Back at the end of March, I wrote about something I was calling "community reference." The idea was as radical as it is obvious: people with questions may not think to ask a librarian, so the library needs to send the librarians to the people.
Sometimes, those questions are big -- so big that whole neighborhoods or municipalities wrestle with them. Here's an example: how do you build and sustain a vibrant "downtown?"
There's a common misconception about libraries.
In brief, a lot of politicians seem to think that technology competes against
libraries -- and that libraries are losing.
This is something former Librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin called the
"Displacive Fallacy." It's the idea that new technologies drive out old.
But the truth is, they often coexist quite comfortably. TV didn't kill radio.
DVDs didn't kill movies. Both radio and movies make far more money than they
Not long ago, one of our patrons registered a complaint about a children's picture book called "Princess Buttercup."
The book was about a party being planned by a group of fairies -- diminutive beings, all female. Princess Buttercup set out to gather honey for the party, then got distracted, then got lost. Eventually, she flagged down a butterfly, and found her way back.
That's pretty much the whole story: a slice of the whimsical social life of mythical creatures.
by Demetria Heath
[Ms. Heath is a library patron who recently challenged a children's book, "Princess Buttercup."]
I appreciate Douglas County Libraries' Director James LaRue for offering me this forum and I will provide a list of the reference material used in this writing to anyone requesting it. I ask that you read Princess Buttercup before making the request.
A researcher studying race relations in Chicago records the following quote from a five-year old girl. I have removed the name of the ethnic group that she refers to.