can you see our culture by looking at our libraries?

For anyone who has ever contemplated the “cheeseburger in the library” dilemma [summed up thusly “If we’re just going to be everything the patrons want, why not serve cheeseburgers with our books and DVDs?”] you will enjoy
Barbarians at the Gates of the Public Library: How Postmodern Consumer Capitalism Threatens Democracy, Civil Education and the Public Good. I’m about on Chapter 5.

Soon after I had begun working for a large, urban public library in 1992 I was invited to talk with an elderly administrator who was about to retire after a long career which she began as a children’s librarian. She was aware of my previous teaching experience and in the privacy of her office she explained to me that education was not the mission of the library. “I consider myself an entertainer,” she said, “not an educator.” But in fact she taught me a great deal, because she instigated a process of reflection lasting many years in which I have tried to understand the meaning of her words. What is the difference between education and entertainment? Did entertainment replace education as the mission of the library and if so, why? [lisnews]