Wednesday, May 4, 2016
I would not have guessed that I would have managed the impartiality of library work as well as I have. I have a lot of strong opinions about things, but it turns out my utter contempt for the batman movie Dark Knight Rises, for instance, or my bitter disdain for Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, goes into abeyance when I am fulfilling my role as your library guide. I have opinions. I'm even happy to share them, but I understand that the library is an open forum for information. I understand that it is essential that I observe a certain neutrality.
I don't judge your checked out items. I will never refuse to check out materials. I don't treat the physical copies of books by right wing commentator Michael Medved with any more disrespect than I would treat a copy of Tortilla Flat. Unlike my feelings about the culture at large, I feel a kind of basic trust in the library. It can all be here. If we strain to let as much into the library as possible the light of beauty and truth will shine through it. That enlightenment will not be obstructed by the impurities of liars, or by the abusers of muses. If the whole world can be the library then the fruit of it will be better than the sum of its parts.
And so I wade through the materials, sorting, guiding, and shelving. Some is horrible, like for instance the Dylan biopic I'm Not There, and some is gorgeous, like Dylan's Desire, but they cannot be disrupted on a case by case basis, for each element in the library effects every other element. The best and worst make a whole.
And so I weed only on the basis of condition, never affection. I treat no item more roughly than any other. I will try to salvage any damaged item, regardless of its content. I will protect and defend on an equal basis, and I am happy to do so.
Except for the Berenstain Bears books. I don't give a shit what happens to those.