The Weather Channel isn’t very good at forecasting precipitation in sourthwest Louisiana.
A sharp crack-boom of thunder startled me out of socialized media and the computerization of librarianship into thinking about the blessings of nature out of human control. Working on the Eunice Community Garden (“like us on Facebook”), talking with other like-minded folks, looking at gorgeously colored photos of flowers and lush raised beds, wishing I could work in the humid heat which has now arrived after a long pleasant spring. . . but when the rain falls, I can sit by the window or under the carport and rejoice in the workings of the earth and the waters above the earth. (If I had a beach house, waters under the earth as well. Seaside gardens are very interesting.)
Computers : libraries :: hydroponics : earth gardening —>more efficient, perhaps, but less satisfying. A graduate student’s recent Facebook post complained about “pointless” annotated bibliographies, but if we don’t use books or keep them, where will we learn—off popularity-driven search engines? Quick links are replacing slow thought, to everyone’s detriment.
Quick action, too. The Urbana Free Library has been criticized for the hasty and apparently unsupervised overweeding of its nonfiction books. <http://will.illinois.edu/news/story/urbana-free-library-scrutinized-over-book-weeding>. Perhaps there should be two book locations, an expanded and renamed “New Books” section of front-displayed recent trending titles with flashy jackets, and one for the substantive, enduring collection. “Tread lightly, for you tread on my books”–(paraphrased from W.B.Yeats). What’s the purpose of a library, by the way?
And speaking of treading lightly, the recent flap over NSA’s big-data collection shows that government surveillance via phone records is way overdone. http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2013/06/ala-joins-others-demand-civil-liberties. ALA: forget the Congressional committee; just declare that automatic electronic government surveillance is contrary to the U.S. Constitution and to freedom and liberty everywhere. Free Edward Snowden!