Far from being hallowed marble halls they are lively, active, dynamic places where people make real change in their lives. See for yourself: Modern libraries are dynamic, diverse, exciting centers of social change.
The bottom line is libraries and the institutions associated with them are predictable and convenient targets for anyone taking an axe to a government budget. While the services they provide are vital, they're relatively invisible to the powerful.
Libraries across the nation, large and small, north and south, east and west, are getting hit as low-hanging fruit in budget battles everywhere. Fortunately we have very loud supporters like Henry Rollins and EveryLibrary.
The sounds of libraries today reveal the impact of libraries throughout our lives -- from the excited giggles of toddlers in storytimes to the "aha's!" of young people engaged in inquiry to the quiet conversations of senior citizens discovering new authors and using computers to research.
With increased focus on sharing of collections, consortial delivery programs, and collaboration amongst libraries in identifying and preserving print runs and last copies, the academic library is changing dramatically.
Libraries across the country are participating in a nationwide campaign called "Geek the Library" which seeks to spread awareness about the vital role libraries play in their communities and how they are funded.
The controversy surrounding the New York Public Library's Central Library Plan has recently gained steam. What is most important is that the plan receives the educated public debate it deserves -- debate that has scarcely yet occurred.
Ten years from now will our children or grandchildren even know what a bookstore was? I live on Long Island, and we no longer have a major chain bookstore within ten miles of our home. I'm talking about Long Island, a highly populated are, not somewhere in the middle of nowhere.
Find a librarian at SXSW Interactive -- there are going to be a lot us there. Your perceptions and expectations of the profession will be challenged. There is a good chance that the librarian you meet will be much cooler than you expect.
If you spend five minutes peeking into the world of children's books and librarians, you are bound to find yourself on Betsy Bird's blog. The youth materials specialist for New York Public Library is a powerhouse and defies any librarian stereotypes you might have.
It's the weight of the book that calms me, the feel of the paper under my fingertips as I turn the page that grabs me. This pleasure is sharpened by understanding that what I love at this moment has only been loaned to me. I can possess it fully, but temporarily.