Ode the the library
One of the serendipitous features of the Internet is its connectedness, and the occasional stumble onto a wonderful web site. A few months ago, I had found an author's site - an author I hadn't heard of, by the way - and found the posting so riveting that I bookmarked it.
This afternoon, while looking for another bookmarked site, I came across this one wondering, "Who is Dan Simmons, and why have I bookmarked his site?" And another wonderful, serendipitous discovery was had.
Dan has written a delicious ode to the public library. It's worth a read. What's interesting is his view of librarians and our mission:
Libraries, despite current misinformed opinions (even by librarians) to the contrary, are not about mere information. This is an age where we can’t escape information vomiting at us from our TVs and cell phones and iPods and radios and print ads and commercials and computers. Let the Internet handle the shallow job of shoveling “information” at people like so much unfiltered sewage. Libraries are for and about books. Libraries have a sacred trust and a unique role for civilization; they have been and must continue to be clean, well-lighted places where books are preserved and lent out – the greatest and most successful act of trust, perhaps, in modern American society -- and read, sometimes read right there, in the comfortable and companionable silence of the place. All the rest, as Ezra Pound said, is dross.
In this Whatever 2.0-centric world, this is rather refreshing. And something we really shouldn't overlook. In recent surveys, we found out that our primary "product line" is books. Maybe that's not so bad....