• What’s a Library?: Written by a man rich enough to live on W. 53rd St. who’s never been to the library and Googles everything

    by  • May 13, 2013 • Libraries • 3 Comments

    Magpie LibrarianI read the article in question this morning and chose to ignore it. Magpie Librarian, not so much…

    There are several things you can count on in this world: Every now and then, the New York Times will write a 10 years too late article about hipsters and Brooklyn; someone will start an essay about graphic novels with the phrase “Comics! They’re not just for kids anymore!”; and a rich white dude will pen a wishy washy article about the how libraries are deadSeriously, the library has died so many times, I’d like a preferred customer punch card for attending its countless fake funerals. And yet, despite the library being all dead and stuff, I still go to work every morning, seeing patrons queueing up for computers and storytimes and ESOL classes and the next bestseller. According to the Center for an Urban Future, libraries “are become an increasingly critical part of the city’s human capital system,” “are more essential than ever”, and are “far from being obsolete.”

    But, enough about facts and realities. The article in question, written by Michael Rosenblum, is an anecdotal testament to how he’s never been to the library that was near his house (“I never went inside. I never sat in its reading room. I never checked out a book. I never explored its stacks to go through old volumes of bound periodicals in some research project.”). He’s never used it, so he doesn’t understand the need for it (I don’t have a pacemaker, but that doesn’t stop me from realizing that some people need them). Rosenblum adores Google and Dictionary.com for all his information needs. I mean, they’re free, right? Says Rosenblum, “the web is…free (at least so far), and instant and much much easier to reference and find stuff than in the stacks (though less romantic, in a literary sense).”

    Read the full post and the conversation in the comments @ MagpieLibrarian.

    About

    Michael Sauers is currently the Technology Innovation Librarian for the Nebraska Library Commission in Lincoln, Nebraska and has been training librarians in technology for more than 15 years. He has also been a public library trustee, a bookstore manager for a library friends group, a reference librarian, serials cataloger, technology consultant, and bookseller. He earned his MLS in 1995 from the University at Albany’s School of Information Science and Policy. Michael’s twelfth book, Google Search Secrets (w/ Christa Burns) was published October 2013 and has two more books on the way. He has also written dozens of articles for various journals and magazines. In his spare time he blogs at travelinlibrarian.info, runs Web sites for authors and historical societies, takes many, many photos, and reads more than 100 books a year.

    http://www.travelinlibrarian.info/

    3 Responses to What’s a Library?: Written by a man rich enough to live on W. 53rd St. who’s never been to the library and Googles everything

    1. May 13, 2013 at 11:31 pm

      You might like to check that link to MagpieLibrarian’s post, it seems to simply link back to yours.

    2. May 14, 2013 at 6:19 am

      Whoops. Copy & paste error on my part. It’s fixed now. Thanks.

    3. Kat
      May 14, 2013 at 7:47 am

      There’s another response to that article on Book Riot as well. If you haven’t seen it yet:

      http://bookriot.com/2013/05/13/a-librarians-response-to-whats-a-library/

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *