The American Library Association is trying to find ways to make libraries more accessible to the digitard generation that plays video games and surfs the net all day, but who can't figure out how to use a library catalogue or follow the argument in a book. In keeping with this era, they're pitching it as a case in which the ''digital natives'', namely real-world illiterates, are averse to dealing with their intellectual inferiors, namely people who are still able to read and understand books. And, glory be, they're actually trotting out that old anti-intellectual lie about librarians, and anyone who can read for that matter, being a bunch of Ivy Tower Snobs.
“The librarian as information priest is as dead as Elvis,” Needham said. The whole “gestalt” of the academic library has been set up like a church, he said, with various parts of a reading room acting like “the stations of the cross,” all leading up to the “altar of the reference desk,” where “you make supplication and if you are found worthy, you will be helped.”
Yeah, what a bunch of assholes. Incidentally, can anyone relate to that bizarre analogy? Have any of you ever been in a library and thought to yourself ''Man, this place is just like a Catholic church"?
I've actually spent much of my life in libraries and have yet to meet the battle axe librarian of lore. In fact, I've found that libraries are generally completely open with their ''information'' and bend over backwards to help their patrons. However, the IT professionals who comment on the article with bullying drivel about the supposed ''irrelevance'' of anyone whose skill set might be different from their own come across as the real snobs here. Why do calls for ''democratization'' always require us to find some group that isn't sufficiently ''democratic'' and scapegoat them? Maybe the ''digital natives'' just aren't very well educated- why are we so afraid to state the obvious that we need to hide it behind these flattering euphemisms?