Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Libraries to the People!
Sanford Berman, can you dig him? In Libraries to the People, Berman, clearly identifying with some part of the revolutionary movement, tells us what exactly is wrong with libraries. I'm not going to do alot of summary- the article was short and I think one of the more engaging ones we've read. So, published in 1972 by the Bootlegger Press, Berman's style is extraordinarily different from anything we've read this semester. Take a minute to glance over it again (its short) and first, for class tommorow jot in the margins some ways this style is different then, quickly, take a highlighter, and mark phrases or words within the piece that serve to mark his style. Berman writes that the library is sorely lacking in its promise to provide materials for everyone. (Though the article was written in 72, let's be thinking of the ways this perhaps, holds true today). Freely offering ideas of magazines and journals that could be added to balance out the library collection, Berman sees some hope in the state of libraries as they were. However, even if each patron made a wish list for their library, and this list was implemented, would that be enough? Or, is it the library always inherently going to fall short of pleasing every patron. Berman concludes with commentary about the card catalogue.-" chances are overwhelming that it contains an unbelievable pile of crap" Berman touches on what we discussed a few weeks ago, regarding the inadequacies of the card catalogue, just a little more forcefully than in previous weks. So, what do we think of Berman? Is he saying what we're all thinking? How do we view this article in relation to being a part of Library History? To play devil's advocate, is Berman only preaching to the choir in this article? Or, is the library not as useful to certain groups of people? Who is supposed to care after reading this? Would a more "professional" piece (what does that mean, anyway) speak louder to librarians, or are they already on the same page as Berman? Is there a widening gap in patronage today- the "straight-lacers" and the "hip" and if , what can libraries do about this- keeping budgets in mind, and other factors?