Tuesday, March 28, 2006

!Viva la Revolucion!

When my communist takeover of the library system is complete and library pages throughout the county spray-paint templates of my image on their book trucks a la Che Guevara, here's the first change I'm going to make. No longer will we refer to the folks who come through our doors as "customers." They're patrons, dammit.

I don't know when this insidious sub-Orwellian decree was handed down from whatever administration, but I can guess what inspired it. Just like other institutions like schools and churches, somebody thought we should start running libraries on the "business model." Well, just like public schools, for example, I don't believe the public library is a place where money is to be exchanged for goods and services, with the possible exception of those folks who run up outrageous fines, many of which I secretly clear from their records if the offenders are nice enough to me or if they look like their meager funds could better be spent elsewhere.

In any case, I don't want to degrade these people by calling them mere "customers." The library is about the only place I can think of where a CEO, a smelly homeless guy, the President of the United States, and my mom can all go and basically be treated the same way. Not in the justice system, not in a church, and not in a hell of a lot of retail outlets either. And I'm not retailing anything to these people, either, so any administrators who talk about "customer service" in here can save the misplaced corporate jargon.

When an 80-something-year-old woman who lives on food stamps and Social Insecurity donates her once-read paperbacks to the library like the old woman in the Biblical parable who gives a far greater percentage of her meager possessions as compared to any rich old bastard, that old woman isn't a "customer." She's a patron.


Blogger Adjective Queen said...

Libraries truly are the great equalizer. I absolutely believe in what we are doing here.

Too bad there are so many people out there who want to destroy the institution. Like Sally Kern. Hate her!

10:24 AM  

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