I just received my December issue of the New Criterion and this article drew my immediate attention. I can’t describe the despair, anger and hopelessness that I feel watching the destruction of our most beloved institutions.
5 thoughts on ““Radical, militant librarian.””
I’m probably the least educated of the bunch here. So, no offense. But, I’ve met some many well educated folks who truly do not impress me. Met a librarian once. So I wrongly assumed he had a love for books and could be my new best friend. When I tried to engage him in a literary conversation he informed me he wasn’t interested in books. It was a degree he pursued because it paid well. When I worked at the Forest Service I met a woman with a BA in English literature. Again, she explained she just got that degree because I was easy to get. So, I’m not a bit surprised librarians feel some superiority about weeding out books. They probably don’t have the love and appreciation for books. Its just a job. I think I’ll check out the the web site and recommend some awful woke book as undesirable. Hee hee. Kinda stir thing up for you Marcia.
I am in favor of differentiating ‘educated’ from ‘credentialed’. Wellsprynge is also in this camp.
Thanks for sharing this, depressing as it may be.
There were times when I thought my little “preserving Western Culture one crappy old book at a time” boarded on the silly. Those days are long gone. I seldom go to the library in our little town. But I used to go to the big town library for the monthly friends book sale. Even that changed. They stopped taking books over 15 years old.
I think the best we can do is work from the ground up–which is to say individual by individual. I was at a dinner the other day with some youngish people. We got to chatting about how important it was for kids to “tune up” their ears by reading poetry and dialect. They asked for recommendations for their kids. (These are academic semi-leftists, put not insane.) I gave them James Whitcomb Riley (the Hoosier poet), and Charles Dudley Warner’s classic New England tale, Being a Boy.
Take a look at this site: awefullibrarybooks.net It’s run by a couple of librarians who specialize in helping to “weed” libraries of out-of-date and undesirable books. People submit books to their blog that they’ve weeded, and then the two plus their commenters get to be all snarky about things. Look at the “from the beginning” post. When I’m in a really bad mood I sometimes go there and comment.
I stopped going to my local library during the Covid insanity when they were militant about masks, quarantine periods for books and scheduling drive through pick ups.
I agree that we are going to have to rebuild from the ground up. Thank goodness you are assembling a library.
I poked around on the Awful books site and I understand the concept of weeding public collections, but I am guessing these same librarians who are weeding are also spending just as much energy acquiring garbage that a future librarian will make quick work of weeding as soon as “woke” becomes unfashionable. Let’s pray for that day sooner than later. I think all Librarians should be introduced to C.S. Lewis’ An Experiment in Criticism as a prerequisite for employment.
Have not read that C.S. Lewis. But have read enough of him to know he certainly has firm views on what makes a good book. With respect to children’s books, one no worth re-reading as an adult was not worth reading as a child.
Someday, or weekend when there are more people here, we should devote some time to both Lewis and Tolkien. I prefer Tolkien. But that’s like saying I’d prefer $1M to $999,999.99.
An Experiment in Criticism epub: https://www.fadedpage.com/showbook.php?pid=20140725
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