Science Fiction and Qualifications

Today my partner, Joe Gebis (future Ph.D.), received a box of science fiction novels from his brother in the mail. I asked him why didn’t his brother give the books to a library, rather than pay for shipping to send them here. Apparently public libraries don’t need lots of science fiction. I told him that was impossible since most librarians are nerds. He laughed and said they’d rather spend money on Rock Band. He seemed bitter, but he had a point. Of course I work in an academic library so the only frivolity I delight in are the odd articles talking about penis envy in transit operations.

Joe’s imminent graduation reminded me of something else that I meant to blog about last week- people who sign their name with their degrees. For some reason, I’m fine with Ph.D.s signing their names with their degree, but librarians who do so flag themselves as possibly pedantic. I know that’s not really fair, and I will cut slack to solo/corporate librarians working in a non-library environment, but when I get an email from somebody on campus or my branch of SLA signing off as, “H. J. Blaume, MLIS”, it annoys me. I would assume most people have the degree, or it seems to be obvious. I know when I get my next set of business cards they’ll say “Kendra K. Levine, MLIS, MSIS”. They’ll also say I’m the grand poobah of public services and probably never actually exist. I think you should be proud of getting an MLIS (no matter how easy it is), but people should detect it from your level of competence, not your email signature.





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