Tuesday, September 16, 2008

No More Libraries?

"On September 16, 2008 "Yukon Jack" of The Bear radio station in Edmonton delivered a scathing rant (one of his aptly named "Big Yaps") about public libraries. Apparently, Mr. Jack is concerned about EPL's recent funding request. As such he likens public libraries to cassette tapes, VCRs, the dodo bird and other antiquities including print encyclopedias. In his opinion, there is no longer a need or a place for the public library. He also goes on to say that individuals under the age of 20 would not even know what libraries are. The icing on the cake, for me, was the suggestion that public libraries are now replaced by the Internet." (summary from facebook group) Hear it here. There's even a facebook group in response.
Now would be the time to say The Bear is my favourite radio station. Sure, they are at times crude, but the music is fantastic. (Yes, get over the shock. Folk-country girl listens to rock music. Ask me what I'm doing December 7th, for the second time.) 
Thus it pains me to boycott the station for a yet undetermined amount of time. Gosh, he sure infuriated me with his comments though. Normally I find Yukon's Yap funny and 'true'. But this time he went too far. He insulted my newly chosen profession.
Funny timing on this though. Tonight's textbook chapter had to do with the value of libraries. I wish I could somehow upload the entire chapter for you all to read (and send a copy to Yukon Jack). Instead I'll blatantly steal some quotes:
"Libraries allow every person in the community served to continue her or his education, to become more knowledgeable, and to live the life of the mind in the way in which he or she chooses." (p. 29)
In a world without libraries:
"The vast majority of young people are functionally literate, if they can read at all, and easy prey to the commercial, political, and societal manipulation that emanates from their multimedia entertainment centers." (p. 37)
"It is that the great enterprises of learning, of human progress, and the betterment of society would be irrelevant in a world of images and thought bites, a world in which human society regresses to the point at which it consists of isolated individuals living bemused, intellectually stunted lives in electronic Lascaux caves." (p. 39)
Then I got really depressed until I read this:
"It will not happen because humanity is, in the end, both practical and idealistic. We will keep and cherish all the forms of communication (including the book) that we have now because they are useful and because they work. Learning and scholarship and libraries will continue because human beings love them for their own sakes and because they make life and society better." (p. 40)
Take that Yukon Jack!!!
I'll admit, sometimes I wonder if spending money for 100 copies of Stephanie Meyer's latest fanfic is a good use of my tax dollars. In the end though, I truly believe we need libraries. As a future librarian, I'll stand up for access for all, intellectual freedom, and service with a smile! Someone has to make sense of all the info floating around on the web. I'm glad I'm involved in such a great professional. Personally, the only two jobs I've ever liked in my whole life happen to be in libraries. I need libraries. 
(photo 1, 2, 3)

5 comments:

  1. I'm pissed about that rant, too. I have 3 kids, one who loves to read, one who hates to read and one who can't read yet. We use the library 2 or 3 times a week...my $12 a year is money well, well spent. The book lover loves the library...I'm using Star Wars books from our library to lure the book hater to the good side...and the one who can't read yet, well, I'm training her to be a book lover. How on earth would I afford books for these kids if I couldn't borrow them from the library?

    Pooey on Yukon Jack. I'm sure he would think differently if he was a parent. Eek, can you imagine???

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  2. I'm not worried. The Internet has already proven that it is not a threat to libraries, it is just another tool. I mean Yukon Jack....please, the guy is a bald red neck. I am surprised he even knew what a library was.

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  3. It's great to know people have rallied behind this, the library community is fantastic!

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  4. I understand your feelings on the rant in debate. but just as you are doing your job, did you ever stop to think that Yukon is just doing his. His job is to pick a topic and rant about it. In real life yukon is a really nice guy, "yukon" being his stage name is just an act. And i really think that you are taking it a little to personally. I personally have a library card to my neighboring library that i visit on occasion and i didn't find it insulting by any means. He has a point; if you really think about it at the rate at which technology seems to be taking over these days it does not seem that far fetched that they one day will be obselete. i mean for pete's sake you can order grocericies now adays from home and get them delivered right into your fridge!! So making your point does seem justified, but to personally insult him and take it to heart seems a little excessive. Everyone knows that libraries are a big part of our history, and who doesn't love the sound the pages make when you lick your finger and flip over the next page... i say drop the personal he isn't trying to be a dick, in the end he is just doing his job.

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  5. And now he is hosting an epl program with his sons... how the tables turn. Who needs a library now? ;)
    #daddybootcamp

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