or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk


Reference Question of the Week – 7/1/12

   July 7th, 2012 Brian Herzog

Dorf's Golf Bible coverA patron called asking about videos to rent*. My standard reply in this situation is to ask for the the title the patron is looking for - to my surprise, she replied:

I'm not exactly sure, but I think it's "The Midget Bible."

I had no response to this. Luckily, the patron followed it up with,

Tim Conway was in it.

Ah, I bet she was talking about the Dorf on Golf videos. A quick search for dorf bible showed the title is Dorf's Golf Bible.

Unfortunately, we don't have it in the catalog - actually, there were no Dorf videos in our consortium at all. She was a little sad, but not entirely surprised. I, on the other hand, got to speculate on the other possibilities for a "Midget Bible" for the rest of the day.

 


*I know it's kind of just semantics, but people using the term video bothers me (and not just because it's ambiguous). But even moreso when people talk about "renting" things from a library. I think they know what they mean, but I believe that thought can follow speech, and not speaking accurately can lead to thinking inaccurately. But, I'm like that.



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Google is not The Way to Salvation

   June 24th, 2010 Brian Herzog

I passed this church sign while walking around Ottawa:

Google Church Sign

I'm used to hearing the "Google is not as good as libraries" rhetoric, so it was funny to see another profession facing the same struggle. By the way, Bibles in my library are shelved at 220.5/Bibl - maybe our slogan should be, "find a library, find your way."



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How Sexy Is Your Bible?

   March 11th, 2010 Brian Herzog

Princess Bible book coverHere's another one of those coincidences with the same topic popping up in different contexts throughout the day.

On my way in to work one day last week, I heard a story on the radio (via the BBC) talking about how children are becoming more sexualized. I wouldn't have thought this was possible, but the report described how, for decades, society has told little girls that they need to be thin and pretty. But recently, society has ramped up this message, telling them they need to be thin and pretty and sexually-attractive to boys. It seemed to say that now it's not just about looks, but that sex appeal is also required.

Later at work, our Teen Librarian asked me if I'd heard of a "princess bible." I hadn't, so I looked it up, and sure enough they are for sale. Our reactions were the same, and echoed the point of the radio show earlier: isn't this an odd mixture of religion and sassy sexy self-image?

Not necessarily, of course, because I know my niece likes Disney princesses, and that is totally innocent. Perhaps I'm just being over-sensitive on the little girl sex angle. Maybe it's just the marketing gimmicky feel of it I don't like - it seems akin to using a cartoon camel to peddle cigarette to children. I guess I just question what this princess message is trying to appeal to in young girls - and whether that should be necessary to sell Bibles. It seems a bit at odds with the pious modesty of Christianity.

Interestingly, this book appears in WorldCat.

And just for a counter-point, BoingBoing reports that Campus atheists offer free porn in exchange for Bibles. I guess there's more than one way to connect religion and sex.



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