My librarian readers no doubt already know Andrew Finegan of Librarian Idol fame. I can however say “I knew him before he was famous” or words to that effect. So while I wouldn’t usually be spruiking the competition (library based comedians aren’t exactly highly called for) none the less I loved this piece in The Age about his Melbourne shows.
Sure it is ostensibly about his cabaret style performance, but as someone who has recently moved out of the Public Library system (but still feels passionately about its raison d'etra) his quotes really ring true and it is very nice to know that Andrew has managed to get these thoughts to a wider audience.
There's a big difference between academia and the real world. In theory, you're the repository of all this important professional knowledge, and a major aspect of librarianship is information literacy. Then you get into a library and realise that people just want to argue about their fines and internet access.
Also, libraries attract a lot of people who can't read. It's actually a credit to public libraries that even the homeless and loonies feel comfortable. They aren't moved on but it makes you question your existence sometimes.
Lets see if my move away from public libraries puts me in contact with a few more patrons who want more than bandwidth and a warm place to spend the day. And for those of you still in the public system, keep up the good fight.