I subscribe to a Google alert on libraries, and so every day I get a group of stories about libraries from around the nation and the world. Today’s list struck me for its homogeneity: almost all of the stories talked about how libraries are really handy in tough economic times, or how library usage has increased in this tough climate.
I know this isn’t really news to the public librarians out there. Apparently, this is news to everyone else.
As you might have guessed Dear Readers, this brings me to my favorite soapbox. If you’re not wandering about your community talking up the value of the library, you’re doing yourself, your library, and your community a disservice.
Occasionally, I read of a library here and there that is asking where their part of the massive stimulus package might be. Here’s a tidbit to keep in mind as we’re hearing about and talking about the stimulus:
In stimulus package language, if Congress taxes to hand out money, one person is stimulated at the expense of another, who pays the tax, who is unstimulated. A visual representation of the stimulus package is: Imagine you see a person at work taking buckets of water from the deep end of a swimming pool and dumping them into the shallow end in an attempt to make it deeper. You would deem him stupid. That scenario is equivalent to what Congress and the new president proposes for the economy.
Walter E. Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University.
“The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.”
Cicero – 55 BC
H/T Some Have Hats
In a refreshing change of pace, a library in California has waived the fee for a lost book rather than fine or arrest the patron. Oh, and the patron in question is a now-famous pilot:
Hero pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger is now every librarian’s hero, too.
When the US Airways pilot’s plane ended up at the bottom of the Hudson River on Jan. 15, so did a book he had checked out from the library at California State University, Fresno, through his local library near Danville.
Sullenberger contacted library officials and asked for an extension and waiver of overdue fees because the book was in the airliner’s cargo hold.
Fresno State library officials said they were struck by Sullenberger’s sense of responsibility and did him one better: they’re waiving all fees, even lost book fees, and placing a template in the replacement book dedicating it to him.
The book’s subject? Professional ethics.
Copyright Associated Press
Great job, Fresno State!