Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Dewar Decimal System

No, I'm not drunk. I mean to combine Dewar and Dewey, beverage and books.

At the eBook discussion at Pratt (you, Suzanne, are the reason I went; you e-mailed me the e-flyer), Bob Stein noted that the state of U.S. libraries is terrible and that we're a mess compared to Australia. Things are dire, but, based on an incredibly narrow personal survey of libraries in New York, New York; Tarrytown, New York; Stamford, Connecticut; and Brunswick, Maine, I'm seeing that libraries are becoming community centers. On a recent Sunday, I went to Stamford to hear a classmate give a jazz concert at the public library. Younger patrons filled carrels holding computes, while the elderly enjoyed the snacks and concert (OK, and a nap) in the exhibition area.

A college classmate who used to work in restaurants and who's now a librarian commented that libraries and bars aren't all that different.

My current reading crush, the author of Running the Books, was for a time a prison librarian and also functioned as a listener, not to mention as a help to inmates who were studying the law (the word "bar" in the legal sense, means mostly the legal profession, according to the Phrase Finder discussion forum).

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