you know what this is about. or you don’t.

You know, some librarians think the ARC issue is a waste of time, and others don’t. For my part, I don’t care to know much about cataloging beyond the surface basics, but I do appreciate the cataloging nerds who are really into it and keep it going and tell the rest about the most salient points.

It’s the same thing with the ARC situation. Not every librarian has the same passions, but as a whole profession we keep each other informed about a broad range of topics, and learn from each other.

Dismissing someone’s passions as invalid doesn’t do anyone any good.We all have different areas of expertise and passion, and we need to respect those. That’s the only way we can pull together, help each other, and move librarianship forward.

If you don’t care, don’t comment. If you do care, contribute. And also: don’t be a dick.

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11 thoughts on “you know what this is about. or you don’t.

    • Non librarians at ALA taking all of the ARCs was the inciting incident. This makes some librarians mad. Then other librarians got mad that some librarians were mad, and there was some name calling. It was very middle school internet drama, for no real reason.

  1. This is why I don’t understand the response to the original blog post. I don’t think it’s fair to respond to someone expressing a reasonable opinion with “ZOMG YOU ARE WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE PROFESSION!” If you have an opinion on the matter because it involves you, get into the discussion. If you don’t, then let that discussion happen and don’t feel the need to make fun of the people engaging in the discussion, just for having it. That’s not going to advance the profession any either, and it’s just making us all look stupid, like we can’t have a simple debate without resorting to name-calling and in-fighting. If the people who think it’s a stupid debate didn’t keep bringing it up over and over, it would die out more quickly. Trolling only ever makes everything worse.

  2. Seriously, Julie? I think I love you a little more every time I bump into you telling the truth somewhere on the web. I mean, I don’t even feel like I have a horse in this race, but I am totally behind what you’re saying. You are very cool and I dig you very much. [end lovefest]

  3. “Don’t be a dick” really sums up the whole situation, from my perspective. The inciting incident came across as rather dickish and so much of the resulting ARCageddon conversation was so rife with dickotry that I, quite frankly, became embarrassed to call myself a librarian. So much vitriol over something that should have just been a discussion to find amicable solutions and understanding. We all need to learn to leave the foolish drama to the reality shows we don’t watch.

  4. I’m not saying Kelly doesn’t have a right to be angry or dosen’t have a right to present this as a much bigger issue – I know it’s a passionate issue for her, one that she blogged about it before. I also agree that it’s a huge problem, but that it’s a huge problem with non-library folk and library folk equally to blame for being greedy asshats, not just a solitary blogger.

    My issue with Kelly is her blog post. Here are the major points in her post that stick in my craw:
    “Whatever the deal, those two non-librarians were able to get the two books I’d wanted from the publisher but was unable to get. ”
    — Kelly then launches on how she’s a paying member of ALA, YALSA and of PLA and of ALSC. She then infers that she has the RIGHT of entitlement to titles on the book floor that the non-paying members due simply because she is a paying member of ALA. Huh? That to me speaks of not only entitlement but also immaturity. You’re going to a conference to learn and participate, not do a Supermarket Sweep of the expo floor. If you’re going to whinge that because of your heavy schedule you were not able to get what you wanted form the floor, then I don’t think you understand what the hell the conference is for.

    “While it’s true I could ask the reps via email for titles anytime, I really don’t LIKE doing that. ”
    –She also mentions that has a working relationship with one of the PR people at that particular publishing house, which to me indicates she knows or is aware that she can just ASK THEM for ARCS. SHe can’t make the further statement in that post that her reviews and stats are solid and then quibble on asking for ARCS from publishers because she’s not as well known, because that sort of defeats the whole purpose of her blog and is also contradictory.

    I was also irritated that she kept harping one single person when dozens of people who were showcasing their ALA book haul videos were not mentioned. She incited a witch hunt, picking on a single person to make then an example, which is just childish. If you want to make a case for an argument against something, having a single example of what you’re referring to is a much larger issue, like a child with their nose out of joint and not a professional who is presenting a large problem.

    -lisa

    • We’ll just have to agree to disagree, because I do think that paying dues to professional organizations entitles me to the perks of belonging. Just like my Y membership gets me into classes and programs before others, membership to ALA should give members benefits, such as time to interact with publishers and other vendors.

      I’ll repeat what I wrote over at Woodworth’s blog, because I think it was well-stated: “It is not about free things. Compare it to the sessions themselves, where you learn about new programs, approaches, and policies; the chance to see and sit on furniture before you buy it for your library; the chance to test out and ask questions about databases before you subscribe to them; the chance to meet and interview nationwide candidates when you’re trying to fill a position; the opportunity to test out and vet vendors and their products before you sign a contract. These are what ARCs are comparable to. It is not about getting “stuff” it’s about acquiring tools to do one’s job.”

      • “We’ll just have to agree to disagree, because I do think that paying dues to professional organizations entitles me to the perks of belonging. Just like my Y membership gets me into classes and programs before others, membership to ALA should give members benefits, such as time to interact with publishers and other vendors.”

        And I agree with this sentiment. BUT, and this is a big but, ARCS are perks of the publishers, not ALA and I think treating them as a perk of ALA is hugely misleading. You’re going to a conference to learn things, talk to vendors, jump on furniture. ALA is perhaps providing you better or easier access to vendors to make connections, but ALA is NOT providing you with the free swag or any swag/materials/goodies/etc that you bring home from thees vendors. The vendors are donating their time/energy/money/resources to woo customers. To make the leap that it is your right as paying ALA member at the conference to be rewarded with these items for your membership is absurd.

        “These are what ARCs are comparable to. It is not about getting “stuff” it’s about acquiring tools to do one’s job.”

        I don’t disagree with this sentiment either, in fact I’m all in favor of getting the right tools to get ones job. And as I pointed out in my earlier comment, if you need said tools for the job, you don’t need to facilitate via ALA to get the ARCS – you can contact the publishers directly for the materials, this i not a matter of someone taking bread out of anyone’s mouth. Even Kelly pointed out that she knew she could do this, she just doesn’t *like* to do it. I could see your argument if there were NOT other options, but knowing that there ARE other options to obtain these tools, again arguing that the only way to get them via ALA is just silly.

    • “She also mentions that has a working relationship with one of the PR people at that particular publishing house, which to me indicates she knows or is aware that she can just ASK THEM for ARCS.”

      You have to remember, though, that not all librarians have these relationships with publishers. In addition to being a librarian, Kelly has a great reputation as both a book blogger and so could probably get any ARC she asked for. Most of us can’t just email/call publishers and expect to receive ARCs. While her argument was based on personal experiences, it seemed to me that she was arguing on behalf of ALA members as a whole.

  5. Any time you have an “Us against Them” situation, it’s bound to get heated. That’s too bad, but also the nature of the beast when you stand up for something that you believe in. It’s also too bad that people had to name-call and post anonymously out of fear of a witch hunt.

    At any rate.

    The whole point of an ARC is to get people buzzing about a book before its release. Publishers give out ARC’s for that purpose –at BEA, ALA, what have you.

    Yes, I think that if you have paid to attend an event, you should get first dibs on any giveaways, classes, signings, etc–of course. ALA had open attendance, right? So the girls in the 22-minute video paid to attend and should get to scoop up whatever they want. You can’t make everyone happy all of the time. Not everyone can win.

    Some wouldn’t have grabbed so many books. These girls took everything that was given to them.

    So what?

    I watched the whole video (mostly to see if they had grabbed an ARC of my book). It seemed like they were genuinely interested and knowledgable about “most” of the titles they had “grabbed.” They seemed really excited about the books…

    We can’t know what they plan to do with those ARC’s.

    I, for one, hope they read them, love them, and talk about them out on the interwebs.

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