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With compliments to Sergeant Green and his course on Verbal Judo:
 
I took a course that divided library patrons into four categories:=20
1.      Those who know about libraries and librarians. =20
2.      Those who don't know about libraries and librarians, but think they =
do. =20
3.      Those who know about libraries and librarians, but think they don't.  =
=20
4.      Those who don't know about libraries and librarians, and know they =
don't.
 
        The first and fourth categories will never be a problem.  At best they =
will be your strongest supporters.  At worst they will go away and leave =
you alone figuring you serve some necessary purpose they can't =
understand.
        The third category will never be a problem because they know they don't =
know and know they need to learn.  They are trainable.  It is just a =
matter of time and situation.
=09
        It is the second category that are dangerous.  The ones who haven't a =
clue.  These people wreak havoc and usually do so with charm.  They =
don't like to be revealed in as ignorant and will resist all attempts to =
educate them.  The potential for unwarranted hostility if you directly =
confront them is great.  These are the people who will daily present you =
with the biggest challenge to getting your job done; and, when you have =
exhausted yourself to the bone and need every ounce of reserve strength =
you can possibly muster to carry on,  when you are sitting there =
wondering why you ever went into librarianship and you can't remember =
even one good reason,  these are the ones who will get on your last =
nerve.  The second category smells weakness like a shark smells blood =
and they will show up on your doorstep to take what you no longer have =
to give.  If you realize the person in front of you is a category two,  =
you can step aside and let the weight of their own ignorance trip them =
up.  Avoid direct confrontation.  Deflect that sucker.
 
Ask WHERE that free lunch is.  You want to go there, too.  Librarians =
are just as interested as any other department in cutting costs.  =
Gracious...the cost of journals has increased by 500% in the short time =
I've been involved in medical librarianship and the need for information =
has escalated.  Ask them what kind of success they've had using the =
internet to meet their clinical needs.  Ask just where are all these =
free peer-reviewed medical journals?  You might shake your head in =
wonderment about the ultimate usefulness of electronic information.  =
Even if you have the print version of a journal in your library, how =
many people HAVE to have a hard copy to take home with them?  How =
usefull is that eletronic copy without the printer attached?  You might =
even ask them how they are plowing through all the trash on the internet =
and ask them if they've run across those spammers who are trying to sell =
a medical point of view.
 
Free medline indeed.  I personally think it is an urban myth.
 
Karen's message of 7/3/96 asked for information on studies which have
evaluated "free Medline sources" against traditional vendors for fees.  =
She says
that her library committee (composed predominately of physicians), feels =
that
the hospital complex she is employed at, no longer needs to support
subscriptions as they are "free on the internet now."
 
<snip>
        Larry said
"yeah, I get physicians online with the full text of
articles now.  It is practically free.  We can save a lot of money not =
haveing
to waste our time going to the library anymore."!!!!!!
 
We seem to be constantly having to justify our
existence.  How do we compete with free?
 
 
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