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Old 02-13-2011, 04:30 PM   #1
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Are libraries finished?

Five arguments for and against
BBC News Magazine - 4 February 2011

"... the traditional barriers to publishing have been shifted by the advent of do-it-yourself e-books on the internet ..."
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:35 PM   #2
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4 posts that are basically just BBC News articles. Some of which are a few weeks old.

Too much coffee today, perhaps?
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:41 PM   #3
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I think the numerous branch libraries should be consolidated to just a few for better use of dwindling funds.

To be quite frank, if they shut down all physical locations and went to online only, I wouldn't miss them.
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:04 PM   #4
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4 posts that are basically just BBC News articles. Some of which are a few weeks old.

Too much coffee today, perhaps?
What is the approved coffee/post ratio?
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Originally Posted by tubemonkey View Post
I think the numerous branch libraries should be consolidated to just a few for better use of dwindling funds.

To be quite frank, if they shut down all physical locations and went to online only, I wouldn't miss them.
I appreciated quiet the environment, when I used to study in libraries. Some UK libraries are attempting to keep pace with technology, but the present economic climate and funding cuts will undoubtedly make life increasingly difficult for them.

Last edited by boxcorner; 02-14-2011 at 04:09 AM.
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubemonkey View Post
I think the numerous branch libraries should be consolidated to just a few for better use of dwindling funds.

To be quite frank, if they shut down all physical locations and went to online only, I wouldn't miss them.
I have a large library-only TBR list for older books that are not available as ebooks, so I certainly would miss them!
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:29 PM   #6
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My local library branches are as busy as I ever remember them. They have been embracing the Internet generation, and on premises as well as off. I don't think this is the "end" of anything.
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:29 PM   #7
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Mmm, I think that there is a place for libraries here in the UK.

In many areas they have already taken the place of community centres as a place for local information, they have always been an educational resource, a way for the 'poor' to be kept informed with events around the world (either by book, newspaper or periodical), an access point for the new 'IT age', latterly a supplier of ebooks/audio books, supplies for the blind/deaf/etc.

Libraries can no longer simply supply printed books, but its been a while since they have simply supplied printed books. So long as they keep on adapting to the current need of the populace theres unlikely to be a shortage of need, although there could be a shortage of provision.
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:50 PM   #8
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Similar to what feenix stated, the libraries in my area are much more than just places to get books. They offer tax prep assistance, various classes, adult literacy programs, children's programs and such, not to mention their function as the local archive, complete with research services and local history programs (oral history program, photographic archives and exhibits, and so on).

The problem with consolidating branches is how the decision is made. If you preserve the locations with the largest tax base, you end up with lack of resources in the areas that need them the most, but if you do the opposite, the people doing the most funding are the ones who now lack access. I personally would prefer that they stay in the areas that need them the most, but I'm sure some taxpayers would feel otherwise.
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:17 PM   #9
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On Sat, NPR in the States had a piece on the closing or proposed closing of Libraries in England. I forget which town was featured. But I gather the town "conspired" to borrow all 16,000 or so books at one time, leaving the shelves bare (I apologize if that's the gist of the links above)
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:33 PM   #10
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I have a large library-only TBR list for older books that are not available as ebooks, so I certainly would miss them!
That's fine. We just don't need two dozen branches to accomplish it. Shut most of them down and funnel the resources into a few mega libraries.
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:36 PM   #11
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The problem with consolidating branches is how the decision is made. If you preserve the locations with the largest tax base, you end up with lack of resources in the areas that need them the most, but if you do the opposite, the people doing the most funding are the ones who now lack access. I personally would prefer that they stay in the areas that need them the most, but I'm sure some taxpayers would feel otherwise.
Those with funds can get in their cars and drive. Those without can be given a free bus pass to the library.
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Old 02-13-2011, 08:35 PM   #12
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How often do you normally use a library?


Quote:
Originally Posted by tubemonkey View Post
I think the numerous branch libraries should be consolidated to just a few for better use of dwindling funds.

To be quite frank, if they shut down all physical locations and went to online only, I wouldn't miss them.
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Old 02-13-2011, 08:42 PM   #13
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How often do you normally use a library?
I check out audiobooks online all the time, plus the occasional ebook. I only use their online services and haven't set foot in my library since the 90's.

The internet killed off my library visits.
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Old 02-13-2011, 08:46 PM   #14
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Seems fair enough then, if you haven't got the net, are financially disadvantaged (no car) and like face-to-face interaction then why should you be allowed library access...


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I check out audiobooks online all the time, plus the occasional ebook. I only use their online services and haven't set foot in my library since the 90's.

The internet killed off my library visits.
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Old 02-13-2011, 08:50 PM   #15
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Seems fair enough then, if you haven't got the net, are financially disadvantaged (no car) and like face-to-face interaction then why should you be allowed library access...
I didn't say to shut them all down; just most of them. Neighborhood libraries are too expensive to operate. A few mega libraries are more than adequate.
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