I wonder if Paul Auster has been to one recently, though.
Libraries have actually become, in the US at least, de facto homeless shelters and centers for the mentally ill, as well as a resource for those needing childcare as well as the unemployed seeking work. There’s now signs on some of them in New York barring people from bringing ‘large packages’ which basically means ‘homeless people cannot bring their life’s belongings in here’—but they allowed it for almost a decade as homelessness in New York reached epic proportions. There’s actually very few places in American life so of this world, more than a library. Most public libraries are where you can see what is really going on for most Americans in a way you won’t ever see on the news or in a television show, or even in most fiction or nonfiction. And it is to the credit of most librarians that they continue to operate, despite budget cuts, the outlandish depravity of austerians and privitization mongrels. So, let’s not treat libraries like delicate flowers or temples withdrawn from the concerns of the world. They’ve shown themselves to be much tougher than that. Let’s instead make them what they should be, a better thing than what they’ve had to become—and look to what has been laid at their feet as a map to what our country really needs from its government services.
Alexander Chee, telling it like it is.
This last line isn’t directed at librarians, but it is a key fact. But the idea that metadata isn’t private, and as such libraries should get better metadata from publishers is interesting (and should be given a try).
Andrew House, president and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, affirming the core principle of the Owners Rights Initiative.