Annoyed Librarian
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Inside Annoyed Librarian

Busy Isn’t Enough

Public libraries have to be the strangest social agencies ever. It’s the one publicly funded institution that nobody can say for sure what it’s supposed to do. I would count librarians in that group as well. If you asked ten public librarians what the purpose of a public library is, you might not get ten different answers, but you would probably get three or four. The public that the public library supposedly serves has no consensus on the issue. Here’s a Canadian columnist making the baseless but now familiar claim that ebook readers and public libraries are equivalent entities. Because ebook readers exist and literary classics from the nineteenth century are free on them, “no one, at least in our First World, is being kept out of the magic kingdoms of learning and imagination because he or she cannot access books.” Sure. Maybe when governments decide that ebook reader ownership is a civil right and start handing everyone Kindles and iPads, this will ...
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Celebrate Banned Sites Day!

The freedom of students to watch YouTube videos in school is in peril! In addition to the usual nonsense of Banned Books Week, where ALA minions insist to the world that the United States is full of censorship and oppression, this year we can add to the hoopla Banned Sites Day. Whoopee! It’s the brainchild of school librarian in New Canaan, CT, who is protesting the restrictions on student use of the Internet during school hours, which keeps the kiddies from using Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, at least on school computers during school hours. The poor dears, I don’t see how they can possibly get a good education without using Twitter and Facebook at school. It’s a terrible tragedy, and I’m glad someone is doing something about it! The librarian is quoted as saying that she sees the restriction “as similar to banned books in that there are other voices telling people what they have access to in relation to what people are reading.” If by ...
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Oversimplification and Book Challenges

One of the most amusing library-related events of last week was a book banning in the town of Republic, Missouri after a resident “challenged the use of the books and lesson plans in Republic schools, arguing they teach principles contrary to the Bible.” Two books were removed from both the curriculum and the library. It’s amusing on a couple of levels, especially because I don’t have to live in Republic. There’s the irony, of course, that someone in a town named Republic is arguing that the public school curriculum should be based on Christian principles rather than republican principles.. To be fair, the naming of Republic didn’t seem to have anything to do with republican principles. You can read a very boring history of the town on its website. You can also read the same boring history verbatim at Wikipedia. That’s got to be the worst Wikipedia page I’ve seen in a long time. It’s even more amusing that the complainer is a university professor, ...
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