The Surly Librarian: Being professionally nice to people as a karmic lesson

The subtitle for this blog is not a joke.   I’m one of those introverted people 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 sardonic challenge to myself: Can I turn my private grouchiness into essays for library professional, essays that might actually be encouraging?

Take a look at “Customer Service for curmudgeons” as on of my early attempts.

September 29,2016, is my last day of work with Jacksonville Public Library (see Spiffy New Website).  I felt like I should share one more time with all my dear colleagues my meandering notions.

Some of this was discouraged “news reportage” about budget cuts…but more of it was meant as genuine cheer leading for library folk…though, granted, out of left field (I am left-handed).

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….

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2012

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2009

2008

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