Jan 2, 2007

Libraries: Much ado about nothing

WaPo breathlessly reports that the Fairfax County, Virginia libraries are taking classics off the shelves and replacing them with cheap mass market paperbacks.
You can't find "Abraham Lincoln: His Speeches and Writings" at the Pohick Regional Library anymore. Or "The Education of Henry Adams" at Sherwood Regional. Want Emily Dickinson's "Final Harvest"? Don't look to the Kingstowne branch.

It's not that the books are checked out. They're just gone. No one was reading them, so librarians took them off the shelves and dumped them.

The keyword here would be branch. The Fairfax County library system has, in fact, nine copies of "Abraham Lincoln: His Speeches and Writings." It just doesn't have any at the Pohick branch. But you can log onto the catalog online, request the book and pick it up at the Pohick Branch.


You can also get five copies of the 1996 Modern Library edition of the Henry Adams book, or four copies of the 1990 Vintage edition. Or you can get it as an audiobook.


Likewise, there are 15 copies of Emily Dickinson's "Final Harvest" available.


Bad MSM for hysterical reporting. Foolish bloggers For taking WaPo at its word. These library stories are hardy perennials: Sometimes it's a library's purported refusal to stock a right-wing tome; other times it's the slashing and burning of books belonging to the canon. These things can always be checked by looking at the library's online catalog. And almost always the story is wrong.

Via memeorandum.

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