We are now part of the problem

Blogger Dave Gibson of NewsByUs recently posted some opinions of digital media in libraries. “Unfortunately,” Mr. Gibson says,

it appears that this country’s librarians have decided to [do] their part in the dumbing-down of America.”

And why are we being accused of this? Because we offer video games and DVDs in libraries. I’m not sure what Mr. Gibson’s correlation is between video games, movies, and “dumbing-down,” but I am quite certain that Mr. Gibson’s definition of what a library is and does is very different from mine. Sure, we all have fond memories of the pre-computer library–with all of those big wooden card catalogs and row after row of books, uninterrupted by ethernet cables or the hum of CPU cooling fans. But let’s face it, information is contained in more than just books, and if we are the keepers of information, we should be keeping all kinds of media. Right? But what about if that information is in the form of fiction–novels, video games, movies?

Here are some more points to ponder:
Why is it that some library users (and critics) place more value on non-fiction than fiction?
Who gets to make the decision about which fiction is appropriate and which is inappropriate for a library?
Does that decision extend beyond short stories and novels to also cover such fictions as movies, pop music, and video games? If not, why?


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