Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Reviewer with a Masters Degree in Library Sciences, Part 1

As an avid watcher of Hattie’s reviews, I’ve experienced a lot of obstacles in finding information that matches up to much more than her name, her husband’s name, and her city of residence.   Like peeling back the layers of an onion, I’ve instead discovered one misstatement after another.  The stunning array of conflicting misinformation that she has authored is the backbone for the blog “The Lies that Bind Klausner”.  That piece discusses the fake profiles that Klausner has created for herself.  It also compares one quote to another and one profile to another, revealing contradictions and misrepresentations.

Sometime later, I got curious about what else Harriet has said that might be untrue.  I began to think about her Masters in Library Science.  But why would that be the thing that kept raising its head?

With the exception of a profile that says she was born and raised in Europe, Harriet’s profiles reveal that she held only two librarian positions, both for short periods of time—one in Pennsylvania and one in Georgia.  She provides approximate time periods for that employment as well as working part-time and and/or full-time at used bookstores in those locations.  Immediately, I wondered:  Why would a person who has a Masters in Library Science work in a used bookstore?   Who spends that much time, effort, and money obtaining such an advanced degree only to squander it as a clerk in a bookstore?  I don't know the answer, but I sure do have the question.

Library Sciences is an English and math intensive field.  It’s a customer service oriented discipline.  At its heart are logic, communication, and organization of information.  Within its core competencies are ethics; values; human communication; intellectual property laws; and effective verbal and written communication techniques, principles, and methods of advocacy used to promote and explain concepts and services.

Naturally, to enter a masters program, one must first have graduated from an accredited bachelors program by completing the appropriate coursework.  There are many different kinds of classes required, but within them can frequently be found coursework with on reading and cognition, information literacy, technique of storytelling, and ethics.  The curriculum is typically described as reading and writing intensive.

Does Harriet demonstrate the requisite communication skills, reading skills, and writing skills?  Does she have a practice of ethics.  Does she have a firm grasp on simple math?

Well, it’s not a far jump from there to examine her reviews for the answers.  Let’s take a look at what they tell us:   (1)  Her punctuation, grammar, and spelling skills are substandard.  (2)  She misrepresents the books she reads.  (3) She is practically incapable of writing a coherent sentence.  (4)  She is mathematically challenged.  (5)  She is ethically challenged.

How does a person earn a masters degree when they don’t have the math skills needed by a second grader (e.g., 1 + 1 = 3), when they don’t have the basic English skill set required to graduate from middle school, when they don’t display the kind of ethics as required by the field, and when they disregard intellectual property law in spite of the their training?

Whatever the answer is, I surely hope it isn’t a reflection on the efficacy of our educational system.

In several subsequent parts to this article, each one of the above areas will be addressed, along with references.  Some of the source materials and examples are so extensive that it is apparent the problems are widespread and not isolated.

PartIIA:  CPR Needed for the English Language
Part IIB:  Plurals and Singulars, Verb Tenses, and Redundancies
Part IIC:  A Mess of Nouns, Pronouns, Adjectives, Adverbs, Verbs, and Possessives
PartIID:   Prepositions, "Ases", and Weird and Wacky
Part III:   Killing Me Softly With Your Review
Part IV:   Harriet’s Mad Math and Logic Skills
Part V:    What's Ethics Got to Do With It?


buck210 said...

I'm in awe of all of your recent work Embee, GREAT JOB!

Anonymous said...

Embee, WOW! Stupendous work! I enjoyed reading it! It's so intriguing and wonderfully written!

Sneaky Burrito said...

I will echo Buck and Sara. Embee, you put a lot of work into this. And you really managed to highlight something about Harriet that I think a lot of people don't get: it's not JUST a little error here or there (which might be excusable as a typo or an obscure rule someone doesn't know). It's NUMEROUS errors in nearly every aspect of written English.

Dona said...

Amazing sleuthing Embee! Thanks!