105 'Useless' Librarians

Manila Bulletin, July 28, 2005 | Go to article overview

105 'Useless' Librarians


HAVING been accredited by the Professional Regulatory Commission, 105 librarians, just like 101 Dalmatians, make us wonder what to do with them? Their only possible employment lies with Powerbooks, National Book Store, and all other book companies which probably have more books than all the public libraries in the country.

I exaggerate, of course. After all, theres the Library of Congress which used to have a writer-in-residence, though unlike its US counterpart, it doesnt have a writer (or national poet) as librarian. The only problem is that our congressmen obviously have no use for libraries, let alone librarians. Let alone for literacy, as can be gleaned from the language of legislative measures.

Of all the items in the national budget, that of libraries is the most niggardly. As I recall, during my stint with government, every time "austerity" was announced, the first cut was on the purchase of books. This is consistent with the habit of regularly cutting the funds for state schools.

The mania for privatization throws public institutions of learning at the mercy of "market forces. …

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105 'Useless' Librarians
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