and I quote from a bio, ” Professor of Neurology at the Harvard Medical School and Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital and the Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also Co-director of the Center for Neurologic Diseases at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital.” The book was just published in May of this year, so it is quite up to date. I read it once after borrowing it from my library and liked it so much I bought a copy.

    As for librarians, I will be the first to admit that there is an “old guard” mentality out there, but we young’uns are trying to change that perception. We’re not all shushers, and some of us actually LIKE to be asked questions because that is what keeps an otherwise tedious job interesting (how many times can you point out where the bathroom is without wanting to scream?). It is also possible that you are encountering library assistants or other paraprofessionals, who haven’t been to library school or have a library degree (yes, it does take a Master’s to be called a librarian). Of course, sometimes the paraprofessionals are actually MORE helpful and friendly because they are the ones on the front lines, so to speak. This also sets them up for more burn-out , however, which may ultimately lead to rudeness. As far as the ILL thing, I would specifically ask to speak with a reference librarian, it really shouldn’t be a big deal to do an ILL, libraries do hundreds a week, at least large ones like mine. We have one employee whose sole job is to handle ILLs. Go to the main branch of your library system and try there, they are most likely doing the most ILLs. Sermon over.

  5. Curing MS was published on May 18, 2004 so it is a very recent book. I am very eager to get ahold of it. The library was checked out of almost every MS book with them all due back on the same day so it was probably either an MS’er or someone doing a report. I only put a hold on that one so they could keep the rest.

  6. I’ve been a public librarian in a major urban library system for 23 years and the only time I’ve ever told anyone to shush was when they were loud and disturbing other patrons.

    Did you follow-up on the periodical article request? Sometimes, things aren’t available or they fall through cracks. We’ve been unable to fill requests at times because the request wasn’t fully filled out.

    Some library systems don’t hire actual librarians, ie people with MS degrees, so the level of training and skills varies greatly from library system to library system. You might have a bad library system. One town I lived in had a bad library–the town’s population kept voting down funds to hire more staff and make improvements–while a neighboring town had an excellent library, and the town folks were willing to pay the tax dollars to keep it that way.

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