Thursday, February 05, 2004

Like Opening a Door in Your Kitchen and Finding James Bond Shooting It Out with the Marx Brothers



I've been saying for months now, ever since I started working on my MLS that there is no such thing as a conservative librarian. This is, on the surface, a simple truism based on the fact that Librarian types like to read books. Lots of books. And then, to organize them. Reading a lot of books exposes one to a lot of different and often contradictory notions, which in turn requires one to expand the peramaters of their thinking in order to grasp the signifigance of everything read, which in turn, creates a Liberal Worldview. A simple sylogism. We can thus infer that Conservatives don't like to read or else they wouldn't say such idiotic things like "Marriage is a Sacred institution between a man and a woman, therefore I will propose a Constitutional Amendment to this efect so suck on it, all you homos." (I'm paraphrasing, of course).

Well, I was wrong. there are Conservative Librarians. They even have their own website: Shush, the website for the conservative librarian. What, you may ask, does a conservative librarian post about?

The emailer from earlier also pointed out that Laura Bush hasn't been a librarian since '77. I say once a librarian, always a librarian.

Where to begin. This is so wrong on so many levels. First, off, I was born in 1977. I will officially be a librarian sometime in the fall of 2004 or winter of 2005. In 26+ years, there have been a lot of changes in Library Science. I can't underscore this point enough.

When Laura Bush was a Librarian there was no such thing as the World Wide Web. The internet is a HUGE deal for us Librarians because it really, truely and honestly changed everything about the way we do research, catalog and communicate. People in other fields brag about how revolutionary the Internet has been on business, art, communications and the porn industry. Well wrap all that up and tuck it inside Library Science because, seriously, it's a whole new world of Information Access in a Digital Environment (the title of one of my courses this semester).

Now personally, I'd love to sit Mrs. Bush down at a computer terminal and have her preform a command line search of the ERIC database accessed through Dialog. But I'm pretty sure she'd smile vapidly, and rattle off some Bushism about being down home and country-like and could she see a card catalog, pretty please.

My point is, Laura Bush is about as much of a librarian as I am a First Lady.

OK, so maybe I'm just picking on the First Lady. What else do these conservative Librarians write about? Well there's every Librarian's favorite topic these days, the Patriot Act:

They have a page with library signs concerning the Patriot Act. For some reasons people have a problem with the fact that we are not allowed to warn patrons if they have been investigated. It would seem that some librarians would like the right to give a terrorist a heads-up so they can get out of country quick or something worse.

Thast's right. We Liberal Librarians have constructed an elaborate underground railroad designed for the expressed purpose of helping would-be terorroists purge their library records. Sure, they just look like harmless signs, but they're really super secret message encryption devices, flashing subliminal signals in Arabic to our terrroist buddies.

Conservative Librarian. I used to think that was an oxymoron, like Tiny Giant or Compassionate Conservative. Now I know better, and I'll never sleep sound again.

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Updated for clearity and typos

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