April 27th, 2011

Librarians: Shushers or Superheroes?

Do you have those days where you simply cringe to think about what may be in the headlines? I sure do.  I’m an avid reader and respect the art of good writing and journalism, but goodness gracious, sometimes I need to escape in the pages of a book.

Truth so often is stranger than fiction—CCPL has a CD book about that, William McKeen’s Stranger Than Fiction: The Art of Literary Journalism, exploring the nature of storytelling and how journalism has affected our culture and modes of expression.  For a more lighthearted approach, I recommend joining Will Ferrell in the quirky and quite hilarious movie Stranger Than Fiction, so check it out. Here’s my true story: I believe in the soul of books. Be it a tattered and torn well-loved children’s book, a massive 800 page masterpiece, or the latest must-read on an electronic reader, stories have soul.

I like to let my mind wander and I suspect librarian Ranganathan (1892-1972) did as well. It’s okay if you can’t pronounce his name—what he did for libraries in his lifetime is what inspired me to write this very post. He believed in sharing his ideas with others, and promoted books in so many ways. Some librarians may refer to him as the “Father of Library Science.” I personally related to his simple philosophy of “Every book its reader.”   I’m not embarrassed to say librarians, in my opinion, are superheroes.

When you’re reading a book, you’re sharing your soul with what’s on the page. CCPL library staff is dedicated to connecting you with what stirs your soul. We also believe that any person who visits the library should be given excellent service. We strive to keep our atmosphere welcoming and helpful, no matter what’s going on in the world at large. We aren’t fair weather fans—we love our library users, and it’s our job to help you find the information you need. But Mr. Ranganathan makes the best case for the soul of the library and the soul of the book: “Library staff should be given full responsibility to promote the use of books…the book pleads with the librarian as follows: I am inert. Of my own accord, I am unable to lead into my reader’s hands. My voice is not audible…I depend on you for my being taken to my reader to be taken to me.”

Whew! Pretty cool, huh? You can find out more about Ranganathan or your hero of choice by visiting our Biography Resource Center.  If you’d like help finding the perfect read for you, use our Book Mate service, and let us help you escape. We’re not shushing you…tell us about your heroes and learn more about them at your library.

http://infotrac.galegroup.com/itweb/elkt98452?db=BioRC



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