What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Friday: Green living.

06 January 2017

Small Forest, Slightly Processed

There's some book news doing the rounds this week (two Facebook friends have already sent me links to two different articles, so at least I know I'm known for being bookish as well as bikeish) about a library in Florida that created a dummy account to check out books, so that less-checked-out but still-beloved books wouldn't be culled based on a software algorithm.

Y'all. Can we talk about how crazy this is? Librarians are highly skilled professionals in a competitive field--if they aren't good at what they do, they don't last long. Why on earth would you hire someone with that much knowledge and then use automation instead of their professional judgment? The article I linked above makes a comparison to teachers, to which I can only say: Yes! Let's get back to treating experts in their fields as experts in their fields and stop second-guessing them every step of the way until they throw up their hands in frustration at not being able to do the job they were trained and hired to do.

That's not actually what today's post is about. Instead, I want to praise libraries more generally, for the earth-friendly, budget-friendly, people-friendly intuitions that they are. I'm sure it's no secret that I love libraries even more than I love theatres, and utilize their services a lot more frequently. (Although I've never once asked a librarian for an autograph. Clearly, I've been doing it wrong.) Support your local library, y'all. PLEASE. The range of services that a library offers is invaluable, and I started to make a list of just the things I've done at the library this week but it got too long for one sentence. Suffice to say, they've been invaluable in both my job search and my sanity preservation for these last nine months especially. And I'm just one person--multiply my experience by millions of people using these spaces every day. We need our libraries.

And, of course, since it's earth-loving day here at Cheekyness, keep in mind that me sharing one of 10 copies of a book with the other 300,000 folks who live in Cincinnati requires far fewer trees than every one of us running out and buying a copy. Multiply that by every library in the country and that's a lot of forest-saving.

I know there are many folks who prefer to own every book they've read. If that's you, fine. Thanks for supporting authors this way. But if you can't buy a copy of every book you want to read (and I can't!), you know who else supports authors by buying their books? The library. And when you check a book out, you're letting them know that you like that book and they should keep it in circulation, and perhaps buy more copies. No less a person that John Green says so.

Speaking of circulation--one final thing before I go, and it's a thing I just learned this week. It's not just about books that are checked out, it's also about ones that are read in-house. So, if you pick up a book off a library shelf and read it without checking it out, don't put it back on the shelf! Put it on one of the carts designated for that purpose throughout the library, so the library staff can note it was used before returning it to its proper spot. This helps with their funding and their justification to keep a book that may seem like it's not getting a lot of action. If you put a book back, the library has no way of knowing how many pairs of eyes were on it.

See the full Tumblr post here.
In short: Libraries are vortexes of awesome innocently plunked down in the middle of neighborhoods. If you haven't been to one in a while, it's time to find out what you're missing. Let's show our libraries we have their backs as much as they have ours.

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