Daniel J. Flynn’s grim picture of modern urban public libraries struck a chord.
It also made me think of the generations of young Jewish immigrants at the turn of the last century who found a refuge from the busy streets around them in the public libraries. There, they learned, read, and dreamed great dreams. Now, the thinker and the dreamer wants nothing more than to escape from a public library.
Incidentally, Flynn is spot on in describing San Francisco’s main branch:
In San Francisco’s main library, I witness four legs sharing a bathroom stall, a transsexual engaging herself in a heated argument, and a security guard loudly informing a fellow patron: “You can’t take your shoes and socks off in here.”
The library was built at enormous cost to the City and has ended up being a scary homeless shelter. In the beginning, the library tried to prevent this from happening by installing the most uncomfortable chairs ever know to God or man. The homeless prevailed, though, to the extent that I would never allow my kids to enter that building alone.
Fortunately, in Marin, voters save their political correctness for the ballot box, so they can visit liberalism’s ills upon others. This means that the libraries in Marin are very, very nice.