The one after 808

Urban (we’re talking Brooklyn here) librarian Screwy Decimal sends along an entry to a “Library of the Future” essay contest, an entry that didn’t make it into the finals, but which has a definite air of finality to it. I’ll lift just this one paragraph:

The poetry section will be the cruelest area in the library. In this section there exists no blood-hungry character, but an endless maze constructed of stone bricks. There is no roof. When one looks up there is an empty black sky without a moon that never changes, in other words it will always midnight. The atmosphere will bring upon different emotions that continuously shifts as well as endless thoughts about things such as the meaning of life and the values of nature etc. In the darkness of the maze, one would hear a young girl endlessly singing a lullaby until one who is in the maze reaches the point of madness and extreme boredom. What worst is that time will flow very quickly in this area because it is not parallel to the outside world. Before one knows it, one minute in the outside world will be one hundred years in the poetry section of the library. This area will bring upon despair.

I’m betting that twenty years from now, this poor soul will be hoisting a slightly-adulterated bottle of water in the Teachers’ Lounge and grumbling about how no one appreciates Matthew frickin’ Arnold anymore.

Note: Were old man Melvil here to read this, he’d point out that those poetry anthologies should probably be shelved at 808.81, and maybe I shouldn’t be making Beatles jokes in the twenty-first century. Lotta nerve for a guy who died 80 years ago.

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