I’m not the snazziest dresser. I wear a uniform. It’s a button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up, slacks, and dress shoes. I break barriers by wearing a sweater vest. It’s stunning. But I believe librarians should follow fashion, and not just by reading Vogue. Really, follow it. Look for the obscure corners of the fashion world that challenge you. Fashion is at the intersection of art and commerce. It is looking for ways forward while constantly recycling (honoring?) the past. It is aware of the greatness of small things and the smallness of great things. It is woven so tightly into our daily lives it is hard to notice. But we always do.
To start an irregular series of posts, I wanted to fire off a quote by Olivier Zahm from a March 2010 interview at Style.com:
To me, the Internet is just an extension of reality. It can’t replace reality. A show is a ceremony. It’s a religious ceremony with the people that really believe. You don’t go to a Comme des Garçons show if you don’t really believe in Comme des Garçons. If you don’t believe in it, you go to a baseball match, right? So it’s a ceremony. You need a ceremony, you need a master of ceremonies, and you need a few people to witness the ceremony. It’s not a dark, obscure, dangerous ceremony. But then, the Internet is just a way to expand it and open the ceremony to a lot of people who want to enter.
Libraries ought to be able to replace the word “show” with “libraries”. To make it in the 21st century, libraries have to get people to believe in the library. How do you do that? The library has to provide a special place that provides some kind of meaning. Otherwise, we just become a cheaper Amazon.com to which you must drive. We can do this, right?