In case you haven’t been keeping up to date on library goings-on in Lawrence, KS, there’s a bit of a brouhaha about updates (and funding for the updates) to the local public library. On October 2nd, I’m guessing as a result of the brouhaha, the Lawrence Journal-World published an op-ed piece entitled “Libraries are limited, obsolete.”

There have been several responses to this incredibly narrow-minded and ill-informed (which, really, was the nicest phrase I could think of to describe it) opinion piece by: readers of the Journal-World , and the bloggers Michael Stephens and The Librarian in Black that sum up the majority of my views on this subject very nicely, and in a much more diplomatic fashion than I’m capable of, so I’ll leave that to them.

I do have to say that my favorite response was the much-deserved “dumbass” tag that the article received when it was listed in Fark on October 4th. Thumbs up.

And the stream of fantastic PR about the state of Kansas continues….

Edited to add: Since my post, Library Journal published an article about this debate, and listed John Blyberg’s blyberg.net response. After reading his blog post, I decided that, though I agree with the sentiments of the previously listed bloggers, his response gets more to the heart of the issue. Information professionals need to admit to and address the weaknesses of our profession if we can hope to respond effectively to (and, hopefully, be proactive about) public perception of who we are, what we do, and why the public should care.

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