After my adventures in job hunting, I spent some time at home, got bored with that and decided that I needed a "new" book to read. However, since my bank account is a bit woebegone, I decided to make use of the Utah State library (would have done the Logan City library, but you have to have proof of residency to get a card and I haven't received any mail to legitimize myself - if you'd like to donate to the cause, please send me a private note and I'll send you my mailing address - like I'd post that on the internet... pfffttt...)
Okay - so a word about college libraries: they are not friendly to the public. It's not like you can go browse shelves and pick out something fun to read. If you're trying to find something by, say, Ayn Rand - you have to wade through all the craptastic literary criticisms written about her works (because heaven forbid we would actually want to read Atlas Shrugged for ourselves ... what, you think this is an institution of higher learning or something?) Oh, but you can definitely find plenty of the "white-Western-civilization-'let's be tolerant'-majority-hatey" books. That's true academia (oh look, my dinner just came up my throat and onto your Birkenstocks...)
(I hate literary criticism, by the way. It's just a bunch of angry old hippies that never got anything of their own published so they have to rip on people who actually wrote something of value.)
Anyway, just reflecting on why we need libraries and I was reminded starkly of this as I was on the library catalog looking up where they stashed the Ayn Rand books (side note: they'd all been checked out, which tells you something about the students here). Right next to me was a vegetable glued to FanFiction.net reading some Star Trek fan fiction. I can't be sure, but I'd guess he'd been there a while.
Oy - that is why I want to become a librarian. To make books fun for people. It sounds trite and cliche, but why can't we open up the classics to everyone? And even some new classics that don't get the time of day from some people (Lois Lowry, anyone?) Maybe inspire them to come up with their own stories.
Fan fiction does not count - sorry, fellow geeks, but I've tried to enjoy fan fiction, but all it succeeds in doing is melting the brain cells that holds any respect for the series in question. Some fan fiction is so bad that said brain cells leak out of my ears, never to be replaced again. Sort of why my interest in Animorphs died off ... that and the fact that you can just tell when even the author is getting bored with some of their own material.
Not that I'm 100% opposed to all fan fiction - I'm willing to give quality material my attention. Sad part is, I haven't found anything of quality. So, I'm 99.9999% opposed to all fan fiction.
(See this Strong Bad cartoon for my general feelings toward fan fiction - it comes after the commentary on fan clubs.)
[Wow - I got severely off-topic there.]
My point: make your future librarian-type-person-friend happy - go read a book. Educate yourselves because no one is going to do it for you.