Utne Articles on Libraries

Cortez sends us links to two Utne articles about libraries:

"Knowledge For Sale" by Chris Dodge, formerly a colleague of Sandy Berman:

...as the ALA likes to note, there are more public libraries in the United States--16,421, counting all branches--than there are McDonald's restaurants.

But lurking in that comparison is a hint that all is not well with libraries. In fact, the same forces that have turned the United States into a fast-food nation could soon drive the traditional American library out of existence. In a society where everyone's basic needs for health care, housing, education, clean air and water, meaningful work, creative expression, and open space are not met, the historical model of the public library, open to all, is under siege.

and "Monastic Librarians", which profiles five librarians who are preserving material that's sometimes well outside the mainstream: Julie Herrada is the archivist of the Labadie collection of anarchist material, including the papers of Theodore Kaczynski. Julie Bartel and Brooke Young collect zines at the Salt Lake City Public Library. Jenna Freedman runs Radical Reference and collects fringe feminist literature. James Danky is working to make sure the Wisconsin Historical Society owns every periodical published in the state.

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