Sunday Book-Thought 37

And on the subject of burning books: I want to congratulate librarians, not famous for their physical strength or their powerful political connections or their great wealth, who, all over this country, have staunchly resisted anti-democratic bullies who have tried to remove certain books from their shelves, and have refused to reveal to thought police the names of persons who have checked out those titles.
So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House or the Supreme Court or the Senate or the House of Representatives or the media. The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries.
Kurt Vonnegut

Sunday Book-Thought 20

Librarianship, as a profession, needs to stop fetishizing books. Sure, they look really nice lined up all pretty on the shelf, and half of us getting into the profession probably did so because we love books, we grew up reading and went to library story time, and we love the smell of books (at least until we start to sneeze). Perhaps we need a new name; perhaps we should all put “information professional” on our business cards because we are no longer simply caretakers of books. We are caretakers of information. And when we focus all our energy on the fraction of information that is contained in books, it’s as if the whole richness of programming to be found in a library can be ignored or reduced to the question of whether, on the way out, someone checked out a book.
The knowledge the person gained at whatever activity he or she participated in does not count because it didn’t come from something with a barcode on it.
Intrinsic motivation: Let’s find what people really war and then put barcodes on that.
R. David Lankes