Friday, July 23, 2010

Phil, Phil, Phil... PHIL!

I know you mean well, but come on... You have got to kidding.

Phil Shapiro must be the.effing.librarian's nemesis. This is the second time I've had to comment publicly on his ideas for libraries. The last time Phil suggested that library users produce art, literature and music to sell to supplement (actually, I think he said, "start selling those creative things to fund the library's operations") library budgets. But I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and just credit his contributions as "thinking outside the box."

But this time around Phil suggests that libraries should provide public kitchens.

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0.... Did you let that sink in?

Phil says, "So public libraries ought to have some kind of cafeteria with a selection of healthy, affordable, nourishing foods... That cafeteria should have attached to it a public kitchen..."

What do you think about having a public kitchen in the library? When the McDonald's parking lot is covered with partially-eaten burger remains, stale mcnugget mini-pucks, solidified shake residue, and this is just the place where people eat, what would a public kitchen look like? Hell, our staff microwave oozes the same funk you might get from engineering a Brundlefly.

I would love to see an architectural design with the library here and then a nice open courtyard here with a xeriscape garden and the cafeteria over there, but I don't see it happening. And I can't imagine a public kitchen where "[y]ou do not need to leave the library unless you can think of a better use of your time."

If the library wasn't a homeless shelter before, it would absolutely become one after this. And then librarians can spend the day cleaning the tables and washing the utensils and texting people when their frittata is done.