I downloaded an app called TimeLapse and had lots of fun with it yesterday. I am going to make one for story time too.
A couple of weeks ago I blogged about how stoked I was that libraries are sprouting within the Occupy Movement, most notably, the Occupy Wall Street People’s Library. A couple of days ago the People’s Library was destroyed by NYC police officers at the order of Mayor Bloomberg.
NYC police destroyed a public library. Honestly, I don’t even know what to say. I am totally appalled that this is happening in America. This is a blatant, obvious, in-your-face repression of free speech.
Frankly I am too upset to write anything coherent. I think the actions of the NYC Police and Mayor Bloomberg speak for themselves. And I think, as Americans, we should all be appalled. Here are some really good blog posts I’ve found that explain the situation and sum up how I feel:
- The Life and Death of the Great American People’s Library.
- The Enemies of Books: Why we need books, libraries and a free internet
- Tolerance, Censorship and the Occupy Wall Street Library
- ‘Books Are Speech’: Why the OWS Library’s Destruction Is So Upsetting
“crushing a library feels like crushing our collective imagination, a particularly poignant symbol for a protest mourning the American dream.”
- American Library Association Defends Occupy Wall Street Library
- ALA Condemns Seizure of Occupy Wall Street People’s Library
- Mess with a librarian, and you get the horn rimmed glasses: Occupy Wall Street
The right to peaceably assemble is also being violated. Here is a video of college students being callously pepper sprayed while they are peacefully protesting:
I am upset. You should be too. I want to do something but I don’t want to do anything out of anger. A Facebook friend mentioned that she is proud of the students for continuing to stay peaceful in the face of such brutality. I am proud of them, too. Watch the video to the end (I didn’t the first time). It is absolutely moving. Here are some really good blog posts that articulate what happens:
I went on a library tour Wednesday of some local libraries and really liked the lighting in the teen room of the Cascade Park library in Vancouver.
It’s 2:15 on a gray, wintry Saturday afternoon and the downtown Spokane Public Library is brimming with hushed activity. Children scamper about as moms and dads quietly search the shelves. The place is full of men, women, the young and old, rich and poor, interacting silently and harmoniously — reading, browsing the Internet, listening to headphones.
Meanwhile, I sit at a desk with a large computer monitor. I’m in the middle of the action as I begin to peruse pornographic images on sites with names like porno-shack.com and worldsex.com. Racy images flash across the screen, with bodies contorted in unimaginable ways. There are reproductive organs of all shapes, sizes and colors. On screen, women smile back at me seductively.
Here I am, with strangers surrounding me, visiting the Websites your mother warned you about, engaging in a brand of Web-surfing normally reserved for the private confines of one’s own home. Who knew the public library could be so… stimulating?
The whole article chronicles the reporter’s attempt to access, successfully, porn at the Downtown Library. At the end of the article he is shocked because nobody stopped him at all.
I’m not really sure what the point of the article is. Well, that’s not quite right. I do know what the point is. It is to sell papers. Add shock value. There is absolutely no journalism here. This is “infotainment.” It is the journalistic equivalent of bored children making crank phone calls to bars, asking for “Mike Hunt.” The funny thing is that he was doing the very thing he seems to be criticizing. For, what was it? 35 minutes? How many kids walked by him while he looked at porn in the library for 35 minutes?
Gee. What a great idea for a story.
When talk turned to a dance party the group had recently given at a nearby restaurant, their profession became clearer.
“Did you try the special drinks?” Sarah Gentile, 29, asked Jennifer Yao, 31, referring to the colorfully named cocktails.
“I got the Joy of Sex,” Ms. Yao replied. “I thought for sure it was French Women Don’t Get Fat.”
Ms. Yao could be forgiven for being confused: the drink was numbered and the guests had to guess the name. “613.96 C,” said Ms. Yao, cryptically, then apologized: “Sorry if I talk in Dewey.”
That would be the Dewey Decimal System. The groups’ members were librarians. Or, in some cases, guybrarians.
What a fantastic party game! Guessing the name of a drink by the Dewey number!
Oh, and this is just awesome:
. . .Jeff Buckley, a reference librarian at a law firm, who had a
tattoo of the logo from the Federal Depository Library Program peeking out of his black T-shirt sleeve.
Dude. I wish I had thought of that.
Actually, librarians have been hip for years. The world is just now catching on? I know quite a few hip librarians who have been in this business for over 25 years. Partied with a few of em, too. You want a good party? Librarian conference, baby.
Libraries and schools throughout the country are ready once again to observe Banned Books Week. It’s that special time each year when some in the library profession point an accusing finger at parents, especially Christians or conservatives who might dare to question the value or appropriateness of certain materials available to youth. For 25 years since its inception, Banned Books Week has been warning America: “Beware of the ignorance and repression of censors! They will deprive us all of valuable knowledge and freedom.”
Just to set the record straight, Library selection committes are not “systematically purging libraries of any conservative or serious Christian viewpoints and instead, loading the shelves with left-wing propaganda and pornography.” That is just the most ridiculous thing I have ever read in my life. Actually, at my library, we have more books aimed toward a Christian audience than we do for any other religions. The Wiccans are kind of screwed in that department because most definately don’t carry the same number of books directed toward thier religion. So please. Don’t tell me we are “purging Christan viewpoints.”
And furthermore, as crazy as it sounds, many of us liberal librarians actually ARE Christians. I know, crazy, isn’t it?
I made the mistake of looking around at that website a little bit. Not the whole site, just the things in the sidebar. Frankly, I don’t know how they can claim to be Christian. Just go check it out yourself. I mean, talk about hate-filled.
There is a new documentary coming out about librarians!
The Hollywood Librarian: Librarians in Cinema and Society, now in production, will be the first full-length film to focus on the work and lives of librarians in the entertaining and appealing context of American movies.
Fascinating! I can’t wait to see it!
Read all about it here: