CNN.com shares with us today yet another story on the “changing library”. While I rarely read comments to online pieces – let alone post a comment myself – in this case I felt inspired. They posted it, too. (Pretty cool, but not the point.) It goes like this:
While the thesis of your article may well be true i.e., libraries are changing, the overused introduction is just that – overused and off target. To say that “the stereotypical library is dying” is wrong. The stereotypical library described – one with shushing ladies and dank smelliness – has been DEAD for years. Years.
I graduated from college almost 25 years ago. My college library then was nothing like this stereotype. Come to think of it, save the “shushing lady librarian”, neither was my high school library. Or the public libraries I spent hours in as a child. I’m going on 50 years of age and I don’t know this library. Maybe I’m overly fortunate, but I can’t help but wonder, as I see this stereotype repeated ad nauseum in the press and other media outlets, when was the last time the authors and/or reporters set foot in a library? Enough with it.
The most accurate line in the entire piece is this, “The library has never been just about books.” The library has, thankfully and to the benefit of all, always been a place where knowledge and information, wisdom and learning – and all of the interest and excitement that comes with it – happens. Go to your local library and discover this.