Thursday, March 03, 2005

Bookman’s Speech - Because everyone should have a copy

You took this book out in 1971. Yeah, '71. That was my first year on the job; bad year for libraries; bad year for America, hippies burning library cards, Abby Hoffman telling everybody to steal books. I don't judge a man by the length of his hair or the kind of music he listens to. Rock was never my bag. But you put on a pair of shoes when you walk into the New York Public Library, fella!

Let me tell you something funny-boy. You know that little stamp, the one that says ‘New York Public Library’? Well that may not mean anything to you, but that means a lot to me. One whole hell of a lot!

Sure, go ahead, laugh if you want to. I've seen your type before; flashy, making the scene, flaunting convention. Yeah, I know what you're thinking. Why's this guy making such a big stink about old library books? Well, let me give you a hint, junior. Maybe we can live without libraries, people like you and me; maybe.

Sure, we're too old to change the world, but what about that kid sitting down opening a book right now, in a branch at the local library and finding drawings of pee-pees and wee-wees on the Cat in the Hat and the Five Chinese Brothers? Doesn't HE deserve better?

Look. If you think this is about overdue fines and missing books, you'd better think again. This is about that kid's right to read a book without getting his mind warped! Or ... maybe that turns you on Seinfeld; maybe that's how you get your kicks; you and your good-time buddies.

Well I got a flash for yah joy-boy; party-time-is-over. You got seven days Seinfeld. That is one week!

You'd better not screw up again Seinfeld, because if you do I'll be all over you like a pit-bull on a poodle!

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