I’m writing this on New Year’s Eve and hoping it manages to post tomorrow, because I’m quite sure I’ll be in no condition to write a blog post the rest of the week, and one has deadlines to meet. I’m back home and heading out on the town soon. Dinner jackets and ball gowns might be in order, and I have a sneaking suspicion that copious amounts of champagne will be consumed. Martinis give me a warm glow, but champagne is mist before my eyes.
Every year there’s talk about the so-called War on Christmas in libraries (or at one library, a war on the war on Christmas), as if anyone really cares what anyone else has to say about the subject. People who don’t like Christmas or Christians get their knickers in a twist that most public and private enterprises shut down for a day, and some Christians get upset that the heathens have become a bunch of super-charged shoppers and holiday freeriders commercializing a holy day and treating it as if it were a made up greeting card holiday like Mother’s Day. Yawn.
This year, I think librarians should instead make a war on New Year. 2009 doesn’t look like it’s shaping up to be a great year for libraries because of budget cuts. Some public libraries are closing down or reducing hours. I’ve even been hearing odd rumblings that a lot of university libraries will face budget shortfalls, and I don’t like it. Some folks at the ALA have revised their request for $100 million in federal money for a "bailout." Now, some want billions! I doubt they’ll get it, though. When people without money or power want help from the government, it doesn’t come easily. When investment bankers who make millions and contribute some of that money to congressmen want help, help is on the way, so much help that the bankers and brokers will still somehow manage to get bonuses despite their businesses collapsing and the government handing them billions of dollars. I don’t think librarians are smart enough or rich enough to pull off a coup like that.
So back to this war on the new year. I think it could really go somewhere. Why can’t we just start 2008 over? Or better yet, 2007? Stock markets are a bunch of mumbo -jumbo, anyway, so if we just reset the Dow to about 13,000, everyone would think everything was back to normal, people would start spending again, tax revenues would go back up, and libraries would be back to where they were. From what I’ve been reading about the success of the bailout in freeing credit markets, resetting the Dow and just pretending nothing has happened would make as much sense as anything, and would be a heck of a lot cheaper.
Libraries would benefit. We’d all benefit!
So happy New Year! I predict 2007 will be a great year for libraries!