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Are public libraries over?

As a small town kid growing up in the 70s, the library was a godsend. However, now with the internet, Amazon, ebay, etc. I don't need the library at all.

My home county just defeated a levy that would have enhanced funding for the library. It lost 76-24.

by Anonymousreply 5211/11/2013

They've become havens for the homeless, the unwashed, and the unhinged. In other words, the refuge for today's human flotsam and jetsam.

by Anonymousreply 211/10/2013

Not at all they are busier than ever. I live in a community of less than 2000 people close to a city of 50,000. The County I live in has a county wide library system.

Our little library as expanded. They now have a rural book mobile that goes to places around to lend books. Mostly to children, but any adult and order a book. If there is a book I want the library will get it for me, even obscure books that are shipped from many states away.

The library has computer access, both to use and use of their wifi. I have used it when my computer is down, many visit daily for FB and other activities.

At the library in the larger town, available for use by anyone in the county has not only music and movies and videos you can download a host of books on kindle over the internet.The download expires after so many days, just as if you checked out of the library.

by Anonymousreply 311/10/2013

Not at all. The ones who don't know how to adapt to changing times will fail. My library system is busier than ever--they had 12,000 kids sign up for the summer library program, they have tons of free computers, big name authors coming for talks, meeting rooms that are always busy, the very latest books, movies, music---physical and electronic, a great and informative website, and a huge inter library loan system. They even just announced they are building a new branch in a up and coming area.

The big system one state over has been closing branches--their usage has been going down for years because people would rather drive to my system and pay for a non-resident card.

by Anonymousreply 411/10/2013

[quote] However, now with the internet, Amazon, ebay, etc. I don't need the library at all.

Yes OP because they are over for you, they are over for everyone else, including today's small town kids.

by Anonymousreply 511/10/2013

We need to support libraries. It's important. We, here,live in a rarified world and really don't appreciate that there are a lot of people out here who do not own computers, or they are computer illiterate.

Libraries are an oasis for a community. If you're interested in taking classes, or if you're looking for a job, or you need to use the computer, or want to participate in a discussion group, or the simple pleasure of sitting in the reading room scanning the national newspapers, the library is an important part of a community's life.

It's not just a place to go to get books you can read on Kindle or your iPad. My grandfather was a retired accountant. He always read the WSJ at work. He could never afford his own subscription, so one of his rituals was to go over to the library several times a week, and simply sit around reading the newspaper.

He made new friends there, and it energized him. Eventually, he took one of their free classes on how to use a computer, and then he would go to the library and send e-mails to his grandchildren from time to time. It was delightful. That library was important to him.

by Anonymousreply 611/10/2013

I could not afford to buy all the books I read. I go on-line, reserve whatever book I want and it is delivered to my branch. I recently borrowed a book by an author whom I usually like. I didn't much care for that particular book and I'm having problems getting through it. I'm not cursing myself for spending money on a book that I won't read - I'll just bring it back and start something else.

Today, not only can you reserve books, but you can also renew on-line. It is cheap and convenient and, like someone else mentioned up-thread, you can get obscure books that you might otherwise have problems obtaining.

by Anonymousreply 711/10/2013

The neighborhood branch libraries in my city hold free monthly events for the public, such as talks by authors, meetings about local issues, "petting zoos" with reptiles & birds, etc. These always attract large audiences & any expenses are covered by the Friends Of The Library volunteer groups, which raise funds by selling donated books several times a year.

by Anonymousreply 811/10/2013

The friends of the library where I live runs a book store at the library. When they have a sale there, which is frequent because they get donated so many books, it is a mob scene. Our library has a coffee sandwich shop that is privately owned,with it's wifi and open before the library, it is a morning coffee spot for a roll and the wifi.

by Anonymousreply 911/10/2013

[quote] Our library has a coffee sandwich shop that is privately owned,with it's wifi and open before the library, it is a morning coffee spot for a roll and the wifi.

It's obvious that you go for the rolls and not the books.

by Anonymousreply 1011/10/2013

"I hope librarians are over. I hate gatekeepers."

You're an idiot.

by Anonymousreply 1111/10/2013

Benjamin Franklin started the first lending library in America because he wanted all Americans to be educated and have access to books for free.

Personally, OP, I find your statement grossly offensive.

And it just goes to show how narcissistic technology makes people when you use a statement like "I don't need the library at all." Your fat ass may have the same gravitational pull of the sun but the Earth doesn't revolve around you.

You sound like a slave of capitalism, OP. You are what Republicans want all Americans to be, a corporate slave.

by Anonymousreply 1211/10/2013

Did you know you can now talk on the phone in the library for as long as you want?

That fucking blows my mind. I spend as little time as possible in them now or I swear I will fucking strangle someone.

Don't even get me started on all the toddlers and babies bouncing off the walls while their mother/fathers are on the computer.

by Anonymousreply 1311/10/2013

Libraries are the original facebooks.

by Anonymousreply 1411/10/2013

I was at the library and couldn't find the card catalogs.

What happened to it?

by Anonymousreply 1511/10/2013

Here's the web page of my municipal library in West Vancouver.Lots happening here every day.

by Anonymousreply 1611/10/2013

[quote]What happened to it?

It went to heaven, Rose.

by Anonymousreply 1711/10/2013

R17 I don't understand.

Dewey decimal system was used to create the card catalog.

Now I cannot find the card catalog anywhere.

by Anonymousreply 1811/10/2013

Alert: killing the collectivist, socialist libraries is yet another right wing meme intended to help to you, the American people.

by Anonymousreply 1911/10/2013

R18, just flag a librarian and ask them to show you how to get the info you need. You can frequently find a lot of this stuff in their digital archives.

I'd be lost without my library. I'm so happy for OP that he has so much disposable income to not need a library or its resources, but the vast majority of people are not in that position. Libraries are so now!

My librarians are not gatekeepers. They serve and protect. Well, maybe I oversell it, but they do protect our ability to expand our knowledge base - all in a sweet, nerdy, helpful package.

by Anonymousreply 2011/10/2013

Libraries are for nerds and the poor. With the internet, tablets, smartphones there ain't no need for libraries.

by Anonymousreply 2111/10/2013

R13, the neighborhood branch libraries in my city are being remodeled & each new one now has a "quiet room" for those of us who want to avoid noise. The walls & door are mostly glass & the room isn't very big -- maybe 6 small tables (with wi-fi & electrical outlets) surrounded by 4 wooden chairs, plus maybe 4 separate upholstered chairs. Hardly cozy, but I'm glad to be spared the chaos that prevails throughout the rest of the building.

It's great to see kids of all ages being exposed to libraries, but what's wrong with teaching them to be quiet too? My love of reading wasn't stunted by being told to hold still & keep my voice down in the library.

by Anonymousreply 2211/10/2013

I used to live in Calabasas and the library there is a jewel. The library director is one sharp cookie. She schedules a lot of programming there -- author visits, story hours for kids, art shows. Libraries that focus on their educational mission will survive.

by Anonymousreply 2311/10/2013

We have several very nice libraries in our area. Excellent dvd sections, comfortable workspaces, free wifi, etc. You can also check out Nooks and get free passes to a number of local museums and attractions. I own a Nook and do mostly read e-books these days, but things like art or design books are not fun to look at on a tablet, so I like to browse and occasionally check those out.

I've never been there when there wasn't a healthy crowd. No homeless folks at the suburban library near me. There are some at the main branch downtown, but it's big enough that they are hardly a bother.

I love libraries and wouldn't want to live somewhere that didn't have a good one.

by Anonymousreply 2411/10/2013

If you can afford to buy all the information and entertainment you want, you don't need a library. Most people aren't that lucky.

by Anonymousreply 2511/10/2013

Not everyone wants to fill their house up with clutter by buying hundreds of books and dvds.

by Anonymousreply 2611/10/2013

Not every book is available as an ebook or audiobook.

by Anonymousreply 2711/10/2013

So again where is the card catalougue located in the library.

Everytime I go in I can never find it.

by Anonymousreply 2811/10/2013

I volunteered at a public library in a town connected to Austin for a year. All the towns around Austin are growing like crazy so that may help with the public libraries getting funding. Anyway, this library just got remodeled and is huge. It is packed on the weekends, and you can check out tons of DVDs and CDs. It also has a nice website, where you can download eBooks and use free language learning services. I would say the public library is not dead at all, it is just evolving. The amount of books kids and adults would check out at this library gave me hope for the human race.

by Anonymousreply 2911/10/2013

R29 so where is the card catalougue located in the library you worked in.

by Anonymousreply 3011/10/2013

The card catalog is now digital, R28. At my library, certain computers are dedicated to searching for books, etc. I rarely use them, though. I always use that same digital catalog from the comfort of my home, then order the book to be delivered to my branch.

by Anonymousreply 3111/10/2013

I sometimes have to look up books at the Seattle central library, as there are several floors of stacks, and I've been known to either write down the DD# wrong, or forget it altogether.

by Anonymousreply 3211/10/2013

[R 29]I know you are trolling, but the Dewey system is still in place and the catalog is online, accessible from the library or any Internet capable electronic device with a browser.

And to the eariler remark about gatekeeping: librarian are far from "gatekeepers" they are the providers of free and equal access.

Let me leave you with a quote from Jaron Lanier a computer science ioneer who recently spoke about big data, privacy and the NYPL.

“There’s a remarkable thing about the public library, if you go to the public library to learn about something, and you do it with paper books, it’s the only instance in which you can learn in our society today…[where] you aren’t under observation.”

by Anonymousreply 3311/10/2013

[quote] As a small town kid growing up in the 70s, the library was a godsend. However, now with the internet, Amazon, ebay, etc. I don't need the library at all

Why was it a godsend when you were growing up? Didn't you have a bookstore near your house?

People go to the library because it's free. Amazon, Ebay, etc all want money for the products they advertise. Did I need to spell this out for you?

by Anonymousreply 3411/10/2013

[quote]I hope librarians are over. I hate gatekeepers.

Shhhhhhhhhhh!

by Anonymousreply 3511/10/2013

[R30] You just walk over to a computer to look up your book. I think card catalogs are being phased out, replaced with computers. The popular thing to do now is reserve items online and then swing by the library to pick them up when you are emailed or texted that they are ready.

by Anonymousreply 3611/10/2013

Even a large library system doesn't have everything, R34. Seattle charges a $5/item fee for each inter-library loan.

by Anonymousreply 3711/10/2013

OP, ask anyone who lives in Mississippi, Louisiana, New York, and New Jersey whether they think public libraries are obsolete. They are incredible social leveling forces in good times; in bad times, they are a godsend.

After Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Isaac, and Sandy, public libraries were some of the very few places you could go to access the Internet, get AC/Heat, and access to washrooms. Librarians and paraprofessional staff made storm victims feel human for the first time in days or weeks. Library staff helped people apply for local and federal relief, apply for loans, apply for jobs.

And they did all this without fanfare, without praise-seeking. They do all this, and more, every single day.

by Anonymousreply 3811/10/2013

Bravo, (R38)

Do the Marie Antioinettes saying libraries are only for the poor because THEY have a Nook or a Kindle or an iPad realize that they could download digital library books to their tablets from their home the same as they can from Amazon- for free? Their taxes support it.

They are gloating that they choose to spend money to read their Jackie Collins or Bill O'Reilly masterpieces and keep them forever?

Sheesh.

Long live the library.

by Anonymousreply 3911/10/2013

You know, I sometimes wonder if they will be over within the next 20 years. With all the tablets and e-readers and the younger generation doing everything electronically, will libraries really be needed once the older generation dies out?

I'm thinking that one day libraries will probably just become like museums that hold historical books.

by Anonymousreply 4011/10/2013

[quote]Seattle charges a $5/item fee for each inter-library loan.

San Jose, Calif charges nothing.

by Anonymousreply 4111/10/2013

R40, have you any idea how many print journals are moving to online-only, and how exorbitant the subscriptions are to both print.and electronic journals and reference materials? They are much too expensive for regular people, and many university libraries don't allow non-affiliated persons to access their e-8:journals. That leaves out high-school students who must do research papers and other academic projects. If their schools aren't wealthy, where do you think they go for access to that information?

Yup. Public libraries to the rescue again.

by Anonymousreply 4211/10/2013

There is a big difference between the branch libraries in Clark County (Las Vegas) depending on the neighborhood. A few are frequented by the homeless in unpleasant weather. Others simply can't afford their own computer. Many libraries offer homework help to students and a quiet place to study. Lectures, old films, and dance recitals and music programs are held regularly as well.

by Anonymousreply 4311/10/2013

The right wing is all about killing public service, so why not get going on the public libraries. Especially when information is such a powerful weapon and libraries are one of the gateways for information.

Of course those who pay for it will always have information.

by Anonymousreply 4411/10/2013

When I go in the library the main thing people are there for is to use their computers.

by Anonymousreply 4511/10/2013

Bill Gates has his issues, but I will always love him and Melinda for their grants to public and special libraries. Many hundreds of libraries-perhaps thousands--have been able to buy computers and keep them relatively updated, all because of grants funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation .

I'm not aware of any comparable deep, structural support of libraries or information access sponsored by Steve Jobs, his widow, or his company.

by Anonymousreply 4611/10/2013

The more we become a digital/electronic world, the more libraries will be needed. It's not like e-devices are ever going to be so cheap that everyone will have them. People will need to use library computers even more.

by Anonymousreply 4711/11/2013

I check out digital library books on my ipad, place holds for books I'm interested in reading, and have created a giant wish list for future books to read. Plus I've remotely checked out audio books for listening on long car trips. Libraries are far from over.

by Anonymousreply 4811/11/2013

I love the library immensely!Our library is beautiful. It was once the city's fire station and the converted it into a library and enlarging the building. They made the interior design into an Art Deco look, which is beautiful.

You can rent the most recent DVDs to old films films for free, and if your branch doesn't have a certain DVD, they send away for it from another library for 75 cents per DVD.

There are many books that I want to read ,but I don't want to buy them. Once I'm done reading, I just return the book to the library and no problem.

Also, we have a system which you check out the items on your own by just lightly scanning your item's on the surface of a marble counter.

by Anonymousreply 4911/11/2013

I agree, R49. I can get DVDs free and often catch up on popular TV series that have ended. When I was unemployed for two years, the library "saved" me. It was some place to go to work on my job search, or prepare for interviews, and I saved a small fortune in books and movies, concert DVDs too. I was so depressed it did wonders for my frame of mind to be somewhere with people around who were calm, quiet, and very nice. Libraries are indispensable.

by Anonymousreply 5011/11/2013

The books say nothing! Nothing you can teach or believe. They're about non-existent people, figments of imagination, if they're fiction. And if they're non-fiction, it's worse, one professor calling another an idiot, one philosopher screaming down another's gullet. All of them running about, putting out the stars and extinguishing the sun. You come away lost.

by Anonymousreply 5111/11/2013

It's a lot less expensive to go to the library to work than it is to sit around Starbucks. I see people in Starbucks all the time "working" at their laptops, and I prefer the library. It has a cooler vibe.

by Anonymousreply 5211/11/2013
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