Via LIS News I read this article about J.K. Rowling, the author of a series of children's novels that have somehow become the touchstone of what passes for culture in this country. I haven't read any of them, because I read only grownup books, but other librarians seem to gobble them up like chocolate, of which they might be the literary equivalent. During the annoying lead up to the release of the final (it is to be hoped) volume of the series, one couldn't escape from morons speculating on, well, whatever it is morons speculate about regarding Harry Potter. And the librarians were the worst.
Now I hope the love affair is over for all you Pottery librarians out there, because Rowling has declared war on the mainstay of our profession--the reference book. She's suing a publisher over a Harry Potter lexicon that she claims violates her intellectual property rights. I guess writing anything about Harry Potter at all is a violation of her property rights, so I hope she doesn't run across this blog and try to sue me. This reference book was written by a librarian, naturally, because who else would think anyone wanted another reference book.
As librarians, we can't tolerate this sort of behavior from mere authors. Doesn't Rowling know that the reference book is sacred to all real librarians? That we think reference books are the most important kinds of books? That if there's no reference book on the subject then as far as we're concerned the subject doesn't really exist?
It was bad enough inflicting so many tedious children's novels upon the world, but now she's gone too far! Librarians should rise up against the oppressive, anti-reference book regime that Rowling would like to see enforced. I expect the ALA to make a stand on this, to put Rowling in her place. After that, I expect librarians to boycott other Rowling works, to toss those Potter books off the shelves and into the pulp machine. We'll teach her not to mess with the librarians.