A stealthy library scout, armed with a lead pipe

The authors over at In the Library with the Lead Pipe have posted about my recent manifesto on Stealth Librarianship.

There's some pretty healthy debate, agreement, disagreement, qualification, additions and subtractions going on there, so please do check it out: Lead Pipe Debates the Stealth Librarianship Manifesto.

Some excerpts:

What Dupuis fails to mention here is that many academic librarians MUST publish in traditional, peer-reviewed library publications while striving to attain tenure. I am not personally in a tenure-track position, so I have the liberty of not fretting over where I publish. What I have found is that the online discourse via blogs is plentiful and satisfying for me to keep up with what's happening in libraries. Blogging here at In the Library with the Lead Pipe offers me the opportunity to write and think critically in an open peer-review and open publishing format; it is a rich experience that creates and advocates for open discourse among professionals. I'm not so sure what "stealth" has to do when it comes to creating open discourse. Dupuis is contradicting himself.


I don't think "A stealth librarianship manifesto" is about stealth at all. At least, not at its core.

What Dupuis's post really is about is much simpler and more nefarious: it's about language.


I think I may be anti-manifesto in general. Or rather, perpetually and knee-jerkingly defender of whatever is under attack. I want to make it clear that I did read where Dupuis states himself that the manifesto is "a series of provocative statements not a realistic plan of action" and I appreciate the overall sentiment. But since this is a reaction piece, I have to admit, there is much I disagree with.


To this end, I would add the following to the manifesto:

  • We must be better at articulating our own value, especially in non-library settings (the faculty meeting, the town hall, the Capitol)
  • We must inspire others to fight for us by aligning ourselves with our users, not each other


As far as I'm concerned, any effort to go stealth is wasted. The problem isn't with our public relations. The problem is with our product.


Public library workers of the world, unite and write! You have nothing to lose but your stereotypes.

Lots of great stuff -- go on over and read the whole thing!

Here's a list of all the posts that mention my manifesto:

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