“It was a shocking thing to say and I knew it was a shocking thing to say. But no one has the right to live without being shocked. No one has the right to spend their life without being offended. Nobody has to read this book. Nobody has to pick it up. Nobody has to open it. And if you open it and read it, you don’t have to like it. And if you read it and you dislike it, you don’t have to remain silent about it. You can write to me, you can complain about it, you can write to the publisher, you can write to the papers, you can write your own book. You can do all those things, but there your rights stop. No one has the right to stop me writing this book. No one has the right to stop it being published, or bought, or sold or read. That’s all I have to say on that subject.”—
“The most common uses for library computers included gaining access to government agencies, searching for jobs and filling out applications, doing homework, communicating with friends and family, banking, seeking health advice, running a business, completing online courses and seeking financial aid for college.”—
“Even more useful than the books or activities, though, is the principle behind libraries, that we and our neighbours can pool our resources and hold things in common that all of us occasionally need. Most of the Western World, however, adopted this principle for books and then stopped, never extending it to other obvious areas of life.”—Brian Kaller - Restoring Mayberry: Libraries
The role of the subject librarian is to be like an intellectual swiss army knife – information tools for different trades, all of which take some deft wielding. At a recent reception that the I School Dean graciously organized for visiting scholars and yours truly, I was given the opportunity to pitch myself over and over again to a series of total or semi- strangers in my new community that I may or may not be able to help out in the library/research/information sense. To make it interesting instead of redundant, my self-challenge for the afternoon was this: never pitch the same way twice, but also push that goal to the back of my mind while actually getting to know individuals and their interests at a deeper level than as though they were library targets. Over the course of two hours, a few strange but useful characterizations came out of my mouth; I dimly recall saying something along the lines of “think of me as a pro-bono nerd on retainer,” which is exactly what I’m aiming for – a gratis, skilled, earnest collaborator and consultant who will give any information or research topic due diligence.