Monday, July 20, 2009

Restore the noble purpose of libraries

Community college librarian William H Wisner worries that librarians focusing to much on technology may be deconstructing the very libraries they serve.
"Libraries were once a sacred secular space of silence and reverence – a place where one automatically lowered one's voice ... a testament to the self-evident integrity of mankind, the belief that we all desire to find the truth through knowledge ... before libraries became the noisy computer labs they now are, with their jingle of ringtones, clattering keyboards, and unquenchable printers. And we reference librarians had a higher, more dignified calling than merely changing the printer paper."

He offers ideas for restoring the higher calling of knowledge over information.

William H. Wisner has been a librarian for 22 years. He is the author of "Whither the Postmodern Library?"

1 comment:

Hoot said...

Libraries have an enormous burden. For many communities, they've become the recreation center, the school, the voting/job training/adult education center, the after-school program, and for some, the home. It's unfair to compare today's libraries with those in the past. It's not the fault of the libraries. There are bigger forces at work here. The conditions of today's libraries are the result of the failures of other institutions.