26 May, 2008

Stupidity or some sort of Irony I am too supid to get?


Bill Knott is an American Poet with a blog,
no news there until he published a rather anti-librarian rant (did someone delete his books from their collection?)
What does he think of us?
"an ugly bunch of pompous bureaucrats and jumped-up warehouse stockclerks"
is that so? Anything else you'd like to add?
"That librarians like Nazis should cloak their crazed extermination of books with deceptively innocuous phraseology should be no surprise once you realize that librarians are Nazis.
Everybody knows librarians are sexually repressed; that is a truism, a generally accepted fact—
And indeed for most librarians the only erotic release possible occurs when they commit the perverted act of deacquisition, when they destroy the products of creative minds.
The librarian and the writer are natural enemies, cobra and mongoose."
Good lord, the man is completely barmy.
"...but I would bet anything that many librarians often sneak some of these deposed books into the toilet and orgiastically rip them apart. I bet they snicker and wink at each other when they emerge tugging straight their skirts and trousers."

"You can question them about their discard policies, but don't delude yourself they'll tell you the truth: remember they're public employees, they're like members of your legislature, malfeasants who hide their evil behind walls of bureaucratise and lies."

Am I missing something here, because this reads like the words of someone who believes what he is saying?

So,
I decided to post a reply on his site

Deacquisition,
Is that really a word?
I just say deleted
Thrown out
discarded

I've never come across a padlocked dumpster in a library (unless we're disposing of old patron record cards and we are waiting for them to be sent to the industrial shredder, but it’s all on computer these days so that is unlikely). In fact I’ve indulge in my fair share of dumpster diving for books. Although…
I’ve always worked or libraries where the old, infirm and unloved books were sold off for a few cents each to anyone who felt they were worth rescuing. So those left in the dumpster were really the unloved (1970s accounting textbooks, DOS handbooks, Goosebumps books with cracked dry glue and loose pages…)

One trouble with your post is, no one knows which librarians you are talking about (we are legion).
Your local free public library keeps different things and for different reasons to an academic library. Likewise a national library has another set of ideals altogether and government department libraries, law libraries, research libraries… (the list goes on). Is each one of these librarians equally culpable in this NAZI orgy (sexually repressed) of book destruction?
How do you judge the reference librarian who stands at their desk answering questions
The cataloguer in the basement whose carefully crafted MARC allows us to find what we desire
The Children’s librarian whose storytimes make the kids crawl around the shelves roaring like lions
These librarians whose role is unrelated to the difficult task of the second half of the Collection Development Policy?
Are they too repressive,
oppressive
brown shirts

And what of poets,
sad old men in food stained undershirts
sitting alone in their apartments
their unwashed clothes
the smell of old urine
surrounded by the piles of their self published
unread
unloved
unneeded
books
Long dead is the romantic
opium eater, soldier poet
whose youth and vigour brought him women
and respect
that is a truism
a generally accepted fact

(isn’t it?)


The Effing Librarian has blogged a reply to this too.

6 comments:

Tom Goodfellow said...

I'm a sexually repressed librarian, and proud of it.

ADHD Librarian said...

"I'm a sexually repressed librarian, and proud of it."
Says the man whose blogger photo contains proof he has had sex (and with a woman at that)

Sleepydumpling said...

Love your work ADHD librarian. Sometimes you just gotta say something!

A lipstick librarian who is not at all sexually repressed!

Ross McPhee said...

On ya, John. You gave him a jolly good seeing to.

Anonymous said...

Relying on the link perhaps it's an attack on Philip Larkin (dec), Librarian at University of Hull and considered one of the great C20poets.

M. said...

Ah, pity. The knotty poet seems to have deacquisitioned that anti-librarian tirade.

Was hoping to hold a word with him in the stacks.

Might as well pay the overdue fines on these books while I'm here ... a day late and a dollar short.