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Do you want to go to the LIBRARY in Sunny California?

Downtown Los Angeles on a Nice Day. Here's so much information about libraries even my colleagues will choke on it. Are you looking for biographical information about my career, or perhaps you want to find a library on the Internet? Are you confused by classification schemes or book preservation in libraries? Or are you trying to find a good library school, a library organization?

My Big Job as a Librarian.

Yes, my glamorous career, the food rotting in my gut, my stylish home in Hyde Park, I owe it all to my talents as a librarian. After years of drifting, I finally found a real grown-up type of career. I am currently a reference librarian for the Inglewood Public Library. There's a nice picture below of the Main Library, originally opened in 1973 in the heart of this diverse and historic city. Inglewood Main Library in 1976. Drop in any time! Knowledge is power!

After recovering from the Santa Fe Avenue club scene in 1990, I began a glamorous career in librarianship at the American Film Institute in Hollywood, California. But they needed more money to throw fabulous Hollywood parties and balanced accounts by laying off a large portion of the staff. Once again unemployed and nearly homeless, I ran away from home again, only to get stuck in rush-hour traffic and detoured to the School Formerly Known as GSLIS at UCLA. My friends there found jobs eventually. My wanderings then were those of a journeyman librarian, and I was off first to busy Torrance Public Library, the blazing and smug efficiency of the Pasadena Public Library, five-story burn-out at Rio Hondo Community College, and finally I served God and the Dominicans at the now-closed Saint Michael's High School in South-Central Los Angeles. Yeah, after a year the Catholic Church also needed money, not for Hollywood parties, but to build a fabulous cathedral instead of educating the poor. I'm not bitter! Back to the job-hunt grind! Rescue came quickly in the form of catty Monterey Park Public Library in one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world, the University Library at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, the Kennedy Library at California State University, Los Angeles, and the proudly bourgeois Redondo Beach Public Library.

On the brink of uninsured part-time despair, the city of my birth gave me a mission serving children at the Exposition Park Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. After thirty months serving the community of South-Central, I transferred to my neighborhood library, the lovely Cahuenga Branch, opened on 4 December 1916. After two years there, including seventeen months as the manager, I made a break and threw off the shackles of power. Then I became an air-traffic controller in a world of illusion. Go figure. While there I maintained two excellent annotated online bibliographies, the California Fiction Database and the Series and Sequels Database. Check it out, as we librarians like to repeat. After five years of dealing with insane patrons, I was informally diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Oops! I healed myself by writing a book about the experience, Scream at the Librarian, and transferred to part-time work as a substitute librarian across Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley. And guess what? Without any warning the City of Los Angeles stabbed their part time workers in the back, cutting our hours to zero and sending me back into uninsured, unemployed despair. That's my reward for eleven years of civil service. Oh, well.

Ironically, I was rescued from the betrayal of the Los Angeles Public Library by my hometown, the City of Burbank. I worked part-time at the Buena Vista Branch Library for ten months. After that I found my niche at the Inglewood Public Library as the serials/government documents/electronic resources librarian and instructor. Phew!

How about my own library? Since I was old enough to read, I've been acquiring books...and I still have most of them. You can peruse many of them using the LibraryThing widget above.

Now, perhaps you'd like to read my angry screeds, peruse my career as an author, or see my life in pictures? Maybe you'd like to watch a music video or one of my short films? Enjoy your visit!


Libraries on the Internet.

The complete skivvy on libraries is at your fingertips when you click for the Libraries FAQ. Don't you wonder how many comic strips are populated by librarians? Find out there. My favorite virtual library is the Internet Public Library, courtesy of the Drexel iSchool.

If you're seeking that ultimate reference site, I can direct you with some temerity to the Internet Library for Librarians, or perhaps the LibrarySpot, two very adequate hotlists of databases and other library-related information. The pure and uncut library goods occasionally surface at Librarian Links in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Ms. Jessamyn offers bits of arcane news and insights into the library biz at the librarian.net. And if you're just looking for a book, try Powell's!

You can access many of the world's libraries through the LibDex. If you're interested in other libraries with World Web Servers, Thomas Dowling has created an excellent hotlist.


Cataloguing, Acquisitions, Preservation...and All that Jazz.

Only a cataloguer could love this...but maybe you're in a jam. "What the hell is the Dewey Decimal Classification for the psychology of dogs?" you wonder. Wonder no more, library fan. Click your way to DDC (or LCSH, whatever) heaven. If you want general information on cataloguing, check out the Cataloguer's Toolbox up in Canada.

Do you need to see a list of the Dewey Decimal Classification? The Appleton Public Library in Wisconsin has something to show you. For a list by number instead of subject, the infamous OCLC has prepared a DDC summary. And how about that Library of Congress Classification?

Sometimes a librarian needs to get rid of a library...or buy one! Or maybe you need to buy some used shelving at an excellent price? I am a happy customer of James Stitzinger in Los Angeles, who can provide all of these aforementioned services.

Finally, a huge database (actually several) is available through Stanford U. on the subject of library preservation (we mean books, not budgets!) Take a short surf to Conservation Online...better known as COOL!


Library Schools

For those of you who dare to achieve...become a librarian! For the ultimate list of library schools in the United States and around the world, refer to the American Library Association or iSchools.


Library Associations.

And, of course, once you get out of school, you get to join one or more of those organizations that make life in the stacks worth living. The library school at San Jose State put together a comprehensive hotlist. So put on the party hats, whip out the dues money, and fly to Chicago in winter, yes, it's time to start giving back to the Community. Any committee nominations?

And don't forget our friends, the customers, clients, users, patrons, or whatever you choose to call them, the Friends of California Libraries.


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Updated Thursday, 15 August 2013, by joel at joelrane.com.
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