Many think libraries are about books. But that’s as big a myth as housewives — don’t get me started.
While some cultures focus on book in the name of their libraries in ‘English’ the etymology is a variant idea of deconstruction, re-purposing.. on books that I think of often. translating, loosely from *leub(h) (“to strip, to peel”) Proto-Indo-European base… from liber (“the inner bark of trees, paper, parchment, book”). — Wiktionary
I am a media librarian. Never has my work been steeped in paper books, well never say never.. buuuutt … more often than not un-book: video, newspapers, cultural property, digital repositories. I am suspicious of the book, the distance in my career they have put between us and the library as an institution of liberty. The stereotyped dusty book warehouses they brook us. Book as brand a concern. Librarians should be the best at putting the book aside, not the worst. It is needed now leadership and too often we trail. The book is NOT a universal good. Perhaps that’s just my secularism talking?
It is the package of knowledge that I want. The creation + content a light hand to form. Heavy hand to diversity and relationships inside.
I know this is barely a post. Full disclosure I write it up here as ‘loong tweet’ to respond to this conversation with @sleslie and @clintlalonde two very bright guys who have worked with the books I hate the most — TEXTBOOKS. Textbooks, those are like the nails on the chalkboard of books for me, like a school uniform. Anathema to my very alt 1970′s educational orientations.
Yep a librarian openly disparaging books. Something I like to do. Thanks for letting me do that guys. And no.. I don’t agree that ebooks are especially bad ..
— Scott Leslie (@sleslie) May 25, 2013
…. it is the whole racket. Books are a racket. For one last contour I have to add is what Dave Cormier taught me with this quote (even if it was a long time ago):
For this invention will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practice their memory. Their trust in writing, produced by external characters which are no part of themselves, will discourage the use of their own memory within them. You have invented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding; and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom, for they will read many things without instruction and will therefore seem to know many things, when they are for the most part ignorant and hard to get along with, since they are not wise, but only appear wise. — Plato’s Phaedrus
Reminding myself, not to be hard to get along with.