A post over at the Annoyed Librarian about the upcoming book of Free for All: Oddballs, Geeks and Gangstas in the Public Library sparked a great set of comments here. Before I continue, I just have to say that I love the Annoyed Librarian. I love her writing style, and I agree with many (not all - I'm still thinking through the big discussion that's taken place over there about the purpose of the library) of her positions regarding the ALA and the library universe. As with most of the blogs I read, it's possible that I actually enjoy reading the comments even more than the entries themselves. This is probably because the Annoyed Librarian is intelligent and well-written, but several of the comments....aren't. Which leads me back to the point of this post. One of the commenters over at AL stated: "However, if your kids weren't in the public library, where would they be? In their violent public schools? In dangerous mass transit? Trolling a mall (unsupervised)? At least we provide some protection against perverts and criminals."
Really? Really? I knew librarians weren't necessarily the best at PR, but come on. That's the best you can come up with? My brain translates that statement "Yes, the library is crappy. But hey, at least we're LESS CRAPPY than the Metro or the mall!"
So I started thinking - what other fun ways can we advertise the library? I'd like to propose making posters and billboards that say things like:
Come to the library! It's better than....
....having a cat scratch your eye
....getting food poisoning
....hanging out with the crack heads down by the river
....Wal-Mart on Black Friday
....the middle school cafeteria on chili day
....churches where you have to handle live rattlesnakes
....the bathroom on a Greyhound
I'm sure I could continue, but I won't. Anybody else have any ideas?