Librarians have a different reputation than they used to. Is it any better? Let’s see.
Do you remember, in It’s a Wonderful Life, what would have become of George Bailey’s wife if he had never existed?
Clarence the angel shows him she would never have married. She would have become an old maid. A librarian.
What about The Music Man? When we first meet Marian the Librarian, she has no friends.
And why should she? She’s full of book learning. She considers herself superior to townspeople who don’t come to the library. And she’s not very nice to people who don’t behave properly in the library when they do.
Ah yes. The stuffy spinster with a bun telling everyone to be quiet. That’s not the image anymore. Continue reading
Government information often does not appear on the first page of search results.
When I reminded her that I had graduated only two weeks earlier, she replied, “Like I said, libraries have changed a lot since you were in library school.”
Few modern institutions are more ancient than the library, and few are as consistently on the cutting edge of change.
So naturally people have talked and written a lot about libraries over the centuries.
Cicero, the Roman orator, said, “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” But what about now? Continue reading
Ebook readers like Amazon’s Kindle roiled the book publishing business.
Ebooks now outsell printed books. We can carry one device with dozens of books, and it weighs less than any one of them would in print. Major bookstore chains went belly up.
But ebooks are hardly the first major disruption in book publishing. The printing press only came along about 700 years ago. It eventually put an end to the scriptoriums that had produced manuscript books for centuries.
Printing put books in the hands of more readers than the scriptoriums ever could, but books remained relatively expensive well into the 20th century.
Selling books by subscription and cheap paperbacks sold in other places besides bookstores revolutionized book publishing. These practices made books available to people who couldn’t otherwise afford books. Or who couldn’t otherwise easily find them. Continue reading
Do you want to take online courses? And know they’re legit? Some companies offer thousands of courses.
You can take as many as you want, if you want to pay $20-30 a month for a subscription.
A bit out of your budget? Maybe you can get around it the same way you can get around other information expenses. Go to the library. Continue reading