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My Little Pony: Micro-Series: #1: Twilight Sparkle: 02/01/18
My Little Pony: Micro-Series: #1: Twilight Sparkle by Thomas Zahler sums up my first library job as an MLIS holder perfectly. Twilight, the librarian princess of friendship, though this story takes place before she got her wings, has been sent by Princess Celestia to help out at the royal archive.
The archive is run by a grumpy librarian who firmly believes that the stacks should be closed. Perhaps the Canterlot budget is as tight as many libraries here, because the archivist doesn't seem to have any staff. She's also clearly overworked as there are stacks and stacks of books and materials everywhere. Things are being used but not re-shelved. Things are also being acquired and not processed.
I wish I could say that what Twilight Sparkle finds here is pure fantasy but the sad reality is many libraries are understaffed and working with tremendous backlogs. Just as in Twilight's case, the reasoning to continue with the status quo (rather than allocate more money) is that kids these days are reading. Research at the Pew Institute shows though that in the United States libraries are still held in high esteem and people are still using them at a fairly steady rate.
Of course Twilight manages to work things out with the Archivist and it's happy ponies all around. I'm not sure she managed to get the stacks opened to the greater Canterlot public, though. Regardless, it was an interesting, an on point look at the gap that exists sometimes between perceptions of library users by those who fund them vs. the perception of the library from those who use it.