Tuesday, January 14, 2014


librarians are superheroes.

do you doubt it for a second?

let's say that maybe you do get all your reading material online. and maybe you only read fanfic written last week and bought through amazon.

me, i DO get most of my reading material online. but those public domain digitally scanned special interest books i read online? it was librarians that curated and kept the books so they COULD be digitally scanned. the audiobooks i listen to are purchased and curated by librarians.

and if you have a question and your normal research comes up blank, ask a librarian.

librarians are the guardians not only of the accumulated knowledge of our species, but they are also the people who keep the materials so we can find them and also -particularly in public libraries- are dedicated to a mission of free access to information and literature and often other cultural or intellectual treasure.

if you are not a rich person or not currently affiliated with a good university and you want full access to information, it is your public librarian who hooks you up.

not only that, but your public librarian is on the front lines every day fighting for your rights to free information.

there are a lot of people out there who want to restrict your access to information, and who want to spy on you based on what information you are looking at.

libraries function in some ways in the background of cultural awareness, but public libraries are so fundamental that in my state if your town has no library, your town is required to pay for your library card at a neighboring town.

so while i live in bolton, my library is in richmond.

services provided by my small town library include the lending of digital books, both print and audio formats. it includes language lessons you can take from home, admission passes to a selection of museums and state parks, and online catalogs of the whole honkin' state interlibrary loan system.

if there is a book i need in any public library in this state, a librarian can get it into my hands within a week.

and for the increasing numbers of america's poor, public libraries can be their only access to the things we affluent consider basic: books, newspapers, periodicals, internet access.

that's right.

in the increasing age of internet connectedness where you need the internet to pay your bills or apply for jobs, people of limited means often have to rely on a public library to keep them connected to basic services they used to be able to do in person or by mail.

heck, i have even received mail at a public library because librarians are awesome that way.

i even read an article last week about a public library that's taking the usual GED prep classes even farther and just becoming an institution that grants high school diplomas.

now tell me that isn't more impressive than x-ray vision.


librarians are superheroes.

1 comment:

Kristin @ Going Country said...

Yup. Every dinky village (ours) in upstate New York has a tiny library. They are all connected, so I can order a book from any library in the system and have it delivered right to the library a mile from my house. Sweet.

Also, most of the community stuff we have is centered around the library--children's programs, plays, movies, big parties for fundraisers.

My first job was as a page at the public library in Tucson. I loved that job.

At one point, I wanted to go back to school to become a librarian. I sort of wish I had. Maybe I still will one day . . .


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