The first time I ever saw a library terminal was in 1978.
At the time, the idea was revolutionary. Imagine being able not only to look up what the library owned (the card catalog did a pretty good job of that), but to find out if it was actually available!
In about a month, librarians all across the country will observe "Banned Books Week." As usual, we'll have various displays about materials that have been challenged in school and public libraries.
I write about this event every year, because I believe few issues are so central to the very purpose of librarianship. Opposition to censorship isn't about calling people names (zealot! liberal! censor!). It's about "intellectual freedom", even for those people who disagree with you. It's about the sanctity of individual inquiry.
I'd always heard that Philip S. Miller didn't like being called P.S. Miller.
But it turns out that his only objection was that there was another P.S. Miller in town, and the two sometimes got confused.
To the people that knew him, to his friends, he was Phil Miller. I regret that I knew him too late in his life to call him a friend. But I've always been impressed with the quality of the people who claim that distinction.
No matter who you are, there are things you don't know. Ignorance is a defining element of the human condition.
Still, most of us aren't satisfied with that. We seek knowledge. But where?
Before you go to school, you believe that the best source of the truth is your mom or dad.
In elementary school, you think that your teacher has the authoritative answer.
By the time you get to middle and high school, you're sure that your more experienced peers are the only ones you can trust.