Category Archives: ask tangognat

Ask me a question, and I’ll answer it on my blog.

Ask TangognaT: getting a master’s degree in library science

Zach from KY wrote:
I am thinking of obtaining a graduate degree in library science, and was wondering if this degree will actually help me go up in the ranks in an actual library, and asking you since you work in one and would probably know. Just wondering.
What college(s) did you go to?

Getting a master’s degree in library science is pretty much required if you want a job above a staff position in most libraries. So I think it would be a necessity if you want to be promoted above a certain level in an actual library. That being said, be aware that even though librarian positions pay more than staff positions, in most cases you won’t be getting paid big money to be a librarian. I started out in the low 30s for my first job out of grad school. I work in an academic library and I only have a master’s degree in library science — many academic librarians actually have 2 master’s degrees, one in library science and one in a different subject area. I think it is great that you’re considering going to grad school, my one word of caution would be to try to manage it without having to take out a ton of student loans, because loans can be tough to pay off on a typical librarian’s salary.

I went to a community college, and then I transferred to a private liberal arts college in Michigan. For my library science degree, I went to the University of Illinois. UIUC’s GSLIS was pretty much my first and only choice (although I applied and got into a couple other places) because I was a state resident so tuition was cheap, and when I got an assistanship working in the University library system my tuition was waived and I was able to get my degree with no student loans. And it is an excellent school, so that was a bonus!

You might want to look at some sites like LIScareer and ALA’s Careers in Libraries page.

Ask TangognaT: asking about Ask Tangognat

Elythia writes:

I like the idea of the “Ask Tangognat” feature, but you’ve only put one up so far. Are people not asking you questions, or are you so buried under a deluge of queries from people seeking your wisdom that you are unable to keep up? Or is everyone shy and asking you to not blog their responses?

So far, there hasn’t been a deluge of queries. I’m answering this question, and I have another question that I need to answer, so that will make 3 questions that have come in since I put up that contact form. I think that’s good! It is a bit of an experiment and if it becomes a weekly or monthly feature on the blog, I think that would be cool.

Also, are you looking specifically for questions about librarian-ing, manga, and knitting, or are you accepting other types of questions, such as “Is it unhealthy to watch the Kung Fu Hustle trailer twelve times in one day” or “What kind of Fluevogs should I buy with my tax return”?

I think I’d be fine with any type of question. If I don’t feel qualified to answer a question, I’ll say so and attempt to point the question asker in the direction of some helpful resources. I think it is unhealthy NOT to watch the Kung Fu Hustle trailer multiple times in one day, and I like these Fluevogs.

Ask TangognaT: Fruits Basket and Collection Development

Yay, the Tiny Little Librarian decided to try out my Ask TangognaT feature, and wrote in to ask about the suitability of Fruits Basket for a collection where the guidelines are no extreme violence and no sex/nudity.

A couple of disclaimers — I’ve never done collection development for a public library, and I’ve only read volumes 1-4 of Fruits Basket, so I’m not sure what happens in the later volumes. That being said, looking at Fruits Basket with those guidelines in mind, this is what I think, beware plenty of plot spoilers are ahead:

There’s plenty of cartoon violence in Fruits Basket, as Kyo and Yuki (the Cat and the Rat) are constantly challenging each other to martial arts battles. There isn’t really any blood, and the violence is more humorous and exaggerated for effect than anything else. I don’t see any problem there.

The sex/nudity thing might be another matter depending on how strict the collection development policy is. Fruits Basket is rated Teen or 13+, and I think if I had a kid I wouldn’t have any problem giving Fruits Basket to them if they were in the 11-13 range. The characters transform into animals after being hugged by a member of the opposite sex — losing all their clothes in the process, because how would a rat wear a schoolboy uniform? When they transform back they are naked but you always see the male characters from the waist up. When a female character transforms from her animal back to human form, she is clearly naked, but you see her from the side and she is standing behind another character so no one sees her breasts or anything. In volume 3 the characters go to a hot spring (onsen) to bathe (very common in Japan, heck I went to one once) and they are covered by towels or in the water the whole time. So there is some nudity, but it is not very detailed, and although you know the characters are naked, it isn’t really a big deal in my eyes. I find manga that seems to exist only to show girls’ skirts flipping up (panty shots) more offensive than the type of nudity in Fruits Basket.

With sex, there are a few comments made in the book about the logistical difficulties of being in a romantic relationship when one turns into an animal whenever someone of the opposite sex hugs you. At the onsen, Tohru stays in the same room as Yuki’s little cousin Momiji, thinking that he’s in elementary school although he turns out to be much older. This was basically a sitcom-like plot twist, as nothing happens but the situation is exaggerated for comedic effect. There are hints of a love triangle developing between Tohru, Yuki, and Kyo, but so far it seems to be more of an Anne of Green Gables + Gilbert “kindred spirits” type of love than anything else. I consider the sexual content in Fruits Basket to be very mild, and probably on the level of many young adult novels that would be in any libraries collection.

I’d recommend Fruits Basket if the descriptions above (I really had to hunt through the volumes for any isolated incidents that would be remotely offensive) sound like they wouldn’t be pushing the no violence/sex/nudity policy too much. If that policy was in place at a library where I worked, I wouldn’t be ordering stuff like Blade of the Immortal, Samurai Executioner, or Hot Gimmick, but I think Fruits Basket would be ok — it is cute and sweet, has tons of heart, and is wildly popular. But I’ve never had to deal with a book challenge, so your mileage may vary!