^z 25th June 2023 at 7:33am

Paulette Dickerson [1], spouse and library maven, has a variety of her speeches on behalf of the local library system available online. One of those talks is entitled "Magic Wands" (see [2]). According to server logs it seems to attract significantly more readers than all the rest ... presumably including visitors who are seekers of wiccan wisdom, Harry Potteriana, or the thaumaturgical arts. Paulette's talk doesn't have anything to do with such things. Or maybe it does — in the real-world sense of "magic wands" as entities that can cause radical long-term transformations in individuals and societies.

Paulette and I were talking the other day about possible promotional activities, and I suggested a bumper sticker that says simply "Got Library?" following the lead of a milk industry advertising campaign. (But would its lawyers sue us for arrogating their intellectual property?) A civilization that invests in libraries has hopes for a better future.

Perhaps we should consider other bibliomantras. Several years ago Paulette used, to good advantage, the aphorism "Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries." But that's a bit long for a slogan, and for some it may bring to mind the earlier proverb of Gilbert Shelton's Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers underground comic of the '60s — which substitutes the word dope for libraries. I have no problem with that, but perhaps it could distract from the message?

Best of all, in the bookhouse-consciousness-raising venue, might be another tactic that Paulette has become famous for in local government circles. Remember the classic cigarette commercial "Show us your Lark pack!" from the early days of TV? Paulette, when speaking before the County Council, has on occasion called upon those present in the audience to hold up their library cards. It tends to get a good response; several Councilmenbers clearly remember it and joke with Paulette about it when they see her.

And some day I envision throngs of enthusiastic readers, swaying, arms upstretched, like rock concert audiences with their lighter flames dancing above them in the darkness.

"Show us your library card!"

(see also BookHouses (14 Dec 1999), Boston Public Library (20 Jun 2002), ProudSignage (23 Apr 2003), Knowledge and Public Happiness (29 Jul 2003), ... )

TopicLibraries - TopicPersonalHistory - 2003-09-17

Hi Gang, "Thank god for librarians!" or "Books!(Batteries not needed) or "libraries! Go Anywhere For Free!"

(correlates: ExtraCurricular, OntologyRecapitulatesPhilology, BaseballLibraryFan, ...)