It occurred to me today just how lousy the photos of the Millicent library I've been posting are. Well, there's nothing I can do about it now. You're going to have to put up with them. They're all we've got, and the subject matter will carry the day, anyway. Think of them as snapshots, not photographs, and we'll all be fine. You try taking photos with a camera with a four secong lag between depressing the button and making an image, with a three year old clinging to you like a rabid monkey because he's afraid of the life sized baby gorilla stuffed animal in the children's reading room.
Here's one from atop the book stacks:
The Millicent Library makes the same mistake most libraries do; it attempts to compete in a half-hearted way with Amazon.com and Blockbuster Video, with its only selling point that you pay in advance in your tax bill instead of at a checkout counter -- thereby allowing you to imagine it's "free." The only analogy I can come up with is a bad buffet. You keep telling yourself you don't mind how terrible the food is, because after you pay, it's all free!
I' m not the sort of person that thinks that no one needs what I don't want. I am irked by persons that say they are vegetarians, for instance, so no one needs meat, and so forth. The supermarket of life would be very small, if tailored to one person. But you'd need a lot of them.
The library tries to be everything to all people, and so must fail us all. Why do they have Ishtar VCR tapes and Eminem records and Harlequin Romance novels by the metric tonne? Is the library no different than the swap shelf outside the ladies room at work?
Well, there's worthwhile stuff there too. And if you paw around enough, you can find what the library should concentrate on: out-of -print hardcover books that inform and delight, a true repository of value, not a pile of stuff. Book burning isn't evil, if the books are worth more as BTUs than information.