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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Impossible Dream*: the quest for the perfect library collection

One of my favorite books is Chaim Potok's The Gift of Asher Lev. Halfway through the book, the titular character, a world-famous artist, has an imaginary encounter with Pablo Picasso, who derides every aspect of the man's work and philosophy on art.  He says, in part: "You know what a painter is, Lev? A painter is a collector who wants to create a collection for himself, and he does this by painting himself the pictures he loves by other artists."

Is it just me or do some librarians approach collection development in a similar way?  Do we collect for our community, or for ourselves?  To what extent do we check our egos/feelings/opinions at the library door?  Inquiring minds want to know.

*--from Man of La Mancha; music by Mitch Leigh, lyrics by Joe Darion, libretto by Dale Wasserman. Based on Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, which was also the basis for a 1959 "straight" play by Wasserman. 1965.

PS: Happy 100th blog post!
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