Surveys about libraries

This week I was asked to participate in a phone poll about an issue on the November ballot. I assumed it would be about Proposition 8– the amendment to ban Gay marriage. Instead it was a 20 minute poll about the proposed bond for the Berkeley public library branches. It reminded me that I never actually go to the public library, which I probably should since I am a librarian. Last time I went there, it was for a homework assignment for library school and it was the first time in years I’d step foot in there. It’s a good library, but working on campus makes the main UC Berkeley library really convenient.

At the beginning of the call, the pollster asked if I worked for a media organization or local government. I don’t. Then the pollster asked about what I thought of libraries and the roll of libraries in the community. My answers seemed to surprise her, but I think I was towing library party line. Yes I think libraries are important. No I don’t think the internet makes them irrelevant. Yes people need access to books. It just went on and on.

After I hung up I told Dr. J about my guilt for never going there, and then resolved to stop in this week. Instead, I checked out Mary Barton from UC Berkeley.

All in all, it’s good that they’re going to seismically retrofit the branches. I don’t always think a bond is the best way to finance it, but the work needs to be done. I also support public libraries, and were I not to work on campus, I’d probably go to my local branch more often.

I stopped by my old study carrel today, the one I always hung out in as an undergrad. It was empty and hadn’t really changed. “The love booth” was still etched in the shelf, though it’s faded. I should take a picture of it.

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