Did you hear about the gutless public library administration that didn’t tell the corporate sponsors of a non-library event in their city to fuck right off? I shared it on Vagabondscrawl already today, but it always takes a while to show up there from Google Reader. It also made me mad enough to talk about here. So here you go:
[**Bookninja says: Libraries in Vancouver should tell Olympics, and spineless bosses, to “fuck off”**](http://www.bookninja.com/?p=6807) The corporate assholes at the Vancouver Olympics, through the spineless leadership of the Vancouver library system, [have instructed city librarians to not only not use products and services by competitors of official Olympic sponsors for Olympic-themed events, but also to cover with cloth or tape any existing infrastructure with offending brand names or logos](http://www.ctvolympics.ca/about-vancouver/news/newsid=25635.html). I’d say I’m speechless but, given the headline, I think I’ve got my response down.
Libraries should not be beholden to that kind of shit. Did you hear about the Sam Katz sponsored idiocy they’re planning to try in Winnipeg? Corporate naming rights to anything and everything, including library books. Maybe if someone wasn’t so fucking horny for a helicopter, the library would be able to get books that qualified librarians chose rather than whatever someone wanted their name in. I don’t know if that will actually affect any sort of buying decisions. How would I possibly know? But I don’t want to see libraries quietly fold and become part of the corporate bullshit pervading our society. That’s why I’m going to library school next year, inshallah.
A while back I read a book (which it appears I didn’t review here) called Revolting Librarians Redux. It’s about how librarians are supposed to change fucking systems. To make things better. Better cataloguing, better service, just betterness, often in spite of administrations. Because really, the idea of having information provided for free, and with people to help you sort through it, is a pretty great idea. Not everyone can afford broadband internet at home and not everyone can get through all the shit that’s out there. I hate the idea that these administrations try to turn libraries into corporate-sponsored zones. Pepsi doesn’t give a shit about giving the citizens a means to be informed, unless it is being informed about Pepsi. Libraries are supposed to be better than that.
Shut up and let me be an idealist.
These stupid policies get in the way of what competent librarian folk do. And these Vancouver Olympic policies were written by a City communications flack on her own initiative. Nobody said the Olympics weren’t going to happen unless a Wendy’s logo got covered up. There is nothing at stake beyond the freedom of information to be represented at the library. She was just worried about offending the money and wanted to tell her offensive colleagues down at the library to tone it down while the adults were in town. Rolling over preemptively in case of trouble. Just in case someone might be offended by the “wrong” symbol. Which is exactly what libraries shouldn’t be doing. Moral of the story: people in offices suck.
Unrelated to anything, I heard people talking about the movie The Warriors yesterday, and I (not being involved directly in the conversation) got to say “Caaan youuu diggiiiiit?” and only one of the people involved look at me like I was insane. The other was all over that shit, and we chatted about the movie and the videogame that brought the movie to my attention. Which was pretty satisfying.angry bureaucracy corporate idealist information lskool olympics politics revolting librarians redux sam katz sponsorship the warriors vancouver vancouver public library video games winnipeg winnipeg public library