Wednesday, September 28, 2016

September 29, 2016

The subtitle for this blog is not a joke.  Phyllis Diller I'm one whose temperament is most suited to solitary intellectual and creative pursuits, or to interesting conversation and recreation with a few close friends.

I started The Surly Librarian in 2008 as a cynic's challenge to myself: Can I turn my private grouchiness into essays for library professionals, but essays that might actually be encouraging?

Take a look at "Customer Service for curmudgeons" for one of my early attempts.
     Attitude adjustment

September 29, 2016, is my last day of work with Jacksonville Public Library.

Since I admire all my library colleagues across the profession as resilient, brilliant people who "have each others' backs" despite any yanking around they have to survive, it seems like I should revisit some of this blog for their sake.

Some of these posts are dated...discouraging "news reportage" about budget cuts...but more are meant as genuine cheer leading for library folk...though, granted, out of left field (see Daikon Radishes) .

I take a couple of themes very seriously:
  • First, the quality of human interactions between library professionals and their clients is far more important than collections or technology
  • Second, the primary mandate of public libraries is to ensure free access to essential information, together with instruction on how to use it effectively, to those who cannot otherwise get or afford it (see Poor Richard Redux: A Manifesto).
These selected rants—and the whole blog, for that matter—are meant to get at the heart of genuine librarianship, which I believe requires authenticity, integrity and compassion.

And a sardonic sense of humor....


1 comment:

Richard Mott said...

You were a credit to the profession, Mike, a model public library reference librarian, and a model colleague. You understood, and believed in, the "service" part of "public service." You will be missed.

How nice that you can finally have your "fantasy job," as you described it in a post: "sit in my favorite Tenbucks coffeehouse [doing] what I really want to do: read books and write all day."

I hope you enjoy every minute of it.