I'm in Heaven.. or is it Hell?

I just read something that made wonder if it was a joke:
"Hands off our public libraries"

"In North Yorkshire (UK), a pub called The George and Dragon is 'delivering a library service and a pint' to the community."

A library in a pub. I must pinch myself. So I had to find some confirmation, which is here (assuming this is the same place): "the re-opened George and Dragon will be far more than just a pub, but will offer local services including a small branch library, internet access,.."

But the author sees the dark side of this and says, "It is the sound of a back door being quietly opened to the privatisation of the library service."

So, on the one hand, I'm all for pubs having libraries in them, but on the other, I feel that PRIVATIZATION is never good for PUBLIC libraries.

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Actually, this is drawing the wrong conclusion from the story. It would be better to have the pub in the library, than the library in the pub. The kids are already exposed to one of the most addictive items around- a love of reading. Why not introduce them to the wonders of beer, ale and hard cider at the same time? After all, Harry Potter always goes better with a butterbeer or pumpkin juice.

Besides, a librarian barkeeper would do wonders for suggesting titles to go along with the bar tales and endless woes of the usual drunks. And the drinks could be sold at costs. The profits would be made by a reference librarian, who could charge ten per cent on the amount of money spent on bar bets and settling sports trivia arguments.

For the maudlin drunks, the reference librarian could charge to find the correct words to their favorite drinking songs, such as "I want a book, just like the book, that plastered dear old Dad. Now that was a book, and the only book, that Daddy ever had. A real old fashioned book, with lots of tome; took ten men to carry Daddy home..."

Besides, the library staff could charge for such standard games as "Skittles and Lit" or 5 stud poker played with Author cards. And the loser at darts will have to check out one of the least read books of the library in the past year, and then submit a report to their fellow darters and book club members.

Maybe we are on a binge here. A new way of looking at public libraries, with tattle-tape swinging saloon doors and checkout desk/bar combinations. Besides, I already look for the brass rail for my cowboy boots everytime I belly up to the circulation desk, anyway.

What a wonderful library! Do you take plastic? ;-)

R. Lee Hadden (These are my own opinions!)

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