Ink Paper Words' Profile

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Pacific Northwest, United States
In elementary school, I desperately wanted my mother to order books for me from those flyers Scholastic hands out to kids. She refused, citing the "perfectly good library down the street." I exacted revenge by becoming a card-carrying ALA accredited reference librarian. Ha! Take that!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot

Note: this is my Goodreads review of Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot by quadriplegic Oregon cartoonist John Callahan (ISBN: 0679728244, ISBN13: 9780679728245).

I've been a fan of Callahan's cartoons for a long time and remember when he was being published in Willamette Week. This book is fascinating in its gritty realism and stark descriptions of daily life when you require help to do just about everything.

Less compelling, however, were Callahan's portrayals of the AA culture and his (justifiable) rants at the welfare system. I personally found the most touching moments in the book had to do with Callahan's search for his birth parents and coming to terms with the sense of abandonment he felt even as a small child.

Several very obvious usage errors detracted somewhat from the narrative (for example, "midrift" instead of "midriff," on one page referring to his brother as Skip and later on the same page as Kip. All in all, however, a thoughtful and eye-opening memoir.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Employment, Lifestyle Statements and Conscience

During his 14 years at Shorter University, Michael Wilson, a librarian, built a library collection for the college’s satellite campus in Atlanta. He shaped his post as the first full-time librarian for adult and professional students. Then he won tenure, and planned to stay at the Baptist college in Rome, Ga., until retirement.
Instead, last week, he effectively handed in his resignation.

In October, the college announced it would require all employees to sign a “lifestyle statement” rejecting homosexuality, adultery, premarital sex, drug use and drinking in public near the Rome, Ga., college’s campus.

Good on you, Mr. Wilson, for standing your ground. I suspect, as you apparently do, that the university won't go for you crossing out the bits you disagree with, and it's just a damn shame. Why isn't it enough anymore to be competent at what a person does professionally?

I've always thought that it is no employer's business what I do on my own time -- unless they feel like paying a 300% FTE salary -- and you know that ain't a-gonna happen. That said, however, there are a couple of private colleges in my area that have posted in the usual places recruiting librarians. I read through their faculty "morals" clauses and don't bother applying. Which is too bad, because many of these positions otherwise sound fascinating. And frankly, I think many of the students at colleges like this are too sheltered and they can only benefit from being exposed to people like me. (I'm not gay, but I am divorced. My partner isn't divorced, but he's been legally separated at least 18 years).

Michael Wilson is my new librarian hero. Right up there with Nancy Pearl and Sanford Berman. 

Save Our Shorter

Minority Birth Rates Higher than Whites, Census Reports

"For the first time, racial andethnic minorities make up more than half the children born in theU.S., capping decades of heady immigration growth that is nowslowing."

A short while back, there was an article on HuffPo (which I did not read) about how the various states making it more difficult for women to get abortions were aimed at white women because this very scenario was feared. In view of this announcement from the Census Bureau, I have to believe there is something to it. Not only is the Hispanic population younger, they also tend to be Catholic, and for this reason, IMO, their percentage of the total population will continue to climb.

Diversity is a good thing. It used to be that Americans were proud of our melting pot tradition. These days it seems to be a dirty word.

EspaƱol solamente, y'all.

Okay, not really. Learn English too (especially you vehement native-speaking EO advocates). Russian wouldn't be a bad idea, either.