Lately I have been giving a lot of thought to the future of libraries - eBooks, Kindles, death of newspapers (oh! wait, that is coming tomorrow!). In fact, the webinar that I participated in today about wikis will be a great tool for some projects I am working on now.
This is all well and good, but sometimes I am caught forgetting the past. What struck me most about this fun post from the News in Print was how much I have forgotten to keep this past in mind!
And what a great past it is!
I remember watching the history channel as a child and seeing a piece on the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Great Library of Alexandria being, in my mind, the most wondrous of them all - imagining walking through those halls, browsing those books, seeing people from around the world converge in this center of knowledge. From then on I read everything I could and marveled at artistic renderings of the structure.
Passion, that is what it was. I had become passionate about the idea, place, and people of the Alexandria Library.
It is that passion and awe that I sometimes loose when I am dealing with an angry patron and a miss-shelved book or an angry patron and a late fee or an angry patron and... well, I think you get the idea.
This is just not an awe of libraries, but of bookstores too, that I struggle to maintain! A few days ago a group of students from a local elementary school reading club came in for a tour of our store. To see how fascinated they were by the less-than-impressive stacks of books and the different carts made me smile with their sincerity.
Though I have little hope of regaining that awe of hot-carts or the massive stack of Stephan King's latest, I can try to remember the awe that books inspire! Whether they are in bookstores or libraries, they are why we are here. Working with knowledge and helping others access this knowledge.
Passion for the books: that is something I will need to remember!