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Technology, Books and the Librarian

Michael McGrorty is, hands down, one of my top 5 favorite librarian writers. Take a look at his latest blog post:

“What will remain, no matter what, is that the library will be a repository of literatures, of recorded culture, in many forms, a universal archive and an instant link to the new and indeed, to the future. Within that, the librarian will be nothing, unless she is an interpreter. That will require the ability to understand information, history, fiction, music, drama—every form of intellectual transmission—in its broad sense, and in many instances, in its finer details, particularly in its local and contemporary dimensions.”

“The librarian must return to the role of explicator: not to pass judgment; certainly not to condemn, but to place things in context, if she can. We need not return to the days of “good” and “bad” books, but to a time when a librarian made earnest attempts to understand literature in the broad sense—and was ever in pursuit of the impossible goal of trying to absorb its totality. A career of that makes for a glorious failure indeed.”

Amazing. Spend two minutes with Michael at the next ALA conference and you will not only feel, but be,smarter. As an correlated aside, congrats to ALA for dedicating yet another “American Libraries” to the importance of reading and literature.

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