Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » BUY THE STUPID BOOK!

    Filed at 1:57 am under by dcobranchi

    Boy, this makes us look real good:

    Library officials will reconsider policies on buying books, two months after firing the system’s director amid criticism of favoring popular books over classics or nonfiction.

    …Amy Gregerson said she has a hard time with home schooling her children because of the selection at the library. She said the library had 20 copies of the latest Harry Potter book but only had four copies of “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

    “We won’t have enough copies for the eight students in our middle school class,” she said.

    Hint to Ms. Gregerson– There’s this new thing out called an online bookstore. All you do is click this link and order the books you need.

    7 Responses to “BUY THE STUPID BOOK!”

    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    August 15th, 2006
    at 11:09 am

    Yes– And I think it unreasonable to expect the library to have enough copies to cover the “class.” And it’s unseemly to whine about it.

    Comment by
    August 15th, 2006
    at 11:22 am

    Our library has Harry Potter books in Spanish. We actually have a smallish yet interesting Spanish language section in our library. I’m curious when something like that is going to piss people off.

    Comment by
    JJ Ross
    August 15th, 2006
    at 2:35 pm

    Daryl, I agree just from a snapshot-strategy view that we hsers lose with this approach. Buy the books and just feel smug for being able to make that kind of choice. Better yet, stop teaching classes and calling it home education. It’s either a citizen book club for youngsters as Daryl says, or else it’s classes and curriculum and let’s face it, private schooling. That’s fine too. Private schools shouldn’t use the city library to deliver their chosen classroom instruction at my expense either.

    But beyond all those spercifics, something we can ask ourselves is — do the needs of some local kidsrightly have any more weight than others, in affecting the professional selections of the city library, and if so, why? Don’t all their parents vote and pay taxes? Schools/colleges have their own specialized populations to serve but this is a big step away from that — we are talking about civil rights now, and local government decisions that vary from town to town and are not federalized for good reason!

    I was professionally trained as a youth librarian, among other ways I misspent my parents’ education savings. This is a major point in the profession. You serve your community as champion of all readers and users, not pander to your own preferences. In my community I’d have a real beef with a librarian who bought a gross of circulating bibles instead of a gross of the latest Harry Potter ready for release the day it comes out!

    If it’s really just a matter of numbers based on actual local demand and usage, that’s one thing. But if besides that, there’s underlying prejudice, personal bias and/or favoritism going on in ANY direction (favoring or snubbing various patron groups based on race, religion, politics, school enrollment or taste, even age or sex demographics that don’t simply reflect the local population of library patrons as is actually is) then it is right for the local community to bring it out in the open and examine it, and see what’s really going on. That’s what local government accountability is supposed to be all about.

    Comment by
    August 15th, 2006
    at 3:19 pm

    Anne Frank – 281 used & new available from $0.55.

    Thanks to Amazon and the like, the classics are *seriously* cheap.
    How embarassing that the hsers seem to expect the library to provide their textbooks.

    Mind you, I love it when that *does* happen – I’m currently searching for a cheap copy of Bill Nye’s chemistry episodes on DVD, which Disney is selling to the educational market for $50 a pop – fortunately, my library appears to have them. Now I just have to hope I can get them at the right time…

    Comment by
    Just passing by...
    August 15th, 2006
    at 4:10 pm

    We have HP in Latin:)!!

    As for Anne Frank…hi.
    Doesn’t she know about interlibrary loan?

    Comment by
    August 15th, 2006
    at 8:12 pm

    I got around using multiple copies by reading aloud, or by using audio books.

    It’s not rocket science.

    Comment by
    JJ Ross
    August 17th, 2006
    at 7:29 am

    Audrey, wouldn’t it be great if School perceived this same mandate? Not only would the curriculum be much improved but your library’s sense of mission meeting reality is a much superior lesson for kids to learn from, about how the real world works!