Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Right NOT to Read

I have a confession to make. I am not in love with books. Unlike the librarian's stereotype; I do not thrill to the crack of new binding; I do not sniff the odor of old pages; and I certainly don't stay up all night under the spell of a "page turner." Don't get me wrong. Reading is fun. I do as much of it as I can find time for (all non-fiction for me). But I'm not addicted to reading. I'm more a binge reader, not reading anything for up to a year, and then reading three books in a month. For centuries, most Libraries' only strategy for confronting the non-reader was to devise ways to seduce them to start reading. Those who refused were marked up as "lost souls" and ignored. I have to ask myself, would I frequent the Kankakee Public Library if I didn't work here. I can honestly say yes. I say yes because KPL has faced up to the problem of what to do for people for which reading has not been, nor ever will be a part of their lifestyle. Through podcasts, internet service, public programming, DVD/CD circulation and online streaming of programming we've reached out to those who steadfastly resist the printed text. Libraries must understand that non-readers are a tax paying part of our service group who deserve some kind return on their dollar, without having librarians look down there nose at them. As scary as it may sound, people do have a right NOT to read.

Steve Bertrand
Assistant Director

4 Comments:

Anonymous Gilbert said...

I found some great fiction book reviews. You can also see those reviews in Non fiction

May 09, 2007 1:24 AM  
Anonymous Ellen said...

I've been a media librarian for years and I'm sick of being treated like a stepchild when my collection accounts for a huge percent of circulation. Yay for movies and music and audiobooks! People learn in different ways, and if they chose to experience stories and characters and feelings in a medium other than books that's ok.

May 13, 2007 4:48 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Actually, I have found that when users partake in the free computers and internet access, DVDs, podcasts, etc. that they end up checking out books as well. The trend starts with getting a library card JUST for internet access, and ends with getting an armful of books in fiction, non-fiction, and books for the kids.

I have people on my staff who do scoff at the people who don't check out books, but they certainly don't TREAT them that way.

People have the right to do use the library resources however they please, its for them. Yes, they have a right NOT to read. It just comes off odd reading it on your blog. It might be because I am one of these book obsessed people.

May 18, 2007 8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May I break this to you gently? Reading 3 books a month is not a "binge." Three a week might, just might, qualify. However, as a good Ref. Librarian, I must say, if reading three a month, or none a month meets your needs, enjoy.

June 19, 2007 4:12 PM  

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