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A sad library tale
#31  JSWolf 10-09-2019, 08:38 AM
Quote crane3
The county library system here has been renovating local branches. Also saw the local news that the library is doing "library of things" for people to borrow like a weed eater, if available. All one needs is a library card as there is no charge for the borrowing of the items.

Libraries are evolving & is easier in metro areas. Was finally able to renew my card online & not need to be done in person. I do wonder if the Friends of the Library book sales are still going strong.
And your OK with your library buying crap like a weed eater instead of buying the things a library should by like eBook, pBooks, CDs, Blu-Ray, video games, newspapers and magazines? It's a waste of money (IMHO) to buy garden tools (and other non-library stuff). That leaves less money to spend on the things a library should be spending on.
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#32  Quoth 10-09-2019, 09:39 AM
Absolutely.
Sadly our village hasn't even got a library, we have to go to the nearest city, 7km to library with poor & expensive bus service. The most important aspects of a library are educational support via books. literacy support via books. Not so much video as that's accessible even to the poor and not video games.
There are many households where there are big TV screens and game consoles. Even very poor often have a TV and multichannel PayTV. A supermarket video can be half the price of a book. Many houses have no books at all. Not just the poor.

Totally agree it's a waste of money (the tax payer here) if a library has non-educational, non-cultural items and spends on garden tools or other so-called "library of things".
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#33  meeera 10-09-2019, 09:48 AM
Quote FrustratedReader
A[...] Many houses have no books at all. Not just the poor.

Totally agree it's a waste of money (the tax payer here) if a library has non-educational, non-cultural items and spends on garden tools or other so-called "library of things".
One thing a library of things might do is bring people to the library who may never visit otherwise. Maybe some percentage of those people will borrow a book. Or their kid will be with them and borrow one. Or over time they'll be exposed to the library bulletin board of community and school holiday events... and decide to go to one.
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#34  JSWolf 10-09-2019, 10:25 AM
Quote meeera
One thing a library of things might do is bring people to the library who may never visit otherwise. Maybe some percentage of those people will borrow a book. Or their kid will be with them and borrow one. Or over time they'll be exposed to the library bulletin board of community and school holiday events... and decide to go to one.
Maybe, but I still disagree with this "library of things". I would be pissed if I my local library was spending tax money on garden tools or other junk.
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#35  meeera 10-10-2019, 02:20 AM
Quote JSWolf
Maybe, but I still disagree with this "library of things". I would be pissed if I my local library was spending tax money on garden tools or other junk.
Looks like Massachusetts near the forefront of the Libary of Things movement.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Things#In_libraries

I was interested to read that one tool library in Michigan has been going since WWII. It's not a new concept, and I can imagine with growing emphases on sustainability and waste reduction that it will only grow.
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#36  pwalker8 10-10-2019, 07:40 AM
Quote meeera
Looks like Massachusetts near the forefront of the Libary of Things movement.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Things#In_libraries

I was interested to read that one tool library in Michigan has been going since WWII. It's not a new concept, and I can imagine with growing emphases on sustainability and waste reduction that it will only grow.
I'm thinking maybe you should look up the word library, because I don't think it means what you think it does. Libraries are collections of books. It comes from a latin word that is normally translated as book.
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#37  crane3 10-10-2019, 12:12 PM
Quote pwalker8
I'm thinking maybe you should look up the word library, because I don't think it means what you think it does. Libraries are collections of books. It comes from a latin word that is normally translated as book.
Then computers & copy machines for patrons' use are OUT. No internet connection to the library as it is not a book of any sort; no free wifi. No story-time for kids; no IRS tax forms available for pickup; no CDs or videos as they are not "books". No lending of ereaders of any sort as they are not books.

I've found that words change their meanings thru time or usage or by the younger gen to be more secretive(?); hard to see that "bad ass" has a good meaning in reference.

Or even people who disclaim not "honoring" the 'publisher's' config in ebooks but will turn around & do just that with modified fonts to change the publisher's font for a book.
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#38  Tomk2 10-10-2019, 09:34 PM
Everyone knows you can borrow a book at the Library. Everything else is mission dilution. You can gather there, you can use a computer there, pick up some tax forms there, you can borrow music there, borrow movies there, and now borrow tools and lawn care equipment? For some reason, in today's information age where 90% of households have access to the worlds information at home on their own devices, this seems like desperation to remain relevant on the Libraries part.

It is good that they try to stay relevant, they could be just a generation away from being de-funded if taxpayers decide that what they provide is not worth the cost.

But I think they need to beware hastening that sentiment by straying too far from what taxpayers would consider the core mission.

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#39  pwalker8 10-11-2019, 02:50 AM
Quote Tomk2
Everyone knows you can borrow a book at the Library. Everything else is mission dilution. You can gather there, you can use a computer there, pick up some tax forms there, you can borrow music there, borrow movies there, and now borrow tools and lawn care equipment? For some reason, in today's information age where 90% of households have access to the worlds information at home on their own devices, this seems like desperation to remain relevant on the Libraries part.

It is good that they try to stay relevant, they could be just a generation away from being de-funded if taxpayers decide that what they provide is not worth the cost.

But I think they need to beware hastening that sentiment by straying too far from what taxpayers would consider the core mission.

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Good point.
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#40  doubleshuffle 10-11-2019, 03:12 AM
Just dipped into this interesting thread. Of course libraries ave been important places in my life. The local council library as a kid, to provide the loads of books I read. later, university libraries.

But I'm mainly here to post a link to one of the best essays I have ever read, Zadie Smith's "The North West London Blues" (2012), a sad and beautiful meditation on the role of libraries in our society, occasioned by the closing of one.

Quote
Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay.

In the modern state there are very few sites where this is possible. The only others that come readily to my mind require belief in an omnipotent creator as a condition for membership. It would seem the most obvious thing in the world to say that the reason why the market is not an efficient solution to libraries is because the market has no use for a library. But it seems we need, right now, to keep re-stating the obvious. There aren’t many institutions left that fit so precisely Keynes’s definition of things that no one else but the state is willing to take on. Nor can the experience of library life be recreated online. It’s not just a matter of free books. A library is a different kind of social reality (of the three dimensional kind), which by its very existence teaches a system of values beyond the fiscal.
Do yourselves a favour and read the whole thing.
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