Saturday, September 10, 2011

Citadel of Knowledge! Gateway to Learning!


"Stand by the gray stone as the thrush knocks, and the last light of the setting sun will shine upon the keyhole" A quote from the Animated version of The Hobbit. I felt that it was appropriate for the content of today's blog.

The picture above, was taken a few months ago during a trip to New York City. It is a picture of me in front of the New York Public Library Building. Let me just say that it was quite the experience being able to stand beneath the arches of such a monumental building (alas that was all I could do seeing as the library was closed that day). I know that I am being remarkably transcendentalist in saying this, but as Michael Gorman stresses, idealistic notions are not new to those in the Library and Information Fields. The library is truly an entryway or a "keyhole" into untold treasures.

On a side note this picture is from a set in my Flickr account which I just created today. I will also admit to getting carried away with the fun of creating tags and sets, and titles, and descriptions. I don't tend to do things halfway. I spent nearly all of Saturday morning exploring the options offered in Flickr and in uploading and editing pictures. It is a nice way to share beauty with the rest of the world, and I appreciated that by tagging my pictures I could maybe help others on the internet find pictures of something they were looking for. Maybe a picture that I took of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden would come up in somebody's internet image search and inspire them to visit a place that I found amazing.

On the subject of Libraries and photographs and sharing things, I can see how a photo sharing element could be a wonderful addition to a library's community presence. It could be a place where the library is personalized for patrons. It is essential in this day and age for us to be activists for the library. If by creating and advertizing a Flickr (or other similar presence) the library can show how it serves people then I think it would be very helpful. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Here is the address to my Flickr space.


  1. I went to your flickr, sooo cool. Love you lots <3

  2. I think your point that we all have to be library activists is a good one. In this day and age, where Buffalo culturals like the BECPL is receiving nothing more than politically-motivated lip service support from budget slashing conservatives, I think the multitude of apps and social networking and other Web 2.0 things will prove essential in creating a kind of 'guerilla marketing' culture. We as young library padawan learners most be proactive in the defense and promotion of our institutions--both because we'll want jobs someday surely, but also because, as you pointed out, we're a mess of idealists at heart, and idealists are the ones who become activists. After all, no one else will.

    The NYPL especially is a beautifully ideal-inspiring facade, isn't it? Whenever I stood between those two regal lions, embodiments of a great history and a greater mission, I just wanted to shake any politician or bureaucrat who thinks libraries are unnecessary to communities. Part of what sustains New York as a great city is the vibrant buzz of culture, entertainment, learning, and community that exudes from every branch of the NYPL, even under siege as it is. Every community deserves that.