Annoyed Librarian
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Libraries and Socialism Again

A very amusing piece of satire on how libraries equal socialism appeared this week at an NBC Chicago blog. At least I assume it’s supposed to be satire, because it’s too outrageous to count as much else. In other news, Andrew Carnegie and Bill Gates are flaming Marxists. After quoting the Chicago Public Library Commissioner on how grateful she is that “all Chicagoans -- particularly the children of our city” will have access to library services, we get this hilarious diatribe: I can’t think of a more egregious example of government-sponsored socialism than the public library. Unproductive citizens without two nickels to rub together are given access to millions of books they could never afford to buy on their own -- all paid for with the tax dollars of productive citizens. Does the government pay for people to rent tuxedos for free, sail boats for free, or play golf for free? No, it does not. So why should it pay for people to read books and surf the Internet for ...

The Great Canadian Porn Debate

Our library neighbors to the north have been debating a subject long plaguing American libraries: porn in the library. American librarians and the American Library Association love to defend porn and perverts in the library, claiming that since porn in “Constitutionally protected speech,” it should be accessible in public libraries. They were never so vigorous in defending porn in libraries before the Internet made porn so ubiquitous, of course. It’s not like public libraries ever subscribed to Hustler Magazine or anything, but they’re all for defending porn in libraries when they’re not actively buying it but would have to actively do something to stop it. That all makes librarians look like idiots to the general public. Librarians end up defending guys like this one, who allegedly viewed online porn in the library while masturbating. He says he was researching “teen attitudes” while learning to use the Internet and accidentally found some “bad stuff.” Oh, and ...

Shut Down the Libraries, because I Never Use Them

A kind reader sent on this opinion article on why We should shut our libraries. Well, not "we" as in anyone living in the US. That article is from the Vancouver Sun, but the original piece was in the Daily Telegraph, and entitled Liberal whingers are wrong – we should shut our libraries. It’s a curious piece to be published in Vancouver, since the "we" isn't a Canadian audience either, and it is mostly attacking British liberals for defending a social agency they never use. The kind reader considered the piece “inflammatory.” Maybe. The title is the most inflammatory part. The rest of it is tame compared to some of the attacks we’ve seen on libraries in the last couple of years. The basic thesis of the short article is that libraries are being cut because libraries aren’t being used as much as they used to be.  “The crisis in our libraries is not because of the "cuts" - it's because they are needed less.” That could very well be true. Unfortunately, there’s ...

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