Anyway, here is a link to the post that riled me: http://www.libraryjournal.com/blog/580000658/post/1590035559.html
The opening paragraph begins, "All along I've noticed that a lot of librarians resent my criticism of the lowest-common-denominator, give-'em-what-they-want, bread-and-circuses approach to public librarianship that so many librarians seem to desire. Sometimes it seems that I'm the only librarian who believes public libraries should have some sort of purpose larger and more important that subsidizing the puerile entertainment desires of the mass of people who can't afford Netfllx or videogames. Some naive people think that the masses should provide their own puerile entertainment and public institutions should contribute to the public good. "
I won't go into great length regarding why I defend puerile entertainment in the library, even though I'm a total snob in my personal life. Here's a short break-down of my argument:
- Public institutions have included entertainment as a worthwhile goal for a long time. See Parks & Rec for an example.
- Yesterday's trash is tomorrow's treasure. Charles Dickens was considered a trashy writer in his day and his work is now considered the pinnacle of Western literature. There's something to be said for the wisdom of the crowd.
- Should a publically funded institution take upon itself the role of tastemaker? An institution so closely tied to the government should be careful about declaring what has cultural worth and value and what is 'puerile' entertainment. Censorship is often framed in terms of protecting public morality.