Thursday, February 11

weei x libraries

The Acting Keeper of Prints, Rare Books, Manuscripts and Archives from the Boston Public Library (Susan Glover) joined Dennis & Callahan this morning to explain what she does. Quick context; this came up as a continuation from D&C's show yesterday about the release by the Boston Herald of the salaries for all state employees, which led to a discussion (if you listen to 'EEI you might use that term loosely) of "why do taxpayers pay for the Boston Public Library", i.e. "what is so great about libraries, why should MY hard earned tax dollars go to a library. WTF. WHY!! So kids can play WOW? Old books suck!" etc...

For all the hackle raising this might produce, Callahan reveals a crucial point; if people are asking these kinds of questions, then someone at the library is not doing their job right. If the popular belief is that google and wikipedia can reveal the answer to everything then libraries are not doing their job (if just joining, then due to intellectual property rights alone, the answer is a huge NO. Simple example; you can't read Encyclopedia Britannica entrys online simply through google -need to pay for it -but you could read it in print or online if inside a library, etc.).

Susan Glover of the BPL very gamely agreed to speak to D&C this morning to, in effect, defend the library, and did a fantastic job of conveying enthusiasm for her work and the BPL in general. Great stuff in a hostile environment. Kill them with kindness... The irony/pisser/kicker is D&C are both confessed fanatical readers... Listen.