Under the Trump administration, librarians will get the respect they deserve

Russian Revolutionary Era Propaganda Posters, Harold M. Fleming Papers, Manuscripts and Archives Division, New York Public Library, https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-4027-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99. Artist: N. Pomansky. Published 1919. Photoshopped.

The headline reads, “Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic. Workers of the world, unite. Day of Soviet Propaganda.” The caption reads, “Knowledge for all!” The four books behind the librarian’s peasant-booted right heel are titled History of Bondage (or History of Serfdom), Socialism, Capital, and Class Conflict, and the book behind his left elbow is titled History. The names on the pediments of the buildings are University, Academy, and Library.

Technical note: in memory of the online library

In 2012 the Emily Dickinson International Society inaugurated a series of online publications called New Directions in Dickinson Studies. Unfortunately, members of the society showed little interest and the series came to an end in 2013.

I posted an article there myself in 2012, and it’s still up on the site’s page at http://newdirectionsindickinsonstudies.org/?m=201211. However, all of its image links are now broken. To spell out what that means: it got published with peer review (good!), and fast, unlike paper publication (good!) — but now it can’t be read (as if every library that held it had burned down!). So, academic types:

do your students refuse to buy textbooks because they think everything is online?

Do your administrators say they don’t need libraries because they think everything is online?

If your answer to either of those questions is Yes, then please join me as we all say as loudly as we can, to students and administrators and Silicon Valley / Wall Street “reformers”:

There’s a moral there.

And here, a tiny dandelion timidly sprouting in the ashes of the library, is my article with its links intact.


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