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What the Fairfax library is doing is not new. Twenty-plus years ago I worked for a major southwestern public library. The practice of culling the shelves took place back then, too. Fortunately I worked in the archives and we were able to acquire culled items for our collection, thus giving them a stay of execution.
Libraries need to rethink what their purpose in life is. They are not supposed to be a coffee shop cum bookstore, but rather a repository of knowledge. Rather then permanently removing books from their shelves maybe libraries should consider establishing a facility for the storage of infrequently used materials. For any library system this could be a warehouse type facility. All materials stored there would still be available for use, but on a delayed basis. a smaller staff of clerks would be on hand to retrieve and reshelve materials.
With online computer card catalogs library users are able to request materials in advance of arriving at the library. With this capability items in inactive storage could be retrieved within 24 hours. These same materials are also available for inter-library loan.
But there is one other thing that is even worse than the culling of inactive books, and that is the selection of materials. Next time you visit your public library see how many copies of Robert Spencer’s books they have on hand versus the latest PC-friendly view of Islam.p>Check to see how many copies of Ann Coulter’s books are available throughout the system. The dirty little secret is that librarians like journalists are primarily to the left of center and this is reflected in the materials that they select for the library shelves. br> — Peter Kurilecz br> Richmond, Virginia /p>
The author blames the librarians of Fairfax County for purging supposedly valuable literary works from the limited shelves available to them.
This is odd, since The American Spectator has always championed the decisions made by a free and unfettered market.p>So, in the free-market spirit, shouldn’t the librarians be defended for facilitating the will of the market? After all, if the library book-consuming residents of Fairfax County exhibit no interest in these books, why should the librarians continue to stock them, given their space constraints?
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?