Friday, March 18, 2011

List: Libraries in Japan after the earthquake

Today’s ‘List Friday’. Last Wednesday I visited the Deloraine branch of the State Library of Tasmania, to collect books I’d ordered. The duty librarian was Russell. He’s a terrific bloke: softly- spoken, courteous, affable, knowledgeable, thoughtful. We fell, as usual, into conversation. This time about how the Tasmanian Library service will deal with the e-book issue. For example if it’ll loan out e-readers with e-books preloaded. Or if you’ll download e-books from a library server to your own e-reader. Time will tell. Libraries are more than book repositories. Much more. Arguably they’re community hubs. And when hubs break, wheels fall off. In the week – yes, only a week – since the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, we media consumers’ve been bombarded with statistics about it: The equal fourth most severe quake in history [1], a quake that changed the angle of Earth’s rotation and thus shortened each day by a millionth of a second [2]. Et cetera. The official toll of dead and missing’s over 13,000 – and still climbing [3]. These raw numbers obscure the enormity of the human tragedy. But today’s list sheets it home. Back to libraries. Last Monday darling Meg sent me this email: ‘Would you consider including a pictorial list on a Friday? Mobile phone photos of Japanese libraries after the earthquake. All of them quite eerie, I think’. Here it is [4]. Not a conventional list, but a reminder of what people in Japan are facing. ‘When hubs break…’

H/t darling Meg. xxx

2 comments:

Chrows25 aka Leather Woman said...

Thanks Meg, that is a very moving list, no pun intended.
I also want to learn about Kindles or e-books as I think next time we go to Cuba instead of lugging dozens of books a kindle for Xmas would solve that problem.

Kate said...

Thanks for today's list Meg and Dad, we were just having a discussion about how much death and destruction is appropriate for little kids to see when I saw this. I think it says so much without a horrific nightmare inducing scene in sight.