Data Obsessed

The weblog of an almost-librarian interested in special, corporate, and government librarianship, with occasional forays into technology and anime-related geekiness.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

in lieu of the requisite Banned Book Week post...

(though if you are particularly interested in that sort of thing, I recommend reading what Jessamyn at Librarian.net has to say on the subject.)

Here is an interesting article from the New York Times about Emory University receiving what is apparently the definitive 20th century American poetry collection. To be honest, I'm not particularly big on poetry - I think I wrote a poem in the fourth grade for a PTA Reflections contest, and I did Verse Reading my freshman year of high school (everyone else: Sylvia Plath. Me: Walt Whitman). But other than that, poetry has never been a huge thing for me.

I do find it rather amazing, however, that someone would love something so much to build this kind of collection for it, and I love this quote about Raymond Danowski's experiences and what drove him to do this:

"The corridors were lined with books, and there were reading rooms with large tables, and windows looking out on trees, sometimes a tennis court," Mr. Danowski said. "There were a lot of students working there, and those of us doing the shelving, we'd push carts around and then we'd disappear and start reading. I'd read for an hour and then get caught, and go back to shelving, and then find another place and read."

It was the first time, he said, that he understood books to be a sanctuary.

"When I decided to create this collection, as I found the books, I was shelving them in my mind," he said. "It was an imaginary library, based on the Burgess-Carpenter experience. It was really like being a librarian in my dreams."


Maybe that's something librarians need to be sure they remember - that we're the curators, and sometimes the creators, of other people's sanctuaries.

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