Once upon a time, in a far away land called Redmond, I was a school librarian.
As a school librarian I would often write reviews about the books that I acquired for the library and post them on the Web. I did my best to give my honest opinion, always from the prospective of a librarian in charge choosing appropriate books for the students of the school.
The filter for purchasing books used in schools is quite different than that used in public libraries. School librarians are more focused on the particular needs of the school population, and thought has to be given to what is needed to support the curriculum. Public librarians must purchase for a much broader audience.
So I happily wrote my reviews, always stating that I was a librarian in a K-12 christian school.
When I left the school I gave up the account I was using to post the reviews. But I did set it up so that I’d be notified if anyone left a comment on one of my reviews. Out of curiosity.
I just received a comment on a review I wrote in 2008 about The Loud Silence of Francine Green by Karen Cushman.
Nothing like posting a comment on something written five years ago!
The comment is a perfect example of the problem many people have when they post things on the web. The distance created by the digital world often loosens tongues in a way that is beneficial to no one.
Chances are that if I met the woman (it’s a woman’s name, although that means nothing) face-to-face she probably would not be quite so bitter that I wrote a good review about a book that she obviously dislikes.
I’m also pretty sure she wouldn’t accuse me of brainwashing children to hate God by promoting the book.
Me, all my librarian buddies, and most schools, by the way. We are all alike, according to her. Bent on destroying the world, one child at a time.
As I said, I gave up the account so I can’t respond back. I don’t really know if I would anyway. What would be the point.
It’s obvious that she is of the mindset that a book about a subject must be promoting it.
I guess she thinks we all live in a vacuum and none of us have ever been motivated to talk about something we’ve seen, or heard, or read about.
Oh, well. I can only hope that one day she reads something that inspires her to think a little harder about a subject she had formerly taken for granted.
Then she’ll get it.