Showing posts from September, 2013

Quietly for Good

Libraries are often thought of as quiet places.  They are quiet places where gentle people work quietly for the good of the community.  It's almost a sacred image.  For this reason, when someone finds and challenges a perceived threat to public decency among the stacks, they often expect the librarian to be as shocked as they are.  They assume the librarian will be mortified that such pestilence would have crept into their carefully tended garden while they weren't looking.  A concerned complainer rarely expects the library to defend what they had hoped to eradicate.  Yet, libraries generally stand squarely opposed to censorship of any kind.

     One might think that this is some misplaced affection for all books.  While it's true most library professionals and paraprofessionals do love books, I have seen ruthless weeding operations when room had to be cleared for new acquisitions.  It's no place to be squeamish or overly sentimental.

     One might then conclude …


Everything washes away.  Entropy is worked into the fabric of the universe.  That's not just a philosophical concept, either, but a scientific fact.  Physicists tell us that there will not only be a day when everything we know of the world is gone, but the universe itself will dissolve into aimless, drifting particles.  The good news is that before that day, we may have entropy pulling things apart, but we also have a tendency for things to come together.  There are forces at work that take up disassembled bits and reconstruct new things from them, recycling the world over and over.  Today's mountaintop may one day be part of the ocean floor, or the other way around.  Last year's flowers may feed this year's sprouts- if they weren't converted to butter by some helpful cow.

     It goes without saying that humans play a role in this continual reshuffling of the deck.  We all have an urge to build.  Putting things together, literally and figuratively, is what br…