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Public Libraries and You?

 
 
Reply Mon 14 Oct, 2019 10:04 am
Are public libraries a thing in your life? Something you, your family or friends use on certain basis?

When was the last time you've been to a public library? Does your town even have a public library?

What should the organizations that run public libraries do to make them relevant? To you? To your community?

Chicago Got Rid Of Late Book Fees At Public Libraries, Will NYC Do The Same
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Mon 14 Oct, 2019 12:59 pm
@tsarstepan,
Yes we have a public library in our town.

The last time I have personally been in there has been a few years. I used to go there quite frequently, however, I received an eReader as a gift and now I virtually use our library to borrow books. Also my kids are older so their use of the library in person has decreased as they can use the virtual tools for research.

Libraries do offer other stuff now - our local library has things such as book clubs, they even have a new cooking book club where you bring in a dish from the cooking book, they have homework help and tutoring, they have various presentations from the local wildlife, authors, travel, etc. There are Christmas activities and other seasonal activities. Things like that make them more relevant.


They offer free museum passes as well - these sorts of things keep the library relevant - you can also borrow other things like DVD (although with the increase in streaming devices these are becoming less relevant) and computer games.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  2  
Reply Mon 14 Oct, 2019 03:44 pm
@tsarstepan,
I'm there every week. The post a sign showing the previous day's activity. Last time I was there, they showed 535 visitors and about 400 checkouts. Including security, it looks like they have wages for approximately 12 people at all times. Even if that's their only expense, I hate the thought of the cost of checking out one book.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Oct, 2019 04:01 pm
I used the library in town. Then they tore it down and put the books in the university library. I don't go there, as I am protesting the cheap bastards not funding a public library.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Oct, 2019 06:56 pm
A library as a place to borrow books will go the way of Blockbuster video stores. I think libraries are wise to turn themselves into public resources, meeting places and sources for internet access. The Cambridge public library now allows people to eat and drink in a large section of the ground floor. They are adapting to make themselves more attractive to the users. The would be unheard of when I was a kid.

I can get a perfectly good copy of the Great Gatsby delivered to my doorstep for under $15. Or have it downloaded to my kindle for far less. Libraries are going to have to adapt in order to be relevant in the age of the internet.

tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Mon 14 Oct, 2019 07:17 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

I think libraries are wise to turn themselves into public resources, meeting places and sources for internet access.

Sounds like you haven't been in a public library in quite awhile. That's already what many public library systems have been doing over the past decade.

Still, libraries provide books to those who don't have the expendable income like persons of your income bracket.
Linkat
 
  3  
Reply Tue 15 Oct, 2019 06:50 am
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:

maxdancona wrote:

I think libraries are wise to turn themselves into public resources, meeting places and sources for internet access.

Sounds like you haven't been in a public library in quite awhile. That's already what many public library systems have been doing over the past decade.

Still, libraries provide books to those who don't have the expendable income like persons of your income bracket.


And for people who want to minimize the impact on the environment - I stopped buying books for a while due to cost and also because I didn't want to read a book and then not use it any more. A few I keep and have re-read, but most after I read it - I do not use it any more. I have donated these to the library but then why not just borrow.

I borrow all my ebooks - the only downside is you have limited time to read and some are difficult to borrow. But since I love to read such a variety I usually do not have a hard time getting subject matter I enjoy to read for free.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  3  
Reply Tue 15 Oct, 2019 06:52 am
@tsarstepan,
Libraries are great for indie author promotions. Signings, readings, that sort of thing.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Oct, 2019 08:27 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:


I can get a perfectly good copy of the Great Gatsby delivered to my doorstep for under $15.


I'm sure not excited by that.

I can't begin to count the number of times in my life I've started to read a book, even one that is on the best seller list, or recommended by someone, and very quickly realized I'm not enjoying it.
By quickly, I don't mean in the first page. I try to give a book a decent amount of pages to decide what I think.

It's not all about the money though. Where else can a single copy of a book be enjoyed by so many people, over a long period of time? Does anyone else remember the pleasure of back in the day when we used the paper and stamp cards in the back of the book to check out? I would love looking at that, and seeing how many other people already enjoyed the book. Sometimes I'd be one of the first to check something out. After I time I would be up the book and look at the back, and be happy to see that others also got it after me.

Library books teach patience. You realize it's not the end of the world if the book isn't available this exact instant. The waiting is part of the fun. I don't think we anticipate enough anymore.

In that sense, getting a book from the library gives me a real sense of community. I feel the presense of others who have read, or will read it, and I'm part of that. I personally find book stores, whether brick and mortar or online, more isolating. Each person going off with their own lonely copy, that will at the most get donated, and perhaps read by one or 2 others over time.

You Go to a bookstore, maybe unclear what you're looking for, take a chance, spend your money, and maybe it's a crap shoot whether you enjoyed it or not.
You Visist a library. It's a friend you don't have to impress. It's kind of a great equalizer in my mind.

I do live in a place where part of property taxes pay for places like public libraries, so I feel I pay my share.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Oct, 2019 10:17 am
@chai2,
chai2 wrote:

I can't begin to count the number of times in my life I've started to read a book, even one that is on the best seller list, or recommended by someone, and very quickly realized I'm not enjoying it.

I have dozens of physical books in my bedroom left unread. Bought but never gotten around to reading them. I have that times by X that I have tried to read but gave up and ultimately donated to a charity thrift store like Goodwill or the Housing Works Bookstore. Been trying to curb this waste of money ... yet every once in awhile I break down and fall into this trap again.

With books, I am not too excited about but still want to give a shot? I will turn to the library to get a copy. Money for me is kind of an issue.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Oct, 2019 12:22 pm
Since I don't use a library, I spend quite a bit of time perusing used books. It's how I got Go Set a Watchman, for instance.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Oct, 2019 09:00 am
@chai2,
Library missions have changed remarkably over the last 25 to 35 years. The availability of all kinds of techy gizmos including "rent a WIFI hot-spot" and community action centers of operations make libraries kind of brain center for a vital community.
Im on the board of one and I keep our investment portfolio ahead of what we get as our "State Dole". We are almost a eleemosanary institution. We have banks of computers, training sessions, ESL courses, and a number of other things that we do better than the state r county govt. While we do report up toa County library organization, we are basically independent and our funds are kept in several types of interest erning accounts (many with outfits lik Vanguard ) We have been given several bequests that stipulate the means of distributions of the funds and this keeps us up to date, expanding and a damned good and much needed service.

We do have some people who, like some here, think of themselves and do NOT support their local libraries because they can easily buy a book and dont really give a **** about others who cant afford the price . Mot of the first gen Americans use the libraries for all kinds of resources.
We often offer courses in coding, Photoshops levels, Use of Google Earth ,SAT, GRE's, MedCat etc and we also offer continuing ed courses that provide CEU's for professionals.
As far as I know, we are not unusual. ven the Amish use u for some of thir ed needs.

Yep, Library Missions have changed radically
RABEL222
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Oct, 2019 12:04 pm
@farmerman,
Agree. They are still an important part of the information process.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Oct, 2019 03:12 pm
Funny thing - right across the street from my daughter's new school they are going crazy with construction - what is it?

They tore down the old library and are building a brand new one - including a parking garage. I guess they anticipate this being a big hit. My daughter told me they are building a cafe in there as well - which is great for these teens.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Thu 24 Oct, 2019 04:56 pm
Background:

Was listening to NPR a couple months ago, and they were talking about the novel "Stoner" by John Williams (1964) that was suddenly regaining popularity.
As quickly as I could I looked to see how many copies the library had, but all copies were on hold already. I think there were 5 people ahead of me on the copy I was assigned to.

Last Friday it came in, and I went to pick it up on Saturday. I know there had to be more people after me waiting.

My Tale:
On Tuesday I had a doctors appt (2 days ago).
I left the book there.

It didn't occur to me until this morning, it could be there. I thought of it while I was driving to a second apptat the same location this afternoon.

I asked at the desk if they had found a book. She asked me the name and I told her. She said she remembered seeing it. Then she went to the back. She came back in less than 2 minutes.

She had a strange expression on her face. She said "Um, yeah. We had it, but uh....someone threw it out."

"WHAT!!!"

"They threw a BOOK out!? From 2 days ago? Who threw it out, I want to speak to them and hear why."

They get the guy that did it, and I asked him "Did you see that it said Austin Public Library on it?"
Yes he had.

"So you knew that the book belonged to the library, and someone (me) that came in that day or yesterday must of have left it by accident?"
Yes he did.

"Then WHY did you throw it out?"

Answer, I **** you not...."because it was just sitting on the table"

I asked him who was going to pay me for it, since I now had to pay the library.
I got a card from the receptionist for their main office and the office manager. I'll go by there tomorrow.

That just boggled my mind.


Afterwards:

I stopped by the library to pay them a little while ago.

I was telling them the story, and when I got to the part where he threw it out, it was like this.....




He threw it out....
https://ak7.picdn.net/shutterstock/videos/1012811717/thumb/1.jpg




Librarian reaction
https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/9ca1bc6cab5c4720037d15c33d2a8777a7a89658/1922_0_3149_3936/master/3149.jpg?width=700&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=325962a563632da0c18688c41b5c4173










tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Oct, 2019 07:43 am
@chai2,
WOW! Freaking wow! I once dropped a public library book at the Baruch College Library. Thankfully, librarians love books no matter where they come from. Despite not being a part of the NYPL system, they managed to return it to another library system altogether.

These heathen book hating nonlibrarians? Just freaking wow! They couldn't drop it into their lost and found even?
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Oct, 2019 07:50 am
@tsarstepan,
I remember once years and years ago - I had borrowed some magazines from the library for a research paper. When returning them to the library after hours I went to put them in the library return bin - but a mailbox was right next to it. I accidentally put them in the mailbox.

I called the library the next day and they said this happens frequently - all the magazines found their way back via the mail man except one - so I had to pay for that one. Wonder if the mailman liked that particular magazine?
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Oct, 2019 09:27 am
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:


These heathen book hating nonlibrarians? Just freaking wow! They couldn't drop it into their lost and found even?


I know right?

Actually, everyone else there was pretty much looking at him like he was a piece of work. I have a feeling he's the resident "thorn in their side"

I got apologies from like 3 other people who were standing around.

Yes, I'm sure they have a lost and found. Mr. "Why would anyone want their book back?" obviously didn't get the memo.

Linkat, I guess the lost and found box couldn't be moved? Probably bolted down right next to the mailbox that's bolted down too.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Oct, 2019 09:38 am
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:

I remember once years and years ago - I had borrowed some magazines from the library for a research paper. When returning them to the library after hours I went to put them in the library return bin - but a mailbox was right next to it. I accidentally put them in the mailbox.

I called the library the next day and they said this happens frequently - all the magazines found their way back via the mail man except one - so I had to pay for that one. Wonder if the mailman liked that particular magazine?


Not related to libraries, but to mailboxes. I think I've told this story before.

Where I grew up we had a mailbox right outside of our house.

One Fall, (I know I was younger than kindergarden) I would go out there every day, gather up all the dry leaves, and mail them.

I clearly remember being so delighted with myself. I thought that when you put something in a mailbox, it magically wooshed off to its destination. I knew about those tubes at the drive through at the bank, and thought the mailbox worked on the same principle. I imagined all the people who were going to get my Fall leaves, and enjoy them.

One day I was making my deposit, and saw the mailman coming down the street. That made no impact on me, because Obviously the mailman Delivered the mail.
He got up to me and asked "What are you doing?"

"Mailing leaves."

I'm sure for the past 2 weeks this guy had been cursing the rotten kids stuffing his mailbox with box dry and wet leaves. Then he finds a 4 year old sincerely sending off glad tidings.

He could have yelled at me, I'm sure some would have. He just opened the box with his key and showed me how the leaves didn't go anywhere.

Me:

"Oooohhhhhh......"

Thinking back, what a nice guy. I don't remember ever feeling bad afterwards, I just stopped mailing leaves.



farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Fri 25 Oct, 2019 09:43 am
@chai2,
did you put a return address on each leaf??
 

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