Monday, June 7, 2010

Librarianship is PEOPLE!

"Soylent Green is people." Oh, Chuck Heston, is there nothing we can't learn about libraries from you?

There are many people who have predicted, and continue to predict, the end of libraries. They have their reasons, from the Internet to the Internet, to the Internet. There is always some new thing happening on the Internet that will kill all the libraries. Google does this. Apple does that. Facebook is doing something and Twitter is doing something else.

But as our friend Chuck says, "it's People." (The Soylent Green stuff was just to get your attention.)

People. People. People. People. People.People. PeoplePeoplePeople. People.People. PeoplePeoplePeople. People.People. P e o p l e. PeoplePeoplePeople. People.People. PeoplePeoplePeople. PeoplePeoplePeople. PeoplePeoplePeople. People. People. People. People. People. People. People. People. People. People. P e o p l e.

Until some technology arrives that eliminates the need for people, there will still be a place for librarians. As long as there are people, there will be those who are helpless or frustrated or stupid or lonely or needy or curious or lazy or bored or eager or unwilling or mad. And librarians serve them.

Librarianship is a service. We take all the shit that's too new or complicated for you to figure out and we figure it for you. When people say that this or that thing will be the death of libraries, maybe those people don't understand what the fuck it is we do. Or maybe they have a different view of people, that people will jack into their brainboxes and never leave their homes, which is always possibility, I guess.

But I don't see anything that currently exists or that will exist in the next ten years to make libraries go away. If the public libraries fail because we stop funding them, then some other company will buy the properties and the equipment and set up private libraries. Yes, that would be terrible, but libraries would still exist and librarians could still perform their jobs. Although when you pay me less money, I'm a lot less helpful.

But when people are replaced by robots, then we're screwed.