Why in the world do librarians need to have master's degrees in library science? - Must Read Alaska
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Saturday, July 24, 2021
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Why in the world do librarians need to have master’s degrees in library science?

On Saturday, a drug-addled man at the Anchorage Loussac Library was observed overdosed on heroin in the first-floor bathroom. He had pills and marijuana in his pockets, and his feet were bare and bleeding. An ambulance took him away.

That bathroom is the same one used by four-year-olds on their way upstairs to check out a book at the city’s largest library.

This is not an uncommon occurrence in city libraries these days. The same places that are comfortable and semi-private places for studying and reading are also comfy corners for people to shoot up.

Libraries have morphed into day shelters for drug addicts, homeless, and mentally ill people, and increasingly they are not places where children can go to learn to read. The mission has drifted badly as libraries are dual purpose druggie hangouts and book dispensaries.

It’s in this environment that Sami Graham has emerged as the kindly leader to help steer the Anchorage Public Libraries in a new direction. After all, Mayor Dave Bronson was elected to take the city in a “new direction,” according to his campaign slogan. Why not start with the headquarters for Drag Queen Story Hour?

But Graham, the mayor’s nominee to run Anchorage Public Libraries, is running into a wall of protest from the professional librarian syndicate. The “professional librarians” are petrified that if someone without a library science degree is chosen to run the libraries, their control, and their gate-keeping over these important and well-paying jobs will be diminished. Fifty of them have sent letters to the Anchorage Assembly saying Graham must not be confirmed under any circumstance. It’s going to be a fight between the librarian cartel and the rest of us.

Graham doesn’t have a master’s degree in library science, they argue, and that’s clearly a part of the job requirement. She has two other masters degrees — one in educational leadership and one in counseling, which could come in handy with the current clientele these days. But no master’s in the “science” of libraries.

Graham, a retired school principal, has managed libraries, librarians, buildings, staff, and crises in that role. She has taught reading to all ages. She is a counselor.

But as the nominee to run the Anchorage Public Libraries, she faces opposition from what has become a library mafia — the American Library Association and its local representatives. If Graham’s name was Barack Obama, these librarians would probably let it go, because, according to the data, librarians are almost exclusively registered Democrats.

Read: Librarians are among the most partisan workers of any field in America

The ALA is leading in the culture wars on America, condoning such events as Drag Queen Story Hour in children’s libraries and allowing porn to be distributed on publicly funded computers, visible and audible to those in the vicinity. There is hardly a library management in America that doesn’t require successful applicants to be indoctrinated and educated into the group-think by those already in the library field.

If they let Graham be the librarian, it’s the end of the need for the library science degree. For them, it’s equivalent to letting lawyers practice without law school and the bar exam. They see themselves as certified professionals, like civil engineers or medical doctors.

Libraries have changed over the past half century. They were once places for families with children, but increasingly are warming shelters or, in hot climates, cooling shelters for the mentally ill or strung out.

Librarians now manage not only books, but movies, internet, computers, access to research materials, micro-fiche, and ensuring their operations are safe. Few of them see their job as helping children develop a love of reading. They are running what has become essentially a content retail outlet — books and material going in and going out.

Increasingly, parents don’t trust those staffing urban libraries to look out for the values of families or to provide for their safety, with a growing presence of mentally ill and drug addicts leaving needles in the restrooms or in the stacks.

There are solutions, such as creating stand-alone libraries for children and their parents, but these are expensive. Librarians can also trespass people off the property and stop providing social services, or create a very separate place that is just for adults to do what some adults want to do.

Will the syndicate of librarians and the wretched results they’ve allowed to be normalized be broken? Or will the Anchorage Assembly say no to Graham, allow libraries to continue their fast decline, as they put the interests of the radical left above the interests of Anchorage children?

Suzanne Downing is publisher of Must Read Alaska and Must Read America.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • When you consider how complex the job of a librarian can be, it makes sense to have strict educational requirements of at least a GED. Or perhaps some form of on the job training of no less than 3 weeks.

    • Bare minimum a need for a C for one year of 3rd grade math anyways. The Dewey Decimal System can be extremely difficult…

  • The ALA also vigorously protests the deplatforming and canceling of free speech (modern era book burning) and encourages youth to read literary classics to round their education and intellectual development…….
    Or maybe not, actual educated librarians in a long buried alternate reality did in any case.

  • It is all just a power play…Graham’s education seems more than appropriate for the position.
    The Library science people just want to be in a position to ban more books.
    Funny how the word “science” implies some sort of superiority in education these days.
    I saw this first hand in college where my science orientated professors looked down upon other faculty from English & Writing.
    I still think a broad Liberal Arts education is the best for helping students to navigate through society after they are done….pigeon hole yourself with science & you very well may miss out on a lot of other important aspects of life.

    • Liberal Arts and Gender studies are the most useless, un-marketable degrees in the history of higher learning. Oh – you have a degree in liberal arts? said no hiring manager ever. Gender studies! Useless.

  • Imagine writing, with a straight face, about the threat to America posed by the “Library mafia”

    • I don’t know what library in Anchorage these right-wing whingers are talking about. I take my grandbabes to Loussac and always see many other parents and grandparents with their little ones at story time. The kids also use computers, or do some of the other fun activities available there. I really do wish conservatives would stop beating their gums about the whole derelict/homeless hangout issue. That old canard is without merit. Library staff is responsive and responsible for the safety of the library and its users. They do their jobs well.

      • Well, some of us still protect our children from the junkies and perverts having public sex, but obviously some have their children stand and observe, maybe participate for the full experience! It is public property and should be held to acceptable public standards. When a society eliminates all standards it will deteriorate. Get ready for the consequences, Sophie.

        • Uh where exactly did the opinion piece say, “…junkies and perverts having public sex” in Anchorage libraries, with children and parents watching??
          Turn off the Faux news!

          • Junkies: On Saturday, a drug-addled man at the Anchorage Loussac Library was observed overdosed on heroin in the first-floor bathroom. He had pills and marijuana in his pockets, and his feet were bare and bleeding. An ambulance took him away.
            And it was in an earlier article about someone exposing himself in the bathroom.
            I don’t expose my kids to Drag Queen Story Hour, nor stripper story hour. You might, but that’s your preference. Woe unto your children.

    • Imagine having a well articulated perspective.
      .
      Have your feet stopped bleeding? That must’ve been scary, eh? Waking up in an ambulance no doubt a trip paid for by a more productive citizen. Bummer that you missed the DQ Story Hour!

    • Imagine, with a straight face, saying that it’s society’s obligation to provide access to pornography and a warm dry place for drug ingestion.

      • FORTUNATELY I said no such thing!

  • I see it this way, two elections ago we elected a business man president, he was not a smooth corrupt politician and he did great things for the republic. Possibly placing a person of common sense instead of a over educated indoctrinated liberal in the library system maybe a great thing.

  • It seems far too many librarians are behaving badly and not upholding the degree they claim is so all important. You don’t do your job but instead buy into and shove onto your patrons a political ideology, someone else with more common sense and moral foundation may have to be put in charge. It also seems the ALA must be in cahoots with the NEA for the social engineering of our children.

    • The whole issue is that they are “upholding the degree.” Leftism is baked in and it helps to be a lesbian as well.

  • The first time I witnessed two “homeless” addicts having sex in the library, I determined that my son would never darken their door. My library card has expired, and will not be renewed until the city cleans up that nasty little act masquerading as some bastion of literacy. That, and the holdings suck for research of any kind.

  • Every job has a college requirement and a jobs requirement, it’s obvious that Graham has the job experience being a principal.
    Besides the woke people keep saying we need to dispense counselors all over to help people and with her degree she will hopefully be able to help her team.

  • Because “educators” are pompous fools who need to inflate their egos with pointless degrees.

    They think their degrees make them better than the rest of us.

    It really is just that simple

  • I have fond memories of what libraries – even the Loussac – used to be. I’m too disgusted for reasonable words – “safe space”… pah!. Anchorage, you need Sami and may she be strong in her determination to clean up the mess and make libraries family friendly – in the traditional sense – again.

  • Thank you, Suzanne, for keeping us up to speed on the next battle. It’s really all a battle for a culture that we are taught to hate and replace with nothing that looks like what made this nation so desirable for the rest of the world.
    These are small battles in the big picture. But if we cannot handle the small battle like installing a kinder family-friendly librarian, then let’s all go home and watch it burn on the news, if they show it to us before it’s a shell of its former self.

  • Well. I’m convinced Mayor Bronson’s selection will bring a lot of skills to the position.

  • You have good points and might have convinced me but for that hyper-slanted language you decided to use. As soon as you refer to people — civil servants and our neighbors — as “library mafia” it’s hard to take you seriously. If your arguments are good, you don’t this kind of broadly derogatory tone. Are you capable of making the argument without the ad-hominem tactics?

    • Art, I agree that ad hominem is what folks run to when they run out of argument. But I just looked up the word, “Mafia”:
      An entity which attempts to control a specified arena. — Sounds accurate.
      Yes, it connotates criminal activity. But shall we continue to soft-pedal the activities that this group of people does to our children by allowing and promoting what would get you fired 20 years ago?
      Oh, and be ready. This “Mafia” will bring in some hard hitters who do NOT live in Alaska but surely hate your kids if they don’t fall in line with their thinking.
      Perhaps a less accurate word would do, to show we always take the “high” road. Or perhaps the spade must be called a spade sometimes.

  • Sami Graham is absolutely qualified to be the Anchorage head librarian. I hope the Assembly will quit playing politics and approve this nomination.

    • We will see.
      If memory serves, they approved a director of public health without ANY medical background….

  • If you want to do real research you want a real librarian who knows what they are doing. They are supposed to be educated people who are experts in books, by definition. Or am I missing something?

    • Agree, librarians have degrees in library science because that IS the main focus of their job. However, here in VA when I worked in the library system in the late 80’s the staff even then encountered many social situations including the homeless, parents treating the library as a day care, and yes, sexual incidents, mostly by teenagers. Librarians have many roles other than buying and filing books. They deal with the local politicians, school systems, and public daily and respond to all sorts of concerns from censorship to people trying to access porn on the computers. They teach classes, visit and speak to local schools, run bookmobiles to community areas unable to otherwise access libraries, develop and run technical and educational classes through the library. Currently, they also offer computer classes to all ages and offer online access to books, videos, music and are sometimes the only access to a computer some of the public have. Our library also offers programs for the disabled, such as autistic children. They support off site programs for many other groups for book clubs, yoga, and crafting. Librarians have to engage with very diverse groups of people using many skills. To say they focus solely on books in a building is ignorant and dismissive. They have been dealing with these social problems for decades, and if you really wanted to know more and help your local community, you should volunteer there or at your local schools. By the way, when I was told of some of the staff’s experiences at my interview, I almost didn’t take the job.

  • Libraries are obviously epitome of white privilege. Take all the books, and give them to the schools. While you’re at it give the schools the computers too, and sell off all the DVD’s, and don’t forget to disinfect the hard drives, remove all the porn these guys surf.
    .
    Next step, get a bunch of surplus beds and place them in the buildings. Job done, now the homeless have somewhere to sleep.
    .
    Obviously, this will never happen as those librarian white privilege racists don’t give a rats behind about anyone but themselves.

  • This is by far the FUNNIEST article you’ve written.

    I laughed so hard!! I admire your writing skills!!

    Please know how much you are appreciated.

  • ‘…put the interests of the radical left above the interests of Anchorage children?’
    Suzanne, why even ask this question? Progressives are dedicated to the destruction of everything moral by Judeo Christian standards, and everything America stands for, which gets into the way of their socialist utopia, think Cuba.

  • Privatize Libraries, and make people pay a small fee. Time to end the Free Ride.

    • We already pay for our libraries through taxation which is what makes stuff like drag queen story hour and hobo’s having sex in the corners all the more galling.

    • Absolutely agree, maybe that’d stop all the liberal *books on tape (CD)* mob from freeloading off the public. Want a book on tape, music CD, DVD or computer to surf the glittery side of the web, then go help out the actual content providers and throw them a bone.

  • From what one reads at alaskasnewssource.com/2021/03/13/meet-the-candidate-sami-graham/, Sami Graham could have a PhD in Library Science, yet be found wanting, some might say “cancelled”, for comments such as:
    .
    “I am concerned about the lack of student achievement. 40% proficiency is alarming. We will need a community wide effort to address to help get our students back on track. I believe in the partnership between home and school and feel students and parents need a voice.”
    .
    In answer to, “What will be your focus on the school board?” Graham replied, “Student achievement is paramount. … Rigorous curriculum, excellent instruction, engaging students through strong sports, Arts and extracurricular activities, vibrant Career Tech Ed, and parent vetted curricula is imperative.”
    .
    Arguably most disqualifying among Graham’s controversial statements is: “We were at 40% proficiency in reading and math BEFORE the pandemic. We have an $841,318,521 budget. We should be able to address our student achievement issues within the budget.” Library industry wants somebody like Graham around the library budget?
    .
    Of course the leaders of Anchorage’s education industry would not want someone like Sami Graham anywhere near the product which Anchorage’s overpriced, underperforming education industry produces with impunity.
    .
    Imagine the ensuing chaos if Ms. Graham declares, with popular, mayoral, and police support, that public libraries are no longer day-care centers for bums or performing-arts centers for deviants.
    .
    Probably more to the point, imagine what might happen if Ms. Graham turns libraries into safe havens for children who want to learn reading, writing, arithmetic, American history, classic BS-free training, maybe with parent volunteers.
    .
    So industry leaders order library shills to militate hard against Sami Graham, find something, make something up, do whatever it takes so nobody in Anchorage’s education industry and nobody in Anchorage’s library industry has to worry about Sami Graham stepping into an Anchorage library in an official capacity and messing up a really sweet gig for a lot of people.

  • I learned to use the Dewey Decimal System for book retrieval back in the 70’s. That was the basic research tool. Reference sections were reserved for non-checkout. If you learned which level of the library, and which stacks contained specific materials, you had a working knowledge of the library. Good librarians are very helpful and I appreciate their knowledge and ability to get to the various source point quickly. But I feel that the efforts to exclude Graham are purely political and petty.

  • Since when is it “politicizing” to ask that the director of a large, complex and important municipal organization have training and experience in what that institution does? Here’s what’s politicizing: Filling important government jobs with tangentially qualified people on the basis of personal loyalty or past political support. Ms. Graham seems like a perfectly fine person. Mayor Bronson should find her job for which she is truly qualified. As so many of these letters testify, being a librarian is no easy job.

    • Exhibit A: — Felix Rivera, what are his qualifications to chair the Anchorage assembly, and spend millions of tax dollars on the extremely complicated homeless problem? #doesheevenhaveamastersdegreeinanything

      • Felix Rivera’s qualifications for the Assembly (.he is no longer its chair) are the same as Jamie Allard’s, Crystal Kennedy’s, and Christopher Constant’s: the people of his district elected him.

    • Exhibit B: The assembly hired an Anchorage Health Department Director, who has no actual medical background, but a masters in public administration in the middle of a pandemic, because of her “administrative skills”. So if it seems to work for the health department it should be fine for the library don’t you think?

  • As a retired library employee (33 years, mostly at Loussac) I’ve seen good and bad directors, MLS degrees nothwithstanding. A particular degree doesn’t guarantee a good worker. The previous director, under whom I thankfully did NOT work, shrunk the bookshelves, ruined the building, and destroyed the Alaska collection. Sami Graham has inherited a mess but I think she is fully capable of straightening it out. If the Assembly refuses to confirm her appointment, it will be a big mistake – but they’re good at making mistakes, aren’t they!

  • This is as good a place as any to begin cleaning out the Bolshevik infestation of our institutions. For too long these little tyrants have dominated government jobs and pushed out responsible Americans. The biggest fight in the near future will be to clean out the government indoctrination system, known as “schools” and their Nomenklatura “school boards”. These creatures have entirely too much power and far too much money at their disposal for the task of teaching reading and writing. Their real purpose has become endlessly skyrocketing taxes to fund bond issues, and to support agendas that do nothing but erode America.

  • Today’s Librarian:
    Should a librarian have a degree
    To put on drag shows for free
    Or to pick up the needles
    Or vacuum bed beetles
    Don’t need much of a pedigree

  • Art H go take a time out if you don’t like to tone of the truth.

  • When I grew up, the internet was called, “The Library”, and internet search engines were called, ‘Librarians’.

    And, yes, shady characters like myself would hang out at the library for hours and hours, surfing the WWS (World Wide Shelves).

    I probably racked up enough hours to be called a full time employee during the winters back when winter meant not much work available. I do not recall a single instance of drag queens, drug addicts, or horny hobos’ boinking in the back forty.

    Ah, this brave new world!

  • Another example of entitled bureaucrats infesting every facet of American life!

  • I appreciate the point of Suzanne’s column – that insisting on a particular qualification may be inappropriate if it obscures consideration of a nominee’s overall background. That said, one has to look no further than the Anchorage Museum to find many, including those in leadership, that have little qualifications to run, or even work at, a museum. To use an analogy, if you have a problem with your eyes, you wouldn’t seek an appointment with a dermatologist – or a sociologist. While these latter two may be highly educated they are likely not to have good solutions for the problem. For that matter, some of the advice may be quite bad.

  • One needs a “Degree” in social work to be a librarian in Anchorage now. I stop taking grandkids to the story hour mid days at the Library a couple of years ago before COVID. It was a dump, more guards were needed than librarians, no effort being made to keep 5-6 year olds away from the events going on in the bathrooms.
    However, when Grandpa nodded off in a cushioned chair waiting for grandma and g kids to finish…..they were all over me as I was holding on to everyone’s jackets and such. The current library in town is and has been a failure. Time to let someone else have a go at it.

  • I remember library period in school growing up. Then it became a computer lab. That was in 1993 and libraries haven’t changed all too much since.
    Borders and Barnes and Noble have always struggled too but the library is public, and should serve the public better.
    I think libraries could be reimagined

    Could/would professional librarians double as a sort of social worker?

    Either way I’m pretty sure professional librarians make good bank on this niche career. I’d ride the gravy train too. I’m sure it’s more than knowing the Dewey decimal or pointing out where card catalogue is but I bet not too much harder than that!!

  • Right now! I think Anchorage could not afford stand alone libraries for children, teens, and their parents safety and comfort.

    Be much simpler and inexpensive for libraries just enforce its rules and rid itself all social services coordinators and vendors. The social service coordinator office at Loussac Library should be at a homeless shelter not in the library.

  • The commenter who finds fault with the term ‘mafia’ should find something else to worry about, like our children’s well-being. Ms Graham is willing to take this on and thank you Suzanne for sharing this news.
    (m)afia with a small ‘m’ according to Webster’s:
    A group of people of similar interests or backgrounds prominent in a particular field or enterprise.

    I remember watching Juneau’s library decline into a ‘shelter’ for the unfortunate when my then young children were school age, almost 30 years ago. It was like two different realities in one building. Addicts, or the mentally unstable, passed out in chairs and soiling the bathrooms while librarians sat behind their counter with a ‘business as usual’ look on their faces. We would take the flights of stairs as the main access was an elevator which put small children in unsafe spaces, especially during evening hours. It was such a relief to relocate to Anchorage and find beautiful Loussac–The Alaskana section brought hours of joy…………Until it declined at an even more serious rate given our larger population. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a nice, clean and safe space for the grandchildren to learn to love books and unfettered learning like we did as children?? This is not an either/or situation. Both groups should have their needs met appropriately.

  • Would you hire a librarian to run your accounting firm, your engineering business, your mental health clinic, or to be the principal at your school? Probably not, because the librarian would not have the specific skills and experience for the job. So why hire someone who is not a librarian to run a library? The job of head librarian involves a variety of skills and knowledge and is anything but easy, and, in a city like Anchorage, it is not a job for someone who doesn’t have long experience in the specific areas of library science. It is a job for a true professional.
    I see comments that librarians are politically motivated. That is the opposite of what is true. Some might lean politically one way or the other, but librarians are universally dedicated to providing material to all users. If you want to find out about something, librarians will do their best to get the material you need.
    Librarians have been fighting censorship since forever. It is perhaps the most stalwart institution protecting your first amendments right to all points of view, or no point of view. All material is available to all on an equal basis. Those who have tendentious points of view don’t like libraries because of this. They are the ones who want to limit your right to free access to all information, not librarians.
    Unfortunately, libraries, which are usually welcoming, can become hangouts for street people. Libraries are not the only places that have this problem, and it isn’t the fault of the library aiding and abetting these activities. This is a larger, community problem and until it is under control, it will be a problem for everyone, everywhere, not just at the library.
    So, if you have a problem with the library, volunteer to help solve it. They’re understaffed and have been for a while, and will probably love to have you. If you see a problem with security, ask a security service to volunteer to patrol the library, with appropriate approval of course. Volunteer to help the work staff. Shelve books. Read to kids. Learn about all the good things the library does for the community. Just don’t fall into the trap of thinking that, when it comes to heading up this complex organization, anyone could do it.

  • “They see themselves as certified professionals, like civil engineers or medical doctors.” I find this statement, and this entire article, offensive. Librarians ARE certified professionals. Their job is complex and ever evolving, similar to educators (who are also certified professionals), paralegals (again certified professionals), and any other skilled job that requires a post-baccalaureate degree.

    Libraries are public institutions, which means they must meet the needs of ALL users. They may certainly – AND DO – turn people away who violate their policies, including drug use. No one sanctions drug use in the bathroom (or anywhere else for that matter), but I don’t see the city volunteering to pay for additional security guards or social workers that may be able to address the issue. The librarians do the best they can with the resources they have, and while they are doing that, they DO help children and young adults and adults for that matter find books they will love, they DO offer programs to spark and develop and further a love of reading, they DO help people with research, they DO provide public access to the Internet for those who don’t have access otherwise, and they DO offer media in the form of videos and magazines and newspapers and databases because learning doesn’t only take place in books.

    Should the person running the library have a library degree? I think so. Not because the “library cartel” deems it so, but because a library degree provides the education necessary to know how to manage each part of the library and stay abreast of changes and innovations in the profession. What the public sees in the form of circulation (checking items in and out) and reference (answering questions) and children’s programming (story hours, etc.) is not the entirety of the job. There is also technical services to keep computers and databases running, cataloging to enter books into the library system so that patrons can find them, collection development to determine which books to buy. Can a K-12 educator do all that? Not without the training and lots of on the job experience.

    The argument that as a principal, one has experience running a school library, is laughable (principals do not run the library anymore than the run the cafeteria or the wood shop classroom). They may have a general understanding of what happens in that space, and they support it with resources, but they do not run day to day operations of those spaces or fully understand what they entail.

    Furthermore, school libraries are very different entities than public libraries. In addition to the fact that school libraries serve a much more narrow population, schools must follow curriculum and standards set forth by the state and the school board to ensure leaner achievement. Public libraries on the other hand must meet the needs of all users from parents and children to adults to senior citizens. The author makes the argument that the public library has too many drug users frequenting it’s facilities. What does a principal know about that? Or a school counselor? This is not one on one counseling time, or rehab; this is a security concern. That is not to say that social workers and counselors can’t be useful, but these degrees do not automatically make someone capable of dealing with an alcoholic patron, or automatically make them a capable manager for a public facility like a library.

    • We don’t want you people using public funds and public resources to run your radical left wing social experiments. The used needles in the parking lot, addicts fighting with security, grown men watching porn on the library computers, all of these things are the direct result of the cataclysmic failure of the policies you love.

      We oppose your policies we want a clean library that is child safe. Not afraid to say that, and I’m not going to back down from you people and your bullying and smears. Make me.

  • Greetings.

    Sadly, libraries are not immune to the massive drug problems happening across the country. What you say happened in the Loussac library also happens in restaurants, coffee shops, thrift stores, shopping malls, and other places where the public has access to the bathrooms. Do you believe that libraries or the employees that work in them WANT this going on there? It is certainly NOT part of any library’s mission. Now or ever. FYI, there are mentally ill people in all places and walks of life (some apparently serve in the local and federal government).

    As for drag queen story hour; no one is being forced to attend these events. If you find issue with it, don’t participate. If you deem it offensive, contact the library and your local government. But know that America is a melting pot of a vast variety of people, and not everyone believes what you believe, nor should they.

    The librarians and most of the administrators of libraries do have Masters degrees in Library Science, and it is in fact a science. Librarians are indeed certified professionals. No, not like a medical doctor, but yes like a civil engineer. (Think you can develop a system for managing a library’s entire collection that ties in with other libraries across the country? Give it a shot. You know how to get ahold of some document from half way across the world that isn’t available as a PDF on Google? Go for it. Want to learn about quantitative research design? Ask a librarian.) If you doubt this, you probably don’t know all that is involved in being a librarian … it ain’t just books. An in-depth knowledge of how libraries function and the various duties involved is necessary for managing a library. If someone has the skills and experience to do this but lacks the degree, they ought to still be considered for an appropriate position. If the library’s policies prevent this, then contact the library and your local government.

    While were on this subject… as a journalist, shouldn’t you cite your sources when including data and/or making allegations? What are your sources for the statement: “according to the data, librarians are almost exclusively registered Democrats.” ? Or, “parents don’t trust those staffing urban libraries to look out for the values of families or to provide for their safety” Source please.

    Without sources, your “journalism” is actually just an opinion piece rant.

    I expect you to delete this post, as it seems you don’t like anyone to voice ideas/opinions on here that differ from your own. (Also a clear indicator that this website is merely a blog for personal feelings, and not at all actual journalism.)

    Cheers. – Bob

    • Suzanne’s not a journalist. She’s a blogger. There IS a difference.
      But she’s game when it comes to sharing opposing opinions. That’s way more than you get from most bloggers. She might even have made a good librarian.

  • Managing people is not managing books Greg. Good leadership is what’s called for, let the technicians be managed by a grown up with management skills. We pay enough in staff salaries. your solution of everyone volunteering while overpaid staff coast, holds no one responsible to do the job, they are paid very well to do. .

  • Thank you, thank you GREG R, DR and BOB! Your comments provide fresh air and informed opinions. Then there is RICK, who talks about librarians riding “the gravy train” by performing such simple acts as “pointing out where [the] card catalogue is.” If you saw a card catalog the last time you were in a library, Rick, then you haven’t set foot in one in many years. Please, Rick, visit a public library again, preferably before you post another comment on Must Read Alaska. (And isn’t that an interesting title for a blog: Must Read. Yes, friends, Reading is fundamental.)

  • After reading some of these comments that refuse to address the awful situation of endangering our children with dirty needles and sex acts being performed in a public space or using them as political footballs to promote a woke agenda just shut the libraries down. We don’t deserve to have a library until we figure this out. Drag queen story hour can move to Barnes and Noble and homeless addicts can sleep at the mall.

    • Libraries really serve no purpose today except to propagate progressive ideology. All the classics, and most other worthwhile books, are free on the internet at home. And so is porn for those inclined.

  • I enjoy deep studies of reference materials and acquaint myself with technical writers on many topics. But I am aware the left side of everything has taken over all the square footage. Just plain students need to research for papers. A person in the lead position should be hired for Constitutional values they hold in this town at this time.

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