Thursday, July 25, 2019

Dear Library Journal

Dear Library Journal:

You suck.

I say this as a friend though. 

I mean no enmity. I don't want you to feel bad even if you might anyway. I just thought you should know. That you suck.

I also say this as a person who has worked in a library for a quarter of a century and written more about libraries for fewer people than possibly anyone currently alive. I say this as a person profoundly and personally interested in libraries. I say this as a voracious reader and student of and lover of libraries.

And what is it that I say?


I never read your magazine. It is too boring. It is too institutional, painstakingly inoffensive, and professionally obsessed. It is without life, joy, passion, or spirit. Its vision is small and without real ambition.

But I'm not criticizing you.

I'm sure you're doing a great job... somehow. Probably by trying. Yeah, I think you are probably trying. And I only want to help.

My idea is that I could write a "back page" column for Library Journal and kind of bring a little edge

We can call it "Library Unchained".

Did I tell you about the time you featured the absolute worst and most reviled manager in my entire library system as a special mover and shaker? 

I just thought I should mention it. In passing. While I'm gently letting you know you have a problem.

You see, the only way to solve a problem is to admit that you have one first. And then to hire the person who told you about it. 

And then to fire him a few months later when you realize he wasn't kidding, and when you understand that the whole, bitter, let's-make-the-world-better process is way too difficult and unrewarding to continue believing in and you have a serious business to run around here anyway!

Which, fair point.

I look forward to our brief few months together,

F. Calypso


  1. Daxton Fum MacLaine IIJuly 25, 2019 at 10:11 PM

    This made me laugh. It was a little sad, too, but in a funny way. And moving, also in a funny sort of way.


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