“If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.”
--Audre Lorde

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alycia.brokenja.ws

Januuary 13, 2011

Submitted by alycia on Thu, 01/13/2011 - 14:08
  • I am 100% against pay-per-use and 85% against patron-driven acquisitions (when clicking instead of conversation drives the acquiring). I am so glad that Barbara Fister agrees, and can summarize why these systems are undesirable so well:
    • Supplying books that patrons (or should I say "customers"?) order from a catalog of possibilities alters the fundamental nature of libraries. The library is not a mall where individuals select the goods they plan to consume, like groceries or shoes. It's a commons, a resource for the entire community furnished with books that can be shared amongst ourselves and beyond local boundaries so that, by pooling our library holdings, we all can accommodate the unanticipated and occasional need. Sharing among libraries is something that most ebooks don't allow. And building a collection for the future seems to be a thing of the past.
  • The Dispossessed, which I enjoy more for its commentary, although I find myself re-reading on the train a lot. I'm appreciating gems like:
    • He tried to read an elementary economics text; it bored him past endurance,

      it was like listening to somebody interminably recounting a long and stupid dream. He could not force himself to understand how banks functioned and so forth, because all the operations of capitalism were as meaningless to him as the rites of a primitive religion, as barbaric, as elaborate, and as unnecessary. In a human sacrifice to a deity there might at least be a mistaken and terrible beauty; in the rites of the money-changers, where greed, laziness, and envy were assumed to move all men's acts, even the terrible became the banal.

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