The Old Checkout Desk, She Ain’t What She Used to Be . . .

Librarians have a lot of time on their hands nowadays, what with google searches and the internet and all.  And one suspects they have always harbored ambitions to do more than hush noisy patrons and dust neglected tomes.  Unlike Prospero in Shakespeare’s Tempest, their library was not, it seems, “dukedom large enough,” so they have gone SJW in a big way (see here).

Here’s another item to add to our dossier.  This past Thursday we were invited to visit the library and check out a “human book” from the “human library.”  One was not allowed to take these humans home, and was strongly warned against writing in their margins or breaking their spines, but one could check them out “for 30 minute conversations.”

All of this is run by an “worldwide” outfit called, funnily enough, Human Library, which you can check out here.

Here are their featured “titles”:

Young Single Mother, Unemployed, Refugee, Polyamorous, Naturalist, Muslim, Molested, Homeless, Sexually Abused.

Wouldn’t you like to curl up with a perfect stranger and talk about her Polyamorous lifestyle?  Well, perhaps more than you would like talking to a librarian.

Madam Librarian…Marian!

It’s a long lost cause I can never win

For the civilized world accepts as unforgivable sin

Any talking out loud with any librarian Such as Marian…

Madam Librarian.

7 thoughts on “The Old Checkout Desk, She Ain’t What She Used to Be . . .

  1. Pingback: The Old Checkout Desk, She Ain’t What She Used to Be . . . | @the_arv

  2. Pingback: The Old Checkout Desk, She Ain’t What She Used to Be . . . | Reaction Times

  3. When I taught at a cow college in Michigan in the 1990s, I used to tell students jokingly that on occasions when I wanted to be free of them, I would go to the library. On my Upstate New York campus, the library is regularly thronged by students although reading books in search of knowledge and wisdom seems not to be their reason for visiting the place. More likely the attractants are the hundreds of computer terminals, the elaborate Starbucks-like coffee lounge, and the private “study rooms” that can be checked out for God-knows-what purpose. The librarians dress like the students, which is to say that generally they are drabs and slobs.

  4. A while ago Dr. Bertonneau said that writing a candid autobiography can be a salutary exercise — of the moral imagination, I think he meant.

    Some of us might do well to write, if only for our own reflection, memoirs of libraries we knew when libraries were good places to browse, to search, to self-educate. Probably that’s not a common experience any more, which might make it all the more worthwhile for some who do remember such things. My hunch is that some Orthospherical regulars might have it in them to write pieces of this type that would be good reading for others. If this sounds merely like wallowing in self-indulgent nostalgia, I’d say that I don’t think it needs to be. It may be a way of prompting our own gratitude, and, for some readers, of adding a good vicarious experience to their own.

  5. Heh. There’s a sci-fi book out there in which clones with injected personalities and memories are lent out of libraries. A Borrowed Man I think it’s called. We moderns can do the same but without all the fictional claptrap.

    • I could see it if the people one checked out would be agreeable companions. This “Human Library” outfit seems to specialize in school marms and scolds.


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