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Old 02-22-2012, 10:39 PM   #31
plib
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I've lived in several different places/countries over the years and one of the first things I've done in every place I've been is join the local library. I don't think there's been a month gone by since I was 8 years old that I wasn't a library member somewhere.

I've shared the checkout counter with kids just barely able to walk and seniors in the same situation. They've taken me from mammoths in the Ice Age to superdreadnoughts in the Honorverse. They've given me a knowledge repository which has taught me about history, literature, geography, economics, law, politics, data processing and any other subject I cared to learn about. I've seen them run reading classes for pre-schoolers, computer classes for seniors, employment classes for those in need, local history classes for residents, travelogues for wanderers - all with a level of knowledge, courtesy and skill rarely found in any other single institution.

The public lending library is one of the great inventions and great social institutions of the modern age. Anyone, corporation or individual, who intends to damage or undercut the provision of the books they lend or the services they provide, particularly in the ruthless pursuit of the almighty dollar, is a Philistine of the first order who deserves to be excoriated by anyone who cares about the society they live in. And if they want to take that particular part of society back to the middle ages then I'd be happy to see them excoriated in the literal sense of the term.
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:40 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by tubemonkey View Post
I'm actually not in favor of any such law.

The point is, with publishers dropping out one-by-one, libraries are in a bind and there isn't a thing they can do about it. Libraries need to deal with the resources they have and more importantly, patrons need to understand what libraries are facing and change their reading habits. So what if best selling authors are no longer available. Read an indie author. There are always other options.

You don't need a library to provide free public internet access. That service can just as easily be handled in a community center if the library is forced to close its doors.

Public schools have libraries. If you can't keep the public library open, then combine the budgets of both government agencies (school districts and library districts) and expand the content at school libraries.

Thinking outside the box will enable libraries to stay healthy and move forward.
Have you ever been to a rural area?

My mom lives in a rural area. She can't get cable. It's just not available. She can get satellite...but the initial internet connection in her area for SatTV starts at $600+.

She gets 99% of her internet access via dial-up (when available)...and the public library.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:16 AM   #33
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She gets 99% of her internet access via dial-up (when available)...and the public library.
I'm glad her community supports a public library. Some don't.
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:31 AM   #34
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Also librarys often keep those older books which just aren't available easily anywhere else. Might not be available in shelfs but you can order them from storage.
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Old 02-25-2012, 07:41 AM   #35
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Beyond that, that's what library patrons also seem to want - the library to buy one e-book and then it being read by dozens (or hundreds ) of people until the end of eternity. Isn't that a little unfair to the author? The 26 rental limit is perfectly fair...authors deserve compensation as well.
Really? "Fair"? Do you honestly believe 26 checkouts accurately reflects the life expectancy of a hardcover book in a library? There may be a legitimate number that reflects the realistic life expectancy, but perhaps you could talk to one of your local library folks to see approximately how many times on average they're able to send a book out before it becomes unusable.

Personally, I find "26" ridiculous. It has nothing to do with real life expectancy of books and everything to do with a money-grab by another scumbag publisher.

In general, I think we need a LOT fewer laws, but having libraries, ensuring they can obtain materials at REASONABLE prices, and keeping them available and vibrant strikes me as a legitimate public good. I'm in a town with approximately 11,000 residents and we have a public library that's used for a wide variety of purposes from Internet access to public meetings to books, movies, audio books, and so on. But then, I'm an old fart that thinks libraries have great value to a community.
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