WILL UNWOUND #324: “Rave Thursday at the Unwinders Tavern – Let’s All Raise a Toast to Nancy Pearl”January 6, 2011
How’s this for a rave…I LOVE BOOKS!
Again….I LOVE BOOKS!
Third time’s the charm…I LOVE BOOKS!
There, I’ve come out of the closet with my love of books. Now let the professional ridicule begin. How many times have you heard that phrase denigrated lately by the denizens of our very own profession? Wait a minute, maybe I confused you. Let me try again. I don’t want there to be any ambiguity about this.
I LOVE BOOKS…THE KIND WITH REAL COVERS, REAL PAPER, REAL GLUE, AND REAL PAGES.
If you are a librarian these days, it’s okay to love books as long as they are in a shiny new electronic format. Well, call me a dinosaur, but I prefer the old fashioned “format.”
When newbies say they want to get into the library profession because they love old fashioned books, they get snickered at. Their older and wiser colleagues who already have their MLS union cards are quick to reprimand them: “A love of books no longer cuts the mustard. You have to love machines…cold, shiny, expensive machines, and by the way, metadata is the wave of the future.” Oh, and then these tech saavy practicing librarians punctuate their “advice” with a stern Cassandra like warning: “If you are risk adverse to integrating audio visual toys and games into your collections, you will personally be responsible for the death of the library. Amen. End of story.”
To that I say…IF LIBRARIES NO LONGER HAVE BOOKS THEN LET THEM DIE!
Let me all ask you a series of questions: do lawyers hate old fashioned courtrooms with juries? Do lawyers obsess over predicting the end of the reign of law? Do plumbers hate faucets, and do they write article after article about the end of plumbing? Do structural engineers hate right angles? Do architects hate buildings? Do nurses hate sick people? Do insurance guys talk about the death of life insurance? Do priests and ministers hate God?
What is it about the masochistic “modern” librarian who never seems to be happy unless he or she is dwelling on the death of books and libraries? Does our profession attract gloomy people or does it over time grind normal happy people into a miserable state of clinical despair and despondency? Or better yet is there a conspiracy from the e-book industry to infiltrate the library profession with people who hate old fashioned books so that libraries will die?
INTO THIS DARKNESS COMES A RAY OF LIFE. Last night I clicked onto the Library Journal website to check out my favorite blogger, The Annoyed Librarian, when a bright, brilliant, and very smart face illumined the home page…a wonderful portrait of Nancy Pearl.
Huzzah! Nancy Pearl has been named Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year. She is the personification of the proclamation: I LOVE BOOKS! Actually it gets better…NANCY PEARL LUSTS AFTER BOOKS! Check out her must read titles. I LOVE THESE BOOKS:
- Book Lust
- More Book Lust
- Book Lust To Go
To Nancy Pearl I say congratulations and thank you, and to Library Journal I say thank you for reaffirming the core values of the library profession.
Champagne for everyone…on the genie!