My Two-Thirds Book Challenge Personal Assessment

In October 2011, after finishing another book reading challenge, which a friend of mine had handled excellently, I decided it was my turn to reciprocate, and I wanted another reading challenge, so I came up with the Two-Thirds Book Challenge.

This post is my reflection on how it went for me.

Initial choices

I made a list of 30 books of which I hoped to read 20. Then, because I’m a cataloger/classifier, I divided them into 6 gross categories just to see what areas I had picked and then to maybe lean towards reading at least one from each to ensure my reading stayed broad. (Of course, I read many other books during this timeframe that were not on my Challenge list. Many of those were graphics novels and poetry.) After a couple of months, because of certain timely shifts in interest I non-specifically substituted 2 books.

My full set of initial choices and their categories can be seen at My Two-Thirds Book Challenge.

How it worked out

The following is how it worked out for me. The books listed are the ones I finished (and 2 which I started but did not finish yet):

HISTORY / ANTHROPOLOGY / RELIGION

The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

The Myth of the Eternal Return: Cosmos and History by Mircea Eliade

PHILOSOPHY

In Defence of the Enlightenment by Tzvetan Todorov (substitute)

LITERATURE / FICTION / POETRY / CRITICISM

Pale Fire (Everyman’s Library, #67) by Vladimir Nabokov

The Way It Is by William Stafford

Transformations by Anne Sexton

PROFESSIONAL READING

(Began only) Scholarship in the Digital Age: Information, Infrastructure, and the Internet by Christine L. Borgman

(Began only) Libraries and the Enlightenment by Wayne Bivens-Tatum (substitute)

Thoughts/Commentary

As is fairly evident, I did not do well with the challenge I set myself. I finished 6 books (30%) and began 2 others out of the 20 I was aiming for.

Now, there are extenuating circumstances seeing as we moved halfway across the country this summer, which sucked up an awful lot of time. We also jumped into life in Bend with both feet when we arrived which only made the moving in process longer. (I hope to be writing here about some of the things we have done since arriving in Bend soon).

Extenuating circumstances or not, I am perfectly happy with the way the challenge turned out for me as I explicitly learned something about myself. I was loosely aware of it before, but this just cemented it.

That is, there are too many interesting books out there for me to specify what I will be reading over the next year.

I still want, and intend, to read all of the books on my challenge list. Just as I intend to read many others on previous lists or those on no particular list. There will also be many new books or books new to me that I will read. (E.g., we have acquired 136 books in the 1st 9 months of 2012 (during the Challenge) but that number doesn’t include books acquired in Oct-Dec 2011, nor the many books read from assorted libraries.)

So, the bottom line is, I need a somewhat looser form of reading challenge to be ‘successful’ by any sort of standard measure. Maybe as vague as “I’ll read x number of books in the next year” is the best I can do. I would hope to be able to provide a little more structured early guidance to myself perhaps, but I’m not sure I know what that is. While my reading choices are not fully based on whim by any means, they are heavily influenced by a wide variety of input mechanisms—friends (in assorted ways), sites like Goodreads or Library Thing, tweets by others, the book catalogs that two librarians (us) receive in the mail, browsing shelves in multiple places, book reviews stumbled across, and so on and on.

There simply are too many books out there waiting to be read for me to be so scheduled about what I will read. And I am perfectly happy with that.

I hereby declare the Two-Thirds Book Challenge a success for me. I look forward to seeing how the other participants assess their own personal Challenges.

 

 

 

house spouse

a little “mouse”
grew up; became
a new house spouse.

wrote a little ditty
because he is moving
to Iowa; Sioux City.

I posted that little ditty to facebook and twitter several days ago to announce that I will soon be moving.

In the comments on facebook, I also wrote:

I’m going to Sioux City to be a househusband, scholar [write my CAS paper / defend], poet, part-time student perhaps, enjoying other parts of the country (and, I must admit, the Midwest), photographer of late 19th-century brick industrial buildings and ghost signs and real wildflowers and prairie and ….

I get my soul back.

… But I get my soul back. And maybe, eventually, some of my mind.

My lovely partner, and soon-to-be spouse, has accepted a job as the Reference and Instruction Librarian at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa. We will be moving in early July probably; after our wedding and my daughter’s wedding and ALA and ….

We are really looking forward to it. And, yes, I did go with her for her campus visit so I have seen Sioux City. Yes, we will miss many, many wonderful and some taken for granted things here: Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and the Krannert Art Museum and all of the wonderful, often free, programs put on at both, being able to walk (or easily bus, for free) to pretty much everywhere except major shopping, Crane Alley and other favorite eating/drinking haunts, the Arboretum and Japan House, and on and on. Even moreso, we will miss all of the wonderful people.

What I will not miss is alluded to above. As important as the work is that I have been doing the last couple of years, my job has been killing me. My spirit is completely gone and my soul is being forcibly ripped from my body.

Maybe it is the size of the institution (Library, specifically); maybe it is the myriad and serious problems facing the Library (many of which are not financial).

I really do not want to get into any details because that, as I am told, is unprofessional. Kind of ironic since that is the judgement I make of many here. Do not misunderstand me, please. There are many dedicated professionals in our libraries; professionals at all levels of staffing. Some of the issues derive from our massive size and/or decentralized structure, but by no means all of them do.

I do not intend to look for a job any time soon. But I am also not leaving the profession. There is the important task of writing and defending my CAS paper before May 2011. And I fully intend to do so. That task and being a proper house spouse providing all of the support that I can for Sara to succeed in her new job will be my main occupation.

Other than that, I look forward to writing some articles and conference presentations. I hope to re-engage on my blog; perhaps return to friendfeed. Also high on my list are writing some poetry inspired by the change of scenery, perhaps taking a poetry class [poetry prof was on the search committee and sat next to me at dinner]; learning to photograph the lovely late 19th-century industrial brick buildings that are all over Sioux City, along with the plentiful ghost signs, and real prairie flowers.

By going with Sara on her interview I added 3 states to my visited list; Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. I am looking forward to visiting Omaha, Sioux Falls, Ames and Iowa City and many other towns, from the small to the large.

Being so near to the Missouri River valley and bottom lands makes me feel very much at home. I grew up in the north suburbs of St. Louis near the confluence of the Mighty Mo and the Mississippi. In the summers we’d bike out to Missouri Bottom Road (named literally), especially when it was flooded. We also lived about a mile from a park on a big bluff along the Missouri.

It is a big adventure and we’ll be taking a massive pay cut to go on it. Sara is getting a small increase but it still means losing the vast majority of my salary. Thankfully I get a small bit for my Army retirement; wouldn’t be doable otherwise.

Looking forward to this with all of my heart. I truly am.

Where is the guy who runs this blog?

That is a complicated question for which I have very little that I can or will say directly.

WordPress upgraded

I did just upgrade WordPress to the newest version so if anyone is still reading this feel free to click through to the blog proper and see if you see anything amiss. Thanks.

Some reasons for being quiet

Recently someone gave me and this humble little blog some very high praise in a different venue. While I appreciate/d it greatly I do not feel that I have in any way merited such praise in a very long time.

I have so many things to write about but find that I cannot. I have tried to do so for a couple of these topics, and loving friends have provided suggestions on how to tackle some of them. Good advice even, which I attempted to take. But I am currently not up to the task.

I am on the market for a job and have said far too much in this space already about too much of my life. There are issues about our profession that are quickly destroying me and it seems that our profession finds discussion of such issues to be unprofessional.

Issues in cataloging and an analogy

I have a draft post on this topic in relation to issues in cataloging but am simply unable to say anything that many would find acceptable. In it I made an analogy to current issues in cataloging and the running of the Vietnam War by the Americans.

The juxtaposition of current discussions, mostly higher-level, about things like RDA and other major issues in the arena of cataloging and the complete lack of discussions of what I see as the important issues “on the ground” in cataloging departments and facing individual catalogers across the field are much like the discussions within the military services and government agencies running the war in Vietnam.

All frank, honest, and real discussion of the issues facing those on the ground were deemed “unprofessional.” Commanders and senior NCOs quickly discovered how to play the game of “reality-based” reporting and discussion.

Now my analogy quickly breaks down because it’s not like many of us are losing our lives due to this forced “professionalism” in our field. But I know for a fact that it is causing far more angst, fear, and burnout than should be happening.  Highly capable and dedicated people are being affected in extremely damaging ways.

I recently read and wrote a review of:

Budd, John. 2008. Self-Examination: The Present and Future of Librarianship. Westport, Conn: Libraries Unlimited.

Budd presents dialectical methodology as a means to overcome the different epistemological positions within librarianship. He also clearly demonstrates that “service to clientele, [professional] judgment, and education [for the profession] are moral undertakings” (p. 251). We must consider what our moral principles will be, and what moral responsibilities they imply for us as reflective professionals. Discourse—open, honest, and frank—is the only means by which to do this.

But this is exactly what we do not have. It is what has been deemed unprofessional because someone’s feeling might be hurt, someone or some place might be made to look bad, because we only discuss success whether it is real, imagined or projected.

As to what I think about this situation … it is (long past) time for me to shut the heck up.

How I became a librarian

Christina tagged me for this a while ago and I did start working on a draft post to answer it. But I am unhappy with it and it has gotten too long anyway without actually answering the question. Perhaps that is because there really isn’t an answer. At best it explains how I got into the cataloging and metadata arena but not how I got into librarianship itself.

The other answer which I strove not to give in my more official response is that I am not a librarian; at least not as many (most?) who hold the professional credentials would accept. Although I have worked in academic libraries for 10 years now, and I earned my MS in May 2006, I have never held a professional position. Thus, in the minds of many I am not a librarian.

Of course, in the minds of even more (as in the general population) I have been a librarian for 10 years now. There is even a well-known dictionary definition to suport that statement. I shall not cite it as that would make me a scoundrel, though. Let’s just say that I have had several people get mad at me for my denying to be a librarian when they are full well aware of the more formal definition we apply to ourselves, and this was before I even came to library school.

I have had professional-level responsibilities of varying kinds in all of my jobs in academic libraries, whether it was as a student worker, student supervisor, staff member, or my assorted graduate assistantships and hourly positions while in library school.

There may be some news on the horizon soon but until then I do not want to offend any professionals in the field and thus can only claim that I cannot answer the question as I have never yet been a librarian.

Maybe I’ll get a chance to apply this label to myself before I decide I have no desire to do so. Not because I do not want to be a librarian—I do, but then I also apply a different definition than any I apparently espoused here—but because so much about the actual lived, non-reflective, practice of so many in the mainstream of our profession—those with the power to tell others of us what passes for “professionalism”—are, in my opinion, failing us badly.

Hopefully no one is still wondering why I am being so quiet here

I had several other things to comment on but I am losing focus and they, too, are things that are probably just better to let be.

I have been home all day [Friday] because I have been feeling crappy all week and have not been getting any better. Until things get really bad there is no sense in trying to go to the doctor. I am currently working as an academic hourly and thus have no benefits. I am not totally in the dark for health care as I am able to use the VA over in Danville. But I see no reason to try and figure out that system and make a 45-minute drive each way for a low-grade bug of some kind that probably cannot even be identified.

I wrote this yesterday during the day and have sat on it since. I re-read it several times trying to decide if I was going to post it. Perhaps I should just trash it and move on. But I feel as if I no longer have anywhere to move on to. I am prevented from discussing the things that are most professionally relevant to me and, as far as I am concerned, should be to many others.

Bottom line: I am immensely dedicated and care deeply about many of the issues facing our field. I want to contribute to moving us intelligently forward into the 21st century. But the truth is I am floundering badly and do not know what to do about it.

So I guess folks should not expect to hear much from me here for a while. I have no idea what to write since I am unable to write about that which I care most deeply about.

Tidbits and tidbytes

Book review submitted

Wednesday I finally submitted my first book review for publication.  Thanks, Walt, for recommending me to the editor. The book I reviewed is:

Budd, John. 2008. Self-Examination: The Present and Future of Librarianship. Westport, Conn: Libraries Unlimited. [WorldCat]

 

The short version of the review I would have liked to write is this:

Read. Discuss. Rinse. Repeat.

With serious emphasis on the discuss and repeat. I just hope the review is acceptable. I am reasonably satisfied with it but it was harder than I thought and certainly took longer than I expected.

New toys

To reward myself I went and bought a new computer, which I have been thinking about for a while now. But the first stop was to get a new phone since my 2-year contract was expiring with Verizon.

So …

My new phone is a LG enV2. A fairly basic phone has served me well for the last 4 years (actually 2 different basic phones) but now I have someone to text with and normal phone keypads really suck for even the simple messages I send and I generally refuse to “speak” in text-ese.

New computer and iPod Touch. Got a MacBook with 4GB of RAM to replace my desktop PC. My thinking is that if/when the PowerBook dies I will already have a laptop to replace it.

Seeing as the Apple Education Store is giving rebates on either iPod Touches or Nanos ($199 = base 8GB Touch) I got myself a 16GB Touch.

Today I went back to the Apple Store and picked up an external keyboard and mouse, an AirPort base station, and a 1TB LaCie d2 quadra external drive for backing up both Macs.

I, unfortunately, needed a new wireless router since mine got fried along with most everything else in the signal path a couple months back in lightning storm. Perhaps I need to get an uninterruptable power supply/surge suppressor with coax connectors for the signal. My current, otherwise excellent, UPS only has CAT5 connectors.

Pictures to follow at some point once I get my workflows restructured.

10th anniversary of my Army retirement

Today, 1 August 2008, is also the 10th anniversary of my “retirement” from the Army. I think “retirement” is a crazy word to use—wrong sense, at a minimum—as it doesn’t even come close. 

Nonethless, whatever it’s called some truly amazing things have happened in the last 10 years.

There must be a light of some kind

2 views on the slipperiness of words:

Words are clumsy tools. And it is very easy to cut one’s fingers with them, and they need the closest attention in handling; but they are the only tools we have, and the imagination itself cannot work without them.

(Frankfurter 1947: 546) as quoted in Harris, R., & Hutton, C. (2007). Definition in Theory and Practice: Language, Lexicography and the Law London: Continuum: 135. [as seen in my “Words of Wisdom” text widgety thing on the upper right column on my blog’s main page. Wow, I really need to do some CSS work; I can’t stand that being all caps.]

And/Or:

wish i didn’t have this nervous laugh
wish i didn’t say half the stuff i say
wish i could just learn to cover my tracks
guess i’m not concerned enough
about getting away with it

every time i try to hold my tongue
it slips like a fish from the line
they say if you’re gonna play
you should learn how to play dumb
guess i can’t bring myself to waste your time

there must be a light of some kind

ani – light of some kind – Not A Pretty Girl

[light of some kind last used here 3 years ago] Quite interesting some of the issues discussed in that post from just under 3 years ago to those of today. I clearly face many of the same frustrations.

Looking for a light of some kind

So. Words and me lately. Some successes; some phenomenal failures. The failures are failures of presentation, and not failures of intellectual content or intention, but they need to be exposed to a light and I need to figure this out. Thus, my current prayer that “there must be a light of some kind.”

It may be hard to find a light while locked in a gas station bathroom to think, but for now I’m thinking about possible resources ….

the heat is so great
it plays tricks with the eyes
turns the road into water
then from water to sky
there’s a crack in the concrete floor
that starts at the sink
there’s a bathroom in a gas station
and i’ve locked myself in it to think

ani – shy – Not A Pretty Girl

[shy last used here Dec 2006] Still some of those issues being faced, also.

I have decided not to follow up on my Gorman posts, the comments others and I made on them, nor on MG’s presentation. I realize that I said I would but I have changed my mind. Things did not turn out so well and I had to consider myself a failure, on one scale at least.

I have forgiven myself (somewhat) and am trying to put it all in perspective. This has been good for me in that it brought to head something that has been bugging me [about myself] for a while. I am getting some help for the issue, and am open to other ways to think about and act on doing what I need. In that regard, I’m pursuing a few discussions on how others deal with issues of communicating their concerns within the field at large. On that note, my thanks to those who sent me some perspective after writing the failure post.

I intend to continue pursuing the same sorts of arguments, and lines of reasoning, as I have been but I also intend to strive to find a better way of presenting my ideas and critiques. Here in my space I will continue to push the bounds of what passes for “professional discourse” in the larger field, as I feel that there is plenty of ethical justification and even ethical responsibility for doing so.

Towards that end, I hope to soon have a comment policy and a “statement of purpose” which in some manner lay out what it is I am attempting to do: what kind of critique[s] I am making, the purpose[s] of my critique[s], my desire for seeing [and participating in] actual dialog, my express desire to be challenged and called on something when I should be, etc.

On the fine art of not being self-conflagrative

we couldn’t all be cowboys
some of us are clowns
some of us are dancers on the midway
we roam from town to town
i hope that everybody
can find a little flame
and me, i just say my prayers, then i just light myself on fire
and walk out on the wire once again

and i say …

counting crows – goodnight elisabeth – recovering the satellites

This song was once very important to me, primarily this section. Every morning, walking into work, was like lighting myself on fire and stepping out on the wire. Every. Single. Day. During the depths of my deepest struggles to climb out of the depression these words had motive force for me.

In fact, there was a curb out back of my previous library that ran from the street to almost the back door itself. It swept down a small incline from street-side to door-side. Straight ahead [and in line with a pillar and one long edge of the building] it ran until almost the end where it curved rapidly 90 degrees to the left. The surface of the curb was interesting in its own right. It was generally a bit higher than the surrounding sidewalk and several inches higher than the parking lot and drive that it bordered. The surface was not entirely even and even had a slight tilt to the sides at points [both directions], covered in yellow paint it could be slippery faster than the surrounding bare cement, and over time portions [much eventually] got literally torn up and made ragged by all the university service vehicles parking along it, running over it, and tearing it up with the plow in winter. I imagine the elements did a little work on their own over time. [Sadly, now, a few years later the curb is a complete mess and is, as such, highly demoralizing on the rare occasion that I see it any more.]

One day, dangerously depressed, heading into work I was listening to this song when I came upon the curb. “Hmmmm,” I wondered. “While I metaphorically continue to light myself on fire, can I actually walk down this curb?”

I did OK for a first effort. From then on, I walked down (and up) that curb whenever an opportunity presented itself. Winter was frequently not a good (or possible) time for curb-walking, nor were rain and wind, generally. But there were always exceptions. Keep in mind I frequently had a backpack.

I became quite good at “walking out on the wire.” I walked it no matter who was at hand to see me do so. [If this was the oddest thing that they thought about me I was on solid footing. 😉 ] It soon became somewhat of a small omen as to how the day was going to go. If I swiftly sashayed down the entire length then the day would be great; if I made it but had to struggle for it then I needed to be “cautious” [in some regard] that day; if I fell [or stepped] off then just hold on because there was soon going to be another time on the wire.

I sometimes walked the curb more than once in a day, and while each time had some “power”, it was the first of the day that had the most impact for the whole day. Rest assured, I made great strides to not let it actually be causal, at least not on the days I fell off. Sometimes an early “falling off” was just the universe’s early warning system letting me know that “today is not a day to be doing this.”

My point, long in coming, is that I need to learn how to walk out on the wire without the self-conflagrat*

Getting back on the wire—repeatedly—is perfectly fine. Missteps are expected. The lighting oneself on fire first has got to go, though.

NOTE: This was mostly written a week or so ago and should have closely followed the “O, most frabjous day” post.

I have been very quiet lately and there are several reasons for this. Despite the distraction of a new girlfriend and, in fact, thanks to much she offered there has been quite a bit of contemplation and reflection going on here. There still is.  I am working on some things but expect a bit more quiet and hopefully something different (soon).

This has been a most productive summer for me, personally, in many ways.

O, most frabjous day

Things have sort of “settled down” around here; here being the blog. Related things in my daily life got “interesting” and have only progressed. Today was a most enlightening day. [Yes, Christina, that “interesting” was purposefully vague, and for you.  😉 ]

Wow. What to say, or not say? Been working on this for a while now since …, well, mid-June.  Been doing a lot of thinking and a couple two days ago I started drafting a post, and some drafts of things referenced in the draft post and making a list of “sources.”

Been talking to some folks, in various venues, more face-to-face lately; been trying to talk to a few others, various venues, mostly f-2-f at moment but not entirely [I seriously need to reach out to a couple folks … once I has plan]; I have a new advisor at school; and also someone I am seriously discussing my perceived communication issues, amongst other things, with.

But today brought a whole new level of interestingness. I really am not about to go into much, yet and if at all, but today I listened to the entire Q&A for the Gorman colloquium and it seems my lived experience as perceived at the time [and some odd coincidences at school] led me to perceive my communication issues vastly differently from what they truly are.

After the very pleasant shock of how I sounded in my comments to Michael Gorman—direct, perhaps blunt, but level-headed and with little emotion—I had a few conversations with a couple of amazing women, some of whom I have already been talking with, that really helped put some things in perspective.

After today I have a much better idea of the issues I face—talking them through with wonderful and intelligent people also really helps.

I am not a failure. I also must remember the impossibly high standards that I set for myself before saying such silly things again. I did fail, momentarily [and in highly specific and narrow ways]. I am not a failure. I know so very much. There is always more to learn.

This little non-event has done some serious work for me. I have a much better idea of who I am and what I am committed to. I have fully embraced the knowledge that this commitment may well impact my earning potential. I will always be “that guy.” When what I want is to be this guy and in many more contexts.

I’m going to stay kind of quiet for a while most likely but know that I am working on some things. And, me? Please know that I am as fine as the wonderful little summer storms we had earlier this evening [yes, I adore them] and that I am Stargazing.

Today was a very affirming, most frabjous, day.

I am a failure

I have come to realize that I am a failure at the professional role that I have been trying to adopt for the last several years.  It is one which, in many ways, I am perfectly suited for.  For instance, I can shoot holes in most any argument presented by most anyone, preferably with the intention of helping the argument be strengthened.  I’m also pretty good at adding nuance to arguments and discussion, or at least insisting that others do so.  Unfortunately, in other ways, I am ill-suited for it.  Sadly, the ways in which I am failing are much, much harder to change than others.  I cannot simply acquire more education to fix this.  I need to change a fundamental way in which I present myself.

I am a very passionate person, about a great many things.  Professionally, my greatest passions run to our bibliographic structures, past, current, and future.  It is why I spent another 40+ hours on my education post-Masters.  A job doing something with these structures, traditional or otherwise, is what I desire.

Unfortunately, my passion, especially in its extemporaneous, face-to-face version mostly seems to come out as anger, at least to others.  I do not fully understand why that is, but it is old and deeply ingrained.  It is also somewhat connected to my coming back to life from the intensely deep chronic depression I was in when I retired from the Army.

I would give anything to change this and have desired to and have worked on it for the last several years.  It is certainly a professional handicap, particularly for the role I want to play.

Was my behavior yesterday—my comments to Michael Gorman—disrespectful and/or unprofessional?  Only you can decide.  My intended behavior was not, in my opinion.  You may well disagree.  What about my manifested behavior?  Well, I won’t say I’m proud of it.  But neither was it what I intended.

I do stand by everything that I’ve written or said on the subject, though.  Some of it I wish was expressed better, especially what I said in room 126.  But then that is the issue.

Another place where I am failing is in much of my blogging.  I frequently take a comment by someone and in my reply broaden it so greatly—kind of like riffing on it—that I am no longer addressing the comment author.  I may, in fact, specifically not be addressing the commenter.  But.  That is a dangerous thing to do because I am often unclear that that is what I am doing and, thus, some folks take my replies personally when they really shouldn’t.  Or they simply don’t believe my intentions.  Now in external appearances they are fully justified in doing so.  I cannot deny that.  Thus, I am a failure at that, too.

Another area in which I often fail is distinguishing at what level, if you will, I am talking.  I also make frequent shifts between “levels”—theory vs. practice, cultural reality vs. how I believe the world (or some portion of it) ought to, and could, be, and so on.  This one plays out frequently in my exchanges with my dear friend, Jenny.  Jenny frequently argues from the cultural reality or, at least, cultural perception perspective.  This is something she is imminently more qualified for than me and I greatly appreciate her doing so.  It reminds me of how the world really is, or seems to be, for many others, sometimes even for myself.  I, on the other hand, am often arguing for how I think the world ought to, and could perhaps, be.  Our discussion of whether or not Michael Gorman is qualified to address the topics on which he spoke is a perfect example.

Jenny’s argument (greatly simplified) is that having been ALA President does, in fact, in our cultural context of librarianship qualify anyone to address the future of libraries and other topics.  This is true. But my argument is from another angle.  I prefer a world in which real qualifications are required for something this important.  I am not saying he is completely unqualified.  That would be completely asinine.  He is highly qualified to address much of what he did, and much of it he did so eloquently.

But much of it he is not.  The fact that he was ALA President is completely irrelevant to whether he is qualified to speak about Dublin Core or metadata in general.  And the fact that he willfully and belligerently holds to a view of DC and metadata that is so overly simplistic is one prime reason why he is unqualified, in my opinion.  He is an extremely intelligent person who could easily choose to upgrade his knowledge if he chose to.  But his willful disregard for the state of portions of our field is a political move.  In fact, it is a move which plays well with many in our profession and serves a purpose.  The purpose is even one which I greatly support.  But there are far better and more honest ways to do so.

But I have a hard time expressing these things so that people will listen, especially the people I am trying to critique.  And no one, including myself, is above critique.

So.  There it is.  I am a failure.  I am, currently anyway, constitutionally incapable of playing the professional role that is most important to me.  I have no idea what I am going to do about this.  I truly don’t.  And that fact scares me.

Over time I have had many, in various ways, tell me that they appreciate what I do and that the profession needs people like me.  I cannot agree more.  But it needs people who do what I do who can do so more eloquently and either with much less passion or, at least, with that passion much better expressed.

Even if librarians and the profession don’t deserve it, those for whom we do what we do do deserve better.  Better than I seem capable of.

To anyone affiliated with GSLIS who is embarrassed or offended by my behavior—here, in person, or elsewhere—I truly and sincerely apologize. Offense is not my intention, but I do think what I am attempting to do is critically important to our profession. I just wish I could do it better, now.

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