in General, Libraries/Info Sci

It may be hyperbole, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it

“What a vapid job title our culture gives to those honorable laborers the ancient Egyptians and Sumerians variously called Learned Men of the Magic Library, Scribes of the Double House of Life, Mistresses of the House of Books, or Ordainers of the Universe. Librarian — that mouth-contorting, graceless grind of a word, that dry gulch in the dictionary between libido and licentious — it practically begs you to envision a stoop-shouldered loser, socks mismatched, eyes locked in a permanent squint from reading too much microfiche. If it were up to me, I would abolish the word entirely and turn back to the lexicological wisdom of the ancients, who saw librarians not as feeble sorters and shelvers but as heroic guardians. In Assyrian, Babylonian, and Egyptian cultures alike, those who toiled at the shelves were often bestowed with a proud, even soldierly title: Keeper of the Books.”

~Miles Harvey, The Island of Lost Maps: A True Story of Cartographic Crime

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