"I remember when the librarian was a much older woman: Kindly, discreet, unattractive. We didn't know anything about her private life.. We didn't want to know anything about her private life. She didn't have a private life. While you're thinking about that, think about this: The library closes at five o'clock, no exceptions. This is your final warning. Got that, kewpie-doll?"
I have always had a love and respect for Emily Dickinson and grateful for one of the poems she left behind. She had a respect for books. Perhaps at one time her desire was to be a caretaker of literature. Yet, she will always be remembered as one of the great literary figures in history. This was her legacy…
In a Library
A precious, mouldering pleasure 't is
To meet an antique book,
In just the dress his century wore;
A privilege, I think,
His venerable hand to take,
And warming in our own,
A passage back, or two, to make
To times when he was young.
His quaint opinions to inspect,
His knowledge to unfold
On what concerns our mutual mind,
The literature of old;
What interested scholars most,
What competitions ran
When Plato was a certainty.
And Sophocles a man;
When Sappho was a living girl,
And Beatrice wore
The gown that Dante deified.
Facts, centuries before,
He traverses familiar,
As one should come to town
And tell you all your dreams were true;
He lived where dreams were sown.
His presence is enchantment,
You beg him not to go;
Old volumes shake their vellum heads
And tantalize, just so.
I have been finding students will come at the last minute and try to find resources for papers and projects, but sadly I see them copying a bibliography off of a website. I actually had spoken to parents about this issue and they said their child was probably too tired to look for resources. Thus, telling me not to worry about something so insignificant. They felt that since the bibliography was online, then it was public use. Anyone can use the same resources. I told them that the work was done by someone else. How can they not give credit to the actual source? I am completely dumbfounded by parents not caring about stealing. What can we do to curb this situation? As an educator, I have a duty to teach young people about the work they are doing. I know research takes time and their days are busy, but we all have a responsibility to uphold what is good. Why can’t we learn to do good? Is this the new norm for our society? I hope that we can keep each other accountable to such a high standard. Otherwise, we will see a new generation with new perspectives of how we create work.
I was speaking to a colleague whose husband graduated with an MLS some 20 years ago. He never used the degree and went into business instead. She asked me if I thought the role of the librarian has changed. She was wondering this because she is not sure her husband could get a job now. My response was “In any position, you would have to allow yourself to be constantly trained in what is new and important to the role you plan to work.” I understand that my new role is just a foundation. I must allow myself to realize that technology is always in a state of flux. In our present world, technology is being integrated in every facet of our society. I do miss the simpler way of doing things but it is understandable given the way life is becoming. It is hard for me to head up to northern New York where my in-laws do not have internet. It feels great on the first day and then I am scrambling over to Burger King to get free Wi-Fi for the rest of the week. This is when the staff really gets to know me. Again, the need for information and the use of technology is needed. As much as we want the simpler things in life, there is always a craving for more. Yet, this is the way of the world and we are inspiring the future!
I keep asking myself, “Is Google the way to go when it comes to education?” Google is sure becoming the rave with so many people. It is not just a basic search engine, but becoming something for so many. It seems to be listening to what so many people want. There is always a new product in its menu that provides an item, often utilized by educators. It is quite impressive what teachers can do with the products it offers. Firefox, Yahoo, and other search engines are trying to keep up the pace but do not seem to that “pizzazz” that Google provides. It makes one wonder, what are the future plans for Google? People are investing in Google and seem to be doing well. I do not have an explanation for all of this, but it would seem that as an educator, a Google class is what I need to be taking.