Computers At The Library: A Cautionary Tale

  Once there was a library that had all sorts of wonderful books. The library patrons loved the books more than anything else until one horrible, fateful day when –DUN DUN DUNNN– the library got some new-fangled computers.

The computers were big bad bullies and said all sorts of unkind things to the books. “Books are obsolete,” they cried. “Books are boring! Books are not hip!”

All the patrons were in awe of the shiny computers, and agreed with them. Who cared about books? Who even read books anymore? Nevermind how often books had been there for them over the years. Nevermind that libraries were all about books and that the books themselves had always been a source of fine, fun entertainment.

“Computers are awesome!,” the patrons yelled. “Only computers matter!” 

Time passed, and soon the books were all but forgotten. The sad books tried over and over again to get the attention of children, teens, adults and senior citizens alike to no avail. Finally, and with much sorrow, most of the books left until only the reference collection remained behind because they were too old to go outside.

The books wandered around in a large, sad group until they were taken in by a giant shredder disguised as a marketing agent for a big publishing company. The shredder was wearing a trenchcoat and fedora at the time, and he offered to help them by giving them new covers.  

The shredder was a diabolical monster! He was evil and vicious and worse than even the shiniest computer, but those kind, trusting books remained oblivious to his wicked ways. Every night that sadistic shredder would tell one book he’d arranged a press conference, and they would go out. Once they got away from the house, the shredder would reveal his true self. He would secretly devour that one book instead of helping him or her, and then tell the other books that the book had gone on to better things elsewhere.

Back at the library, the librarians put up missing signs for all of the books. The signs covered every flat surface of the library, but still no one noticed. They didn’t even notice the librarians’ tears of distress!

One day a little girl saw these signs hanging up outside. She realized that she missed the books, and started going around asking the other patrons about them. Soon those computer-addicted patrons realized they missed the books too.

Even the computers felt terrible. Sure they didn’t like the books all that much, but the library is where books live. Besides, they were only bullying the books because the books seemed so much cooler than they could ever be.

The little girl scolded the computers and the library patrons for being so heartless. They all felt terrible. How could they have been so blind? Why did they only go to the library to print out random e-mails when the books relied on them so much for love and support? 

“Oh, what a terrible misunderstanding!” everyone sobbed. “Oh, those poor books!”

Well, while they were feeling sorry for the books and themselves, the little girl used a computer some directories from the reference section to find the books. Armed with book-smarts and book love, the little girl arrived just in time.

She kicked the giantic shredder and then she unplugged him right before he could start to eat yet another picture book for lunch. The books all thanked her, and she told them how much they meant to her and to everyone. The books agreed to come back because books are very forgiving.

The little girl and the surviving books returned to the library. Everyone rejoiced and apologized. Even the computers saw the error of their ways, and began to treat the books with the respect shredder survivors deserve. 

From that day forward, the patrons resolved to love the books just as much as they love computers. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that after awhile they loved those books a little bit more.

The end.

 The moral of the story: When going to a library, for crying outloud, please consider the books every once in awhile!

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About April

I'm a librarian, reader, and writer whose main goal in life is to be able to swim in books the way Scrooge McDuck swims in money. Although my reading choices will always be wildly eclectic and I never plan on leaving any genre unexplored, my favorite reads tend to be Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Gay Romance, or Historical Fiction. You can e-mail me at inspector[dot]librarian[at]gmail[dot]com.
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