Wow. So I'm reading this article about the privatization of some libraries by L.S.S.I. which is actually in support of the idea. I'm a librarian so of course I'm not exactly pleased with what he has to say but it's an interesting perspective nonetheless. But what gets me are the comments (big surprise). Reason.com is apparently a primarily libertarian community/site and so such an article and supporting comments are of course expected. But wow...
"I hope you enjoy reading all those books paid for with BLOOD MONEY! I'd love to have back the money STOLEN from me at gunpoint on a monthly basis to provide free books to a bunch of FREELOADERS, while the local Barnes & Noble, which I really do enjoy going to is having a very hard time staying in business." [link]
"I got fired from the LFPL. They said my "personality didn't fit being a librarian". Bastards." with the reply "So you were hard-working and industrious?" [link]
"Librarians shouldn't be paid $40k/year to do what someone at Barnes and Noble get's $8/hr to do." [link] (This from someone who claims to be a librarian. Not sure I would pay him $40k/a if all he does is an $8/hr job.)
"...I don't care much for the unions listed as associations." (regarding SLA, from the same "librarian" above) [link]
"The big thing that gets me is the racket the ALA is running. They force all libraries to demand their employees have masters degrees from ALA accredited schools but gloss over the fact that working in a library does not demand masters level skills of anyone (basically, does it require a masters to use google?)." [link] (Another librarian apparently.)
"I also worked in a public library when I was a teen, and again briefly after college, and I can say without reservation that the typical library patron is a well-to-do, middle-aged or older woman who is too damn cheap to buy her own Judith Krantz novels." [link]
And the list goes on.
I guess I've been a bit sheltered from this pocket of passionate hatred towards libraries and librarians (mostly public libraries). I don't think much of this is very well argued or well founded but it's obviously out there.
Also, despite what most of the commenters seem to claim, I don't think they are true libertarians but rather pure capitalists/consumerists and anti-free-riders. Perhaps I'm mistaken but this doesn't sound like simple libertarianism but extreme examples of those who "value their freedom". In fact, many of the comments, taken to their logical result would suggest that no government function or communal activity be allowed at all. Anarchy anyone?
[ A response to "As Someone Who Worked in a Public Library as a Teenager..." from reason, discovered thanks to a tweet from Trevor A. Dawes ]