Tuesday, August 11, 2009

All hail our librarians!

Last night I finished reading this book:

It's listed as Young Adult, but there is a lot for an old adult to think about in it. I gave it to my almost-twelve-year-old grandson today because these are things I want him to think about too. Such things as:

Do the things I've always been taught to believe make sense now?
Is it dangerous to question the things I've always been taught to believe?
If I have guns and I put a flag on your island, does that make it mine?
Are people who don't look like me really any different from me?
What is better to have, power or knowledge?
Is there more to being a man than merely being an adult male?

I had to return some books to the library this morning, and suddenly felt compelled to tell the woman at the desk how lucky I feel to be able to use our South Central Library System. She was surprised and said thanks and pointed out her boss, who was coming over. So I told the boss the same thing, and that the staff is wonderful, the service is excellent and keeps getting better, the reference librarians are amazing, and the acquisitions people are so good I can get books that probably only 10,000 people in the whole world would want to read. She also was surprised and said I'd made everyone's day. On the way out, I turned around and said, "Librarians are my heroes; when no one else had the courage, they defended our civil liberties." She smiled and said, "Knowledge is free."

I've been smiling all day. It's so easy to criticize, but it's equally easy to thank. And I made a whole bunch of people's day!


Leslie said...

At my county library they have a very old comic strip cut from the newspaper and pinned to the board. It shows two characters taking a tour of the city and one points to the library and tells the other, "Here you can read books and magazines, take them home, bring them back and get more." "Wow! What do they charge for this service?" "It's free... but don't tell anyone or there'll be a mob scene." I wish the current students in grade school and up were having their love of libraries cultivated. Now it's "What does Goggle say?"

Kathy Whitt said...

Librarians don't get enough credit, and libraries don't get enough funding. They preserve our ability to think and exchange information. Libraries are great. I think I'll read the book. I have heard that Terry Pratchett has Alzheimer's disease.