On the Destruction of the OWS Library and The attack on UC Davis students


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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:

Please support the OWS People’s Library. They also have a Facebook page and Twitter account. They accept monetary donations here. Donate books by sending them to the address found here.

There are many rights being violated. The right to free speech hits me hard, being a librarian. There are also reports that journalists are being arrested for merely reporting on the OWS movement!

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:

Here is an open letter calling for the resignation of the UC Davis Chancellor’s resignation. 

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:

Current Event Wednesday: Journalism?

The Spokane Public Library at 10 S. Cedar in S...

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The Inlander, Spokane’s “trendy” weekly newspaper has published this piece, featuring the Spokane Public Library. Here’s a little snippet if you don’t feel like clicking:

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.

Librarians are hip

Federal Depository Library Program logo

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I got a kick out of this article in the New York Times. Especially this paragraph:

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.