Peg's Polemic on Libraries

sarahmae writes "Over at the Philosophy Cafe, Peg Tittle has posted her latest polemic, Libraries: what are they and so what? This time it is about the annoyances of the libraries she uses. The horror of a kid playing games next to her in the public library and of a person talking on their cell phone in the academic library. For her libraries are a "repositories of knowledge" that "do not have an extensive collection of westerns and romances."

Does this sound like your library and if so, so what?"


That the kid was playing a game is none of her business. That he was disrupting other users--that's a behavior management issue. It doesn't indicate whether or not she asked staff to intervene. We would certainly be responsive to such a complaint at the place where I work, and likely, proactive.

but what about all that fiction? okay, but generally it's "serious literature," fiction that has, presumably, insight --knowledge-- about the human condition; most libraries do not have an extensive collection of westerns and romances

What sort of public library doesn't carry truckloads of non-substantial, entertaining reading? I see she's in UK--do UK public libraries have a different mission than most US public libraries? The more pop entertainment stuff we add and offer (complete Green Acres on DVD), the higher our circ goes.

My sentiments exactly. Her condescending tone was pretty irritating, and it sounds like she's pretty out of touch with what public libraries these days look (and sound) like. But, again, maybe things are totally different in the UK.

It's interesting that you say she's in the UK. Perhaps I'm missing something obvious (very possible) but she uses US spellings and terms and I can't see anything I recognise as being like my UK public library experience. At the risk of being an idiot, how do you know?

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