Why the Empty Shelf?

25 Oct

Mass Borrow at Newport Library

I chose a name that could be interpreted in several ways. The title is partially inspired by the collective action of library members from the Isle of Wight, who staged a “borrowing protest” that emptied the shelves of a local library that was under threat of closure. In this instance the absence of books was an indicator of the high demand for professionally operated and well-funded library services. You can find out more about the protest here:

Mass Borrow at Newport Library

As a student of librarianship, I liken myself to the empty shelf, free(ish) from preconceived ideas about what it will be like to enter the profession, open to ideas, ready to watch, listen and contribute. I will also try to stretch the metaphor further and, apply it to the current state of real world libraries where physical collections are diminishing and being replaced by virtual shelves of material. Another manifestation of the empty shelf.

P.S. There are no empty shelves in my home, or any empty cupboards, suitcases, boxes or drawers.

2 Responses to “Why the Empty Shelf?”

  1. keith donovan October 30, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    This entry reminds me of when we moved all the books required into the main library. The first library at Monash was the Hargraves library, which became the Science/ Engineering library, once we moved the majority of books over to where the current library is. It took weeks, but it provided useful pocket money over Christmas. I fell in love with a librararian there but she was much too old for me and worse she was married.

    • Aspirant Librarian October 30, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

      Hi Dad,

      That is why I entered the profession, so all my patrons can fall madly in love with me.


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