I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how very passive many librarians are and I need an explanation. Passive and I have never met When I have something to say – I say it. When I pay for something I don’t get I do something about it. This is why it’s so confusing to me that librarians just sit back and take what they’re given and say ‘that’s just how it is.’
I’ve seen this attitude in all different settings and situations – but today this post is brought on by several emails I’ve received from librarians who are upset about the decision that their ILS vendor has made to change the product they signed up for. Change is good right? Well, I understand why this change is no where near ‘good’ – the change I’m talking about is the decision by LibLime to offer their new company specific version of Koha.
When these libraries signed their contracts they were signing up for all that open source entailed – community, freedom, no vendor lock in, sharing, etc. Now they are being forced (not my word – from emails I’m receiving) into using an application that limits all of these things for them.
So why are these librarians taking it? Why are they being quiet? I don’t have an answer for you – and so I’m hoping someone out there can answer this for me. If you signed a contract for one product and then are told you have to use another – do you just say okay? or do you move on or demand the product you originally wanted. I think that the result of the Queens Library law suit will be very interesting – but I’m shocked that this is the first!! Librarians have been just taking these hits and coming back for more.
On the same topic, I have been accused of picking fights and making derogatory comments – but I want to make it perfectly clear – I am not trying to pick fights or be derogatory – I am trying to keep the facts straight and push librarians to stand up for themselves!!! I can’t stand seeing my colleagues – such nice people – being walked all over. Unlike my good friend Chris, I can’t step back – I can’t take a break – I won’t go the way of my colleagues – instead I’m going to keep standing up and speaking and correcting facts – and of course educating!! So if you want to email me and complain about your situation – go right ahead, but I’m going to say the same thing to you all – ‘Do something about it!’
One last note – of course I know that not all librarians are like this – I am a vocal librarian and I know there are plenty of you out there – I’m only talking about those quiet librarians who are complaining behind the scenes to each other and to me – but not doing a darn thing about their situation!
Okay – morning rant done, time to get back to work documenting the upcoming release of the completely open source Koha