The "L" word and cultural heritage

Tampa Tribune column by Steve Otto on a speech.

The "L" word.

"Libraries are our cultural legacies. They are here to protect the long memory of mankind.''

To emphasize her point, she pointed to the dictators of the world who have uniformly done their best to erase those cultural memories, from the book-burning of the Nazis to the Taliban's destruction of Buddhist statues in Afghanistan.

``Even in Florida,'' she said, although she didn't lump Jeb Bush in with other dictators, ``they attempted to take away the state museum and put it in the hands of a private university that has no real interest in preserving our history.''

McCook sees libraries as connectors. She looks at the proposed new museums, such as the art museum and the history center and worries that they will be less connected to libraries than to electronic information systems that are more interested in profit than in preserving cultural heritage.