In 1969, a young English major at Heidelberg College (nowadays, Heidelberg University) in Tiffin, Ohio, was deeply moved by the sound track of the stage musical "Hair." It included the iconic song "Age of Aquarius," which was also released as a hit single by the pop singing group The Fifth Dimension. (The title song, "Hair," was also released as a hit single by the pop singing group The Cowsills, a moment of deep disgrace in the history of 20th century American popular music which has been, thankfully, forgotten by nearly everyone.) The young English major eventually had one life-changing opportunity to see the actual stage production of Hair in Detroit, which he missed because of a family obligation. He has never forgiven his family for this. He had to content himself with seeing the movie version a few years later. It was an unsatisfactory substitute.
That young English major went on to attend the Case Western Reserve University School of Library and Information Science, which in 1974 awarded him a master's degree in library science, just to get him to leave the place. After a stint as adult services librarian at the Marion (Ohio) Public Library, he was hired as director of the Mount Vernon (Ohio) Public Library (nowadays, The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County), a position he has held, as of this writing, some 39 years. Throughout that entire time, he's had "Age of Aquarius" playing in the back of his head, off and on, at odd moments. He was finally seized with the notion that the music playing in his head was a sign from the library gods that he should proclaim a new message, a declaration to the world that, Information Super Highway or no, libraries are not dead, librarianship is not dead, and we are, in fact, just embarking upon a new era of public services aimed at bringing the entire universe of information, education, entertainment and cultural enrichment to the hungering masses.
THE AQUARIAN LIBRARIAN is our chronicle of that effort, a space in the blogosphere for news, commentary, special features and tidbits related to our ongoing efforts to make everybody really, really smart.
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The Aquarian Librarian is prepared, produced and presented by the Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County, Mount Vernon, OH 43050. Visit the Library's main website at www.knox.net.