Librarian in the Twilight Zone

One of the DVD's we've rented from Netflix is v. 13 of the Twilight Zone, which contains The Obsolete Man, one of my favorite episodes. The episode concerns a librarian, Romney Wordsworth, whom the State has condemned for 1) being a librarian and 2) professing his faith in God. He is to be executed within 48 hours in a manner and a time of his own choosing. During the course of the episode we learn he is a carpenter as well and we witness him reading aloud from the Psalms. He has an unshakable belief that no person is ever obsolete because we have all been created by God.

It really refreshed me to see a portrayal of a librarian with practical skills and a belief in God that shapes his actions. Ironically, the only “librarianness� we see (aside from a burning commitment to truth) is his apartment full of books. He could have just as well been a bookseller. Still, it's quite an uplifting episode for our profession and a surprising condemnation of a all-knowing gov't for 1961.

This disc is available through Netflix, as I mentioned, and hopefully through other major video outlets. I hate to admit it, but I'm glad I didn't have to buy the disc. Though I LOVED “The Obsolete Man�, and liked the other episodes, I HATED the menu system, which involved a giant bloodshot eye that hurtled at you whenever a menu item was selected.


Note: If I'm not sorry for any individual journal entry here, I am sorry for the high ratio of political postings. It wasn't my original intention and I'm going to try to practice some extra self-restraint here and either keep my overtly political musings to myself or open up a blog elsewhere. I won't shy away from commentary if it relates directly to the library field or to a book I'm sharing, or as a comment to someone else's political post. Other than that, I hope to give politics a rest here at LISNews. Feel free to remind me of that the next time I get indignant about something.

Lastly, this is not a call to “disarmament� in the political wars sometimes waged on LISNews. I just want to refocus my journal on my original issues.


I didn't watch a lot of Twilight Zone (original, squinting at black and white flickering TV), but I seem to remember one where a man is nagged and criticized by his wife for always reading; there's a terrible disaster; he's left alive with all his books; and shattered glasses. What a terrible fate! Books, time, and no glasses!

That would be the episode "Time enough at Last", also staring Burgess Meredith.