Nothing Human is Foreign to Me

My advisor in college introduced 19th Century European Thought with a dichotomy- either the idea from ancient Rome that “I am a man, I consider nothing that is human alien to me” or the thinking that became nationalism and fascism and genocide.

An academic librarian trying to make the small talk in a noisy Boston bar joked that we had nothing in common professionally when I said I ran the children’s department at a suburban library. I strongly disagree with this and I hated the impression I got that public service (and the unglamorous public reference service that I provide) is somehow not on the same family tree as other kinds of librarianship. This has been said many times before by women better than me, but how on earth do you expect your (or your neighbors’) children to learn to think for themselves and become compassionate forces for good in the world if you treat the people who teach them like you would a twelve year old babysitter you hired for the night?


Author: Emily

Writer/ Librarian

3 thoughts on “Nothing Human is Foreign to Me”

  1. Hi Emily,
    Jessie sent this to her dad, who sent it to me!
    Then I read a bit more of your work. I appreciate the time you took to think about this, and write down your observations.
    I have often noticed society’s prejudice toward those who work with children. Our children, our future.
    lyn kaim

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