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Do We Need Libraries?

Discussion in 'Politics, Elections & Legislation' started by pdq, Mar 11, 2011.

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  1. pdq

    pdq Member

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    There's a lot of noise in the air about public support of NPR. I'm not sure how that's going to turn out, but another thought ran through my mind regarding books, and the emergence of very disruptive technology in the form of e-Books. People walking around reading books on handheld devices.

    While I don't like eBooks -- I like the tactile aspect of good books -- I can't ignore their explosive presence on the market -- nothing short of incredible. 100 titles on a compact flash card that can be replaced in your eReader by a different flash card with more titles. I suspect that within a very short number of years, there will be a vast number of titles new / old / ancient.

    So, my brain says to me -- what does this mean?

    Well, for starters, it begs the question of why every small hamlet needs a public library, and why a city like Philly needs a bunch of them all over the place. While I'm more interested in job creation than job elimination, is there truly a role for libraries and librarians when you look down the road 5 - 10 years from now? Or, do you have a regional respository where you can order a book to be delivered by USPS in the event that it's not already available over the Internet. I realize there'd be a charge for getting the book over the Internet and postage both ways, but I think that's appropriate. In today's world you, I and everyone else are paying these charges by supporting public libraries from tax dollars -- we just don't feel it, as we don't have to get out our wallets each time someone walks in the door, or takes a book off the shelf.

    You could probably outsource the logistics of book distribution, warehousing, and re-stocking to Amazon.com, as they already have the regional facilities and do a terrific job. Then, sell the real estate occupied by those libraires and use the proceeds to retire muni bonds. The only unfortunate part of this in my eyes is the loss of the jobs associated with those libraries, but every city and municipality is looking for ways to reduce staff and operating expenses so as to not have to raise taxes, so I'm afraid this is inevitable.

    Next, extend that to the biggest hamlet around -- Washington DC. How many libraries are there? How many buildings that could be sold, no longer requiring utilities, insurance and maintenance? How many salaries and new pension expense that could be eliminated? Betcha it is more than the $100 Million that Obama was looking for last year.

    No need for a response, just food for thought.

    Pete
     
  2. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    What is ya, ignerant?

    -Gary
     
  3. pdq

    pdq Member

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    GW:

    how many times a day do you make use of your public library?

    how many of your tax dollars are used to keep the doors open?

    They made a lot of sense 100 years ago (sorta like that other topic that's burning up a lot of threads here).

    Pete
     
  4. likes-to-shoot

    likes-to-shoot Well-Known Member

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    There is more to Libraries than just books.

    They have past journals of hometown newspapers, a lot of them have interesting documents of the towns, county and States past history, school kids go to them of field trips and I'm sure there are many more things I'm not thinking of right now.

    Bill
     
  5. W.R.Buchanan

    W.R.Buchanan Member

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    Just because you don't go to the Library every Friday afternoon doesn't mean we shouldn't have them. And they need to be made from "Bricks", and be completely fireproof.

    Computer technology is contingent on too many inherant weaknesses any one of which can bring the whole format down and render is useless.

    It doesn't matter if you have all the knowledge in the world if you can't access it, it is useless.

    Paper has about two inherant weaknesses, it burns, and it gets wet. You can protect against these isssues much easier than the bazillion things that can happen to any electronic device. And that's not to mention the knowledge that is necessary to even make computers work in the first place.

    A book has to be found, opened, and read. And yes you have to know how to read, but there are books that can teach you how to do that too. Hell they teach monkeys how to read.

    I guess there are computers that can teach you how to run them, but if you have no electricity and don't know how to make some you're screwed.

    Randy
     
  6. recurvyarcher

    recurvyarcher Well-Known Member

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    Yes, we need public libraries, many of which allow people to download books for free on Kindle, but that's beside the point.
     
  7. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    This thread assumes that all the folks have a Kindle.

    Balderdash.

    Electronic memory is gone in nanoseconds. It takes at least 20 minutes to burn a book.

    HM
     
  8. pyrdek

    pyrdek Well-Known Member

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    Today that highly technically oriented city in Japan, Tokyo, is suffering from massive disruption of its technological centers. There is a very significant negative impact on the Japanesses "To the Cloud" data operations.

    Computer technology is great but it does require significantly higher level or resources to be functional.

    Here is a link to reports on a part of this technological communications problem:


    Japan "Cloud" vs. Earthquake
     
  9. Terry_Maiden

    Terry_Maiden TS Member

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    Free public libraries, like free public schools can be seen as a responsability of the current generation to the next. Not just to those with funds sufficient to purchase the necessary electronics but everyone. If a person can't afford a PC or a Kindle type device what are they to do? Don't "poo poo" this happening, its looking more and more like there will be a greater divide between rich and poor in this country in the future. Can we risk allowing a large uneducated underclass being swayed by dishonest and irresponsible politicians? This is the road to ruin (even more than it is now) for our nation.
     
  10. Ljutic111

    Ljutic111 TS Member

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    My wife is an avid reader but has never entered our local library which is 2 blocks from our house . If it was up to her we would discontinue our yearly paper delivery girl and read everything on the internet . I love the library and don`t mind funding it with my tax dollars . Kids love to browse the books and tapes and thats whats needed for our future . They need the internet too but the library should be first in line .
     
  11. W.R.Buchanan

    W.R.Buchanan Member

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    Speaking of "Repositories of Information" have you got one of these little guys?

    There is more usuable information in this 3"x 5"x 1" book on everything from First Aid to clearance holes for screws,,, literally A-Z, formulas, Morse code, Area Codes, weight of materials, conversions tables for everything to anything else, trig tables, hand signals, knots, strength of rope, and about a thousand others I 've left for you to read.

    I have one in my bugout bag and near me most always. This one could literally save your life.

    They are readily available from Amazon.com and most hardware or indutrial supply places. Mine came from Hueneme Rigging in Oxnard and has their name tattoed on it. Most just have the bottom portion of the cover left blank. They are given away as promotional items or if you have to buy one they are about $10. Well worth the price of admission.

    Not available on computer disc. Although all the info contained in the book certainly is available just by a goggle search, and you could even find the book too if you looked. But your computer will probably be useless in the middle of British Columbia while hunting sheep 50 miles from the nearest road when you fall and break your leg, but the book will still work, and it will tell you how to set and splint your leg, and not get gangreen in the process.

    Randy


    wrbuchanan_2009_191283.jpg
     
  12. ysr_racer

    ysr_racer Active Member

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    Yes we need libraries. Use a dictionary and look up "paragraphs".
     
  13. TC

    TC TS Member

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    Randy, my favorite book of all time. The information in it is amazing. I need to find a new one, mine is getting a little rough. Tony
     
  14. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I've made good use of my local library. Especially the ILL program. ILL stands for Inter-Library Loan. There are some rare and very expensive reference books I've been needing, but cannot afford them. Since the local library doesn't have them either, that's where the ILL program comes in. Participating libraries are canvassed for these books, then they are shipped to the local library. There is no charge to the patron for this.\

    I also prefer an actual book over a computer for reading. I can concentrate on a book. I cannot concentrate when reading a book on a computer screen. I lose my place very easily.

    I also have a lot of books at home. My personal library drives my wife nuts. I have over a half dozen bookshelves, but books are stacked on my safe, bedroom furniture, etc. Some books I've flat worn out.

    Any Star Trek fans here? Samuel T. Cogley and I have a lot in common when it comes to books.
     
  15. smsnyder

    smsnyder Well-Known Member

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    I know one Librarian that is getting paid 100K at a public school.
     
  16. pyrdek

    pyrdek Well-Known Member

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    Snyder,

    You know your whining and constantly crying gets old real quick. Its time for you to grow up. Whining babyhood does not become you or help you make any valid points ikn an adult discussion.
     
  17. likes-to-shoot

    likes-to-shoot Well-Known Member

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    How on God's green earth is that relevant to the topic of the thread?
     
  18. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    Our local library has children's programs, an amphitheater in the basement, maps of damn near everything, and the complete collection of Chilton manuals to repair cars.

    My daughter got a Kindle for the kids, and it's nice, but no way can it replace the library.

    And it gives the homless a place to keep warm in winter.

    HM
     
  19. Old Cowboy

    Old Cowboy Active Member

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    I don't mind the Gov't spending my tax dollars on public Libraries.

    John C. Saubak
     
  20. BILL GRILL

    BILL GRILL Well-Known Member

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    smsnyder, I call BS to that!
     
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