I must go to our local libraries one or two times a week. It would be more often if I could find the time and manage to wrangle the kids. I’ve done a complete back of the envelope calculation since I’ve moved here two years ago. About 75% of the economics/social science material that is sponsored by the libraries are obviously anti-capitalistic screeds. That actually works in my favor, as I like to read the stuff, and I don’t want to spend too much of my own money on it. But if someone is just browsing aisles, as is probably the most fun thing about modern libraries, what impression do you think they are given about economics?
And given that 90% of students are indoctrinated in public schools, and 75% of the material the public can access in their library is of the anti-capitalistic variety, I am completely astonished that there are as many people out there as I think there are, who respect private property, peaceful voluntary association and the rule of law. Was it always like this? Given that markets and property rights, whatever their flaws, have spectacularly delivered the goods, don’t you think some sounder work should appear in my libraries? I suppose I can check this out — is the physics section dominated only by works on string theory?
Would my library be amenable to the purchase of some classics? It does not have any Julian Simon. Milton Friedman is nowhere to be seen. Hayek is in hiding. Forget about any “pure” classical liberals too – nowhere to be seen. Then again, much of the stuff in the stacks is of the modern, “pop” variety – our university library displays no such problems.
I’m just wondering, what do your local libraries look like? If you wanted to embark upon a study of economics and a classical liberal political philosophy, would it even be possible by using only your library? Note that I am not really that worked up about it, certainly I came to my views from accessing the statist stuff in the library and then researching original materials on my own from other sources.