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Love fests

“The day of forced love,” Liz says her brother calls Valentine’s Day. The commercialization of what was (is?) a saint’s day is quite remarkable, and the moderate snowstorm that’s hit New England today is a blow to many businesses. Here in the Berkshires, it would have been a welcome midweek boost to the restaurant business, and of course the flower business does well.

We haven’t done any promotion this year around Valentine’s Day, but the bizarre fact, given that we are a serious reference publisher, is that we have two publications with “love” in their titles. The first is, of course, Heart of the Community: The Libraries We Love. The second is an online project that will soon become a book: Love US or Hate US?. If you haven’t seen this, or looked at it for a while, please do. We are delighted to provide this forum for comment, and have plans to do more to structure or organize the discussion to provide material that will be useful for teaching, and for government officials, too. It’s amazing how this simple project has galvanized some people, and our choosing to use emotive words, love and hate, is part of that. But we decided not to sidestep the fact that there are strong feelings involved in nationalism, and internationalism, and we welcome comments from Americans (North and South) and others. You’ll see that the site draws contributions from around the world.

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