05 March 2011

Don't Wait Until They're Gone



This time we are all in the front line

Thanks to Phil Bradley, who posted this mod of this World War II bond poster at his Flickr stream. 

We (in the U.S.) are so used to thinking of libraries as free.  But they are that way only because they are a long-time civic-sponsored investment.  The notion that Google or The Net can easily replace libraries and books is short sighted.  Books are only a small part of what libraries are for.  Libraries (and the librarians, professionals who have earned advanced degrees in information value, history, documentation, and retrieval) are the link between us and our store of knowledge.  Because of libraries, we don't have to carry all our knowledge around in our heads. 

Close libraries and we close our selves, our minds, and our culture.  We deny access to the words, thoughts, and makings of all who came before; we close off the possibility of our descendants knowing us




These images were taken of the now-abandoned Mark Twain Branch of the Detroit Public Library system.  This is what it looks like when we give up supporting our libraries. See the rest of the images at this link.

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NOTE: There are many kinds of libraries, though many of us are most familiar with the Public Library.  Schools of all levels have them (Academic Libraries and School Media Libraries), and then are Special Libraries, a vast collection of library types that most of us are unaware of.  They are found in hospitals, theaters, industries of all kinds, museums, law firms, news firms, government departments large and small. While not are not typically open to the public for use (one can often request special access, though), Special Libraries house or maintain access to the deepest levels of our human past.



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