Tuesday, May 03, 2005

American Libraries April 2005

If you're a total geek like me, who has considered a roadtrip of 18 hours to the far corner of Spencer, Iowa for no reason but to meet Dewey Readmore Books aka the Spencer Library Cat, you like the yearly issue of American Libraries where they display pics of all the coolest libraries built in the land over the last year. The best is the new one at Johns Hopkins, which is just overwhelming in its grandeur. It's like a cathedral!

I have fewer warm thoughts about the cover library, the PS 106 Robin Hood Library in Brooklyn. Love the fact it was carved out of a reclaimed attic space. Love the warm yellow and red color scheme. Hate the questions written on the walls. "Why do we have to go to war to have peace?" "Why can't we be free?" "Why is water wet?" It's that sort of mock philosophical "out of the mouths of babes" dumbing down that pissed me off as a kid, and still pisses me off as an adult. Let kids have some dignity. Let them ask questions and give honest answers. Don't portray them as deep little naifs the adults could learn so much from.

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