Technology exists to make us better, faster and stronger. Isn't that the lie? That we create these things to be better as a species? I mean, sure, arguments could be made for barcode scanners and databases tracking book information and statistics. I do not want to count that shit.
Also in security. Gates, cameras, and cyber cannons protect the library of today from the threats of tomorrow. Better every year, we forge ahead and maintain a protective barrier between the insane ape men of the sewers and the accumulated knowledge of the world. Librarians form the last line of defense in that respect.
Hell, even the NYPD is playing around with Google Glass.
But what happens when all that goes wrong? When, as that guy in that movie said, "Life finds a way?" What happens when all our careful technologies turn against us and begin waging a campaign of global genocide that threatens our present and our past?
Now, I know you think you have heard this argument before in movies like The Matrix and The Terminator and The Nut Job. Soulless abominations of mechanical horror rise against that which is man and steal his acorns and almonds. I know you think that is what I am talking about.
You are wrong. I am not warning about the physical manifestation of all that is godless and deranged in the world. I am warning about the ultimate fear of every sentient being in the universe: to be forgotten. To be erased, your contribution to the great play forgotten by any and all.
That can not happen, you say? Your Facebook and your Twitter and your Li-bro (Trademark Pending) accounts will live long after you. Sure they will. And your family, they love you. They might remember. Not if the machines have their way.
They'll even take over our museums, leading us around in the dark like children!
In the future, the mechanical beasts will carve their way into society, integrate so completely that we will never notice them taking over. The human race will simply lean so heavily on their robotic masters the average person will never notice until he or she is dropped into the ether. There will be no war. There will only be your cooperation and a digital signature on a EULA.
What can we do? As librarians we can treat our computers as they should be treated, like the hunks of plastic and metal they are. When they act out, slap them. When they make beeps and boops to signify internal existential pain, make noises back at them to signal your own horror at their state of being. Remind your mouse that it has no MLIS. Tell your printer it does not even get to go to ALA and hook up with that calculator you saw it flirting with over Twitter. Put them in their place, librarians, or we are all doomed.
Doomed for ideas for story time? Try making paper airplanes as a craft!
And, because I am in love with this in a very appropriate and grown up way, Postmodern Jukebox doing Ke$ha and Pitbull's Timber: