I was reading through comments on the LISNews blog last night. There was one post about public libraries being turned into video arcades. Essentially public libraries have been introducing gaming into their libraries to attract a younger crowd, and there has been much criticism from some people about the direction this is taking libraries. And of course, you have those on the other side defending themselves. So typically it is a confrontational situation and emotions can run high for those working in the public libraries. I have been following the discussions but largely been neutral about it since these are not really my choices to make.
That being said, one comment in the string really stood out to me. I read it and went away for a couple hours. It started to get under my skin, so I went back to it and felt compelled to reply.
I can understand the person's negative feelings about the way things are going in his/her library. But these particular lines right at the end were, to me, really telling: "we have books here. we just have adult and children too stupid to read them now." (emphasis added).
I can understand this young adult librarian's frustration that the books are not being read. And illiteracy is becoming an increasing problem, granted. But it is not stupidity that is the issue. It is one thing to take out the anger on the system or the administrators, or even fellow librarians who see things differently, but to hold such contempt for the people he or she is supposed to be serving! How can this person effectively do the job if there is no respect for his or her patrons?
Anyway, I was unusually outspoken in my response. Was I too harsh?
Please--how do you see things? Tell me what you think, or head over to the discussion and weigh in with your opinion. If you think I was out of line, please do go over there and tell me so. Do me a favour, will you, and put your name on it? It is easy to take pot shots anonymously. Let's get some balance in the discussion--the more voices and opinions, the better.