Free Libraries Equal Free Minds (via @mikecane)

@mikecane is one of those people who reads ematerial that is archived (and free) and then blogs about it to share it with the world. (He’s a very interesting dude and I recommend his blogs. One of his recent posts is called Free Libraries Equal Free Minds in which he quotes an article found in a 1905 issue of Every Where Magazine, talking about a certain Bishop Matz of Colorado condemning the Carnegie Library.

He found this rebuttal to the Bishop in The Pacific Presbyterian, v. 5


Bishop Matz of Colorado thinks the Carnegie libraries are “sinks of corruption,” where Voltaire and infidel and sensational reading is doing much damage. If Bishop Matz would tell the whole truth he would say that these libraries refused to be expurgated by the Roman hierarchy and hence war has been declared. The public libraries in many places are under the dominancy of the hierarchy. If any fuss is made about it the trustees are turned out. The public school text-books, the public libraries, the public press, in fact freedom of any kind unless it has been passed upon by the hierarchy is not tolerable. We have no doubt but that there are books in the Carnegie libraries unfriendly to the Christian religion. That is to be regretted, but Rome must learn at some time that she cannot control the thinking of the world by an edict directed against free libraries.

There are a couple of things I find interesting here. First, is the obvious…people have been expressing opinions about libraries and whether they are good or evil since the beginning of libraries and this is just one example.

Second, and more important, is that not only is there a lot of information out there and available electronically and free (and it should be free, dammit), it is our job as library staff to know about it and to do our best to provide it to the world and fight for it to be available to all.


a link to yet another post by @mikecane quoting an article about books and libraries.

The fact is, that in the years to come, the mass of literature will become so great that no man within the period of a lifetime will be able to do more than penetrate its edges.

Therefore the literary benefactor of the future will be he who is a condenser and an indexer.

The future has a problem in the way of books that we seldom consider, but which nevertheless will be a problem to the future.
— The St. Louis Censor

I remember saying this about the usenet/the internet back in the early 1990’s. Once upon a time I could keep up with every post in every newsgroup that I read.


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