Wednesday, November 22, 2006

3204 The branch library

Today I returned my material (5 journals and 2 books) to the branch library. It's about the same distance to the main library, but I had requested a book on Indian gambling and it was being held there. When I returned my magazines I asked if it was OK, because I'd checked them out from the Main library, and the pleasant clerk assured me it was fine. Then I asked if the branch had journals that circulate, and she said, "No, we only have magazines." I asked her to clarify, and she said, only popular titles--no journals.

So I went over to the rack for a look. If you've read what I write about our public library, you know I go on and on about its hostility to the Christian faith and culture--it either ignores it completely or selects monograph titles that belittle it. This serial collection had NO Christian titles. Zip, nada, zilch. No religious titles at all. At least at the main branch there are two evangelical (they added one title since I complained a year ago), a liberal/mainline opinion title, two Jewish, and two Catholic. This community is home to three Lutheran congregations, two United Methodist, two Baptist, three Catholic, one Episcopal, two Presbyterian, two Church of Christ, one Christian/Disciples of Christ, one Congregational, one Christian Apostolic, one Assembly of God, with large numbers in the community traveling north and east to worship at Church of God, Grace Brethren, Xenos, Vineyard and various non-denominational groups with the words fellowship, Bible, community or ministry in their names.

The PL staff is alert to other needs, however. For a small branch library, the serial collection really supports the local faith in rampant consumerism and physical beauty. Allure, Body & Soul, Cosmo, Domino, Dwell, Elle, Glamor, Harper's Bazaar, Health, In Style, Lucky, More, Oprah, Shape and that title about Simple living. I think I counted 7 or 8 craft titles, maybe 9 or 10 housing/ remodeling/ decorating titles, 7 travel and leisure, and maybe 5 business and computer titles, some sports titles. Seemed to heavily cater to women's interests--unless of course, they were also believers. That part of women's lives is ignored. There was even a magazine on adoption, which I don't think I'd seen at the main library.

The book collection--at least what was on the shelves--seemed a better balance than the main library, with just a few of the hostile titles I wrote about a few days ago.


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