the discriminating librarian

I went through and did a whole bunch of adding and subtracting to my RSS feeds now that I’m feeling better (woohoo, the raring librarian, I also switched to a new file cabinet! *swoons*) so I may be reading some stuff that you’ve read a few weeks back. Of particular interest this week was Iris Jastram’s short post about someone trying to pretend to be a student in order to get the library to buy a particular book. Steve Lawson adds a little color commentary. Iris smelled something fishy and put the kibosh on it. Nice work. In related news, I am still getting the occasional email from spammers and other press-release mailers trying to get me to link to their blogs or review their books. If I get an email from a publisher, even a press release email, I always write them back and politely tell them

– that my blog is not a book review blog
– that I do not work in a library in a book-buying capacity
– that I do not appreciate getting emails like these
– that whoever they bought my email address from has sold them a bad list

I often get responses saying that they didn’t buy a list [is it against the rules to admit it if you do this?] and they just really liked my blog and thought I’d like their book. I’m at a loss. My particular problem isn’t terribly difficult. I block their address and my problem is solved. The larger problem of clueless marketing and (in Iris’ case, not so much in mine) aggressive responses to being declined seems to be a whole ‘nother piece of collateral damage from the economic downturn.

4 comments for “the discriminating librarian

  1. 01Oct09 at 10:12

    Interesting enough, I think part of my anger and contempt for sock puppeteers and aggressive internet jerkwads comes from the MetaFilter response to self-linkers and the like.

  2. 02Oct09 at 8:57

    What happened to Iris also often happens to public libraries also. In my last two positions, I would often get emails from folks asking me (as the library director) to purchase a work. Most of the time it was from someone who lived many miles away. [It was also most often something that library would not have purchased even with huge budget increases.]

  3. 02Oct09 at 9:26

    I get so many of those emails too, Jessamyn! Some I ignore and some I respond to. I hate how they try to make it personalized when it’s patently obvious that they’ve sent the same email to lots and lots of other bloggers.

    Some people ask me to try out the new technology they’ve developed and I’ll do that if I have time and it’s relevant to me, but I will NEVER blog about something that I’m not legitimately passionate about.

  4. Diedre Conkling
    03Oct09 at 1:17

    It seems like I get several emails a week from people trying to sell a book. I have finally decided that this is ok. It is better to get them as email then wasting paper, which they would have done in a previous time. I think every library gets these. I just quickly delete most of them but now and then something catches my eye, as do the occassional postcards about items, and I research them more and sometimes purchase an item.

    I don’t like a lot of advertising but I can tell you that I would rather get an email that I can delete over paper. I prefer to get paper over phone calls. The phone calls for real sales people are the most irritating and take up the most time and I NEVER purchase anything over the phone. But at least they are honestly representing who they are.

    I never respond back to emails about some item I should purchase unless they are the ones that say that they are a local library patron. Usually they aren’t and I know this but I look in the system to find out for sure whether or not they have a library card. Like I said, they usually are not local and I then inform them that we only take requests to purchase an item from our own library users.

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