Sender: Andrea Johnson <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Horrors!
Don't get me wrong by my comments below, I think Mary Ann's reading room sounds
wonderful... but not very realistic.
--- Mary Ann Meyers <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Mark Furukawa" <[log in to unmask]>
> > You relegate children to the DisneyLibrary which means your lonely
> > in the reading room will die with you because you'll be the last
> > reader -- turn out the light on you way out
> The kids really would rather go to DisneyLibrary, Mark. Don't try to
> remold them into little folks who like peace, quiet, contemplative
> study, silence. I'll tell you what, though--I'm planning on a
> storefront operation in a neighborhood strip mall--you know, those
> things that always have a convenience store with gaspumps, a liquor
> store, and a video store--all the necessities of modern life. Some
> stressed-out folks might just come in the first time by accident and
> wonder: "What is that?--Oh! The sound of silence. I forgot what that
> was like. And the smell of fresh coffee. Look at the people outside
> the storefront window running around like crazed lemmings--poor
> things. A kittycat to pet--wow! What a great retreat--I can just
> tell the family several times a day that 'I have to go run errands.'
> The kids can't read, so they'll never find me in here."
Well, the problem I see with this is once you get a few of these folks in
there, it won't be silent any more.
> Now, now--you know it's not the children. They just do what children
> do. It's the parents who should be caned. But I promise not to do
> that unless they bring the children with them.
If they don't bring the children, where's your next generation of users? And
where are the voters to support you? Studies have shown that library users and
library supporters were generally library users as children. You'll be out of
business when your current patron base gets old, and the children, all grown
up, will be too busy enjoying "DisneyLibrary" with their own kids to come visit
I know Mary Ann was just dreaming, and it was a very nice dream (especially
after a morning of rowdy preschoolers coming off a sugar high from the M&Ms
they got in storytime), but I find it's awfully easy for folks in our line of
work to think, "How nice my library would be if I could just get rid of these
darn patrons who keep interrupting me/messing the place up/making
noise/whatever;" and we forget for whom we are really here.
Just my opinion, of course...
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