Overheard in the Stacks: Knowledge and Power
So sometime last week as I was moving books (the library is in the middle of remodeling), a dad came through with his kid, who was maybe seven.
The boy spotted one of our three or four anti-censorship posters, which featured a picture of a book being burned.
I heard the boy ask his dad why someone would burn a book, and his dad began trying to explain censorship. To the nearest of my recollection, this is how the conversation went.
Dad: “Well, some people are threatened by books.”
Dad: “Because books contain knowledge. And knowledge is:”
(Waits, clearly expecting his son to say “power”)
Boy: “Knowledge is words.”
Dad: (is quiet for a few seconds) “…well, that’s not exactly what I was going to say, but that’s true too.”
Then they moved out of my hearing range. The kid’s confident little “knowledge is words” has stuck with me all week though. He was very sure of his answer.