Another Harebrained Idea
Aziz Poonawala of City of Brass responds
rather foolish proposal suggesting maybe it is time to close down public libraries. I've been a member of the LAPL
for almost three years now, and can't imagine why anyone would want to do away with the library system. The reasons offered in the proposal by Doverspa at Redstate
are superfluous, lame, for lack of a better word. Aziz offers an excellent defense,
I am opposed to this for the reason that libraries are not just repositories of books - they serve an integral cohesive role in local communities that no bookstore can hope to replace.
First, librarians choose books for the collections based on concerns other than best-seller lists and marketing. If Borders and B&N replaced libraries entirely, we'd have much less rich a tapestry of literature and instead have aisles of derivative chaff.
Look at the science fiction section of any library and compare it to the B&N section. At the library, youll find older works by Asimov, out of print stuff by Heinlein, rare stuff by Dick and compendiums and anthologies crammed full of short stories that just aren't in print any longer - true treasures. Meanwhile at B&N, you find about fifty nearly identical ripoffs of each other and a pile of movie novelizations. You will find some of the main classics (Foundation, Stranger, etc) but none of the secondary sphere of supporting works). The same analogy can be made with any genre. The point is that blind reliance upon market entities will filter the content in very dramatically different ways than will a professional class. It would be disastrous.
It would be disastrous. Yep.