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CATALOGING ARROGANCE:
LIBRARIANS VICTIMS OF SUPERIORITY OF THE PRESENT

By Frederick Meekins
March 22, 2001

Christian author C.S. Lewis once remarked that the modern mind often suffers from a condition known as "chronological snobbery". By this, he meant the tendency of many living in this era to dismiss the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of the past in favor of the temporally immediate.

One might hope that schools, and especially libraries, exist in part to combat this intellectual disorder. Yet it turns out that our educational institutions may rank among the key culprits propagating this condition.

From an article appearing in the Gazette newspapers of Maryland, one can conclude that suburban Maryland school librarians number among those suffering from a particularly virulent form of the disease and seem quite eager to spread it to susceptible young minds.

A study conducted by a professor at Western Maryland College found that science and technology books on school library shelves around the state are on average 20 years old.

Romona Kerby, the Professor heading the study, told the Gazette, "Old science books don't make sense. A book that's 11 years old is very old to a 10 years old child."

One usually expects such pea-brained malarkey from professors. However, the climate of opinion is little improved among the frontline educators charged with teaching America's youth.

One media specialist (the politically correct term for librarian these days) at a Maryland elementary school told the Gazette, "Especially in science and technology, you shouldn't have a book that's more than five years old."

Such statements are rife with the same kind of misinformation these librarians would rail against had it been found in one of the offending aged texts.

Knowledge does not change that much over time. George Washington continues to cross the Delaware regardless of the publication date. And while science continues to make astonishing advancements, the world doesn't change to such an extent every five years that library shelves have to be purged like Stalin's politburo.

It would also seem that in certain ways these educators are as academically fickle and slanted as their Soviet counterparts.

These scholastic bibliomaniacs would have us believe that a perfectly good book published in 1996 ought to be tossed out with the rubbish for promoting outdated ideas on par with the Ptolemaic geocentric model of the solar system.

The branch chief for school library services at the Maryland State Department of Education reminds us, "You hate to get rid of books, but you don't want misinformation on the shelves."

But is it misinformation modern educators won't countenance or merely those ideas standing in opposition to the system's agenda of secular humanism? For there is little effort to expunge or even correct the false information that happens to solidify the perspectives favored by liberal curriculum specialists.

Sam Donaldson broadcast a piece on "20/20" a while back --- well within the arbitrary five-year timeframe invoked by the school media specialists as sacrosanct --- exposing the ludicrous information found in many textbooks. One American History text gave more coverage to Marilyn Monroe than George Washington.

Seems students might be better off reading the older books. At least that way they would be acquiring the knowledge necessary to comprehend their rights and freedoms as citizens. But then again, maybe that's why certain educators want the older books off the shelf; after all, an ignorant citizen is an easier controlled citizen.

The hypocrisy regarding the acceptability of certain brands of inaccurate knowledge while wailing like a banshee over "day old" books is no where as evident as in regards to the topic of evolution.

The evidence presented in favor of evolution is proof that some information does not evolve with the increase in understanding.

Regardless of whether they were published in 1971 or 2001, most biology texts used in public schools contain drawings depicting the stages of human embryonic growth which Darwinists claim show the fetus migrating through the phases of evolutionary development from that of a fish, through other animal forms, up to that of a human being.

This idea is known as "recapitulation". It makes a cute story for the evolutionist, kind of like that of the dogwood blossom for the Christian. However, it is a total fraud and has less business in a science classroom than a reasoned consideration of creation theory.

Do we hear the enlightened gatekeepers of humanity's bibliographic heritage calling for a bonfire to protect gullible young minds from the horrors of these incorrect assumptions?

Students should have access to whatever legal information they desire and that their parents deem appropriate for them.

However, it doesn't have to necessarily come from the school library. Alternative venues such as public libraries, the Internet, the Discovery Channel, and (gasp) even public television exist. Just how advanced must children's books be to begin with? They serve as brief introductions to general knowledge, not as exhaustive dissertations on quantum mechanics.

And if teachers are unable to supplement information regarding breaking developments in fields such as History, Current Events and Geography, that speaks more to the sorry state of contemporary the teacher than as a barometer of bibliographic decay.

Another school librarian arrogantly boasted, "Students couldn't possibly be getting any information from a book that's 27 years old." Hopefully, within this specified span of time, these appalling attitudes displayed by these alleged preservers of mankind's literary accomplishments will also become part of the forgotten past.


Copyright 2001 by Frederick B. Meekins

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