Yesterday, Paul Constant sprung a mean thing on me. "Hey Matt, I have to stay at the office to finish up Strangercrombie. Would you be interested in going to the Library Board meeting?" I said yes. Stupid me. I will never get back those two hours I spent in the bizarrely uterine confines of the main library's fourth floor listening to middle-aged people spew jargon.
Let me give you samples of the bullshit I heard. "We are additive to the ecosystem of sold book products," said board member Eric Liu, in what was certainly my favorite quote of the night. Or how about, "I hate to sound so obvious, but it's increasingly important to act on the obvious." That one was from board member Dan Dixon.
Other than that, I watched an IT guy show the board members how to download ebooks to an iPad. I listened to board member Susan Hildreth, in an exercise of complete self-unawareness, defend language that would have hinted at the idea of hiring a Deputy City Librarian and talk about the virtues of raising some directors to a higher pay grade so that everyone could be on the same management level.
You know what topic didn't get covered much? The service cuts that are going to be happening at eight of the library's so-called "gateway" branches in lower income neighborhoods.
Oh, but I did learn one important thing—there are actually waiting lists for ebooks. Thanks to the "wonders" of DRM, the library actually has to buy a license for each "copy" of an ebook that it wants to "circulate." I found this so blisteringly stupid that I nearly dry-heaved.
If you have suddenly discovered an interest in Auto-Tuning Eric Liu quotes, don't worry—the board meets again next month!