Errrrrr Libraries Much?

I am fuming.

Wikipedia is down. This is because they believe in freedom of information which apparently this new law in the US, which I don’t know anything about, will restrict. Fair enough, I too believe in open content and lack of censorship.

This isn’t what is making me angry.

I’ve just had a morning from hell. Not being able to quickly get an overview from a topic that might have only just been introduced that morning means more work for me, trying to figure out what the hell desquamation of the skin involves, or what the 2005 Children’s Act prevented. But that doesn’t make me angry either. That’s my job.

It’s the Guardian. The bloody Guardian; my rock, my home-from-home, my oracle of everything that is good in the world.

The Guardian have a fair bit of stuff on the blackout, that I first heard about in yesterday’s Metro. They have this handy guide to getting around it using a smartphone or an Internet cheat. Then they is the Guardipedia, a tongue in cheek liveblog involving a journalist and a stack on encyclopedias. It’s quite funny, and a good newspaper-as-social-media idea. But only in a link to the Washington Post does it suggest the one thing that should be bloody obvious; why not use a library?

Libraries are threatened with closure all over the country. In a months time is the inaugural National Libraries Day, celebrating libraries in all sectors. It has never been cooler to be a librarian, we even got mentioned in Private Eye last week! This day is a perfect opportunity for us to show our skills, to show the value of reference libraries, of professional librarians who DON’T find research, or using indexes, or any of the other plethora of actual skills we should be teaching our children, (and that journalists really should know) ‘a nightmare’ because it is our job…

This could have been a day where librarians really shook their tail feathers, and The Guardian, who was all over last year’s Save Libraries day, should have been supporting them doing just that, not taking the mick out of research skills, no matter how lightheartedly.


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