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Old 06-09-2011, 07:26 PM   #41
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I vote to keep libraries also. Our family was very poor when I was a young child. I do not remember books being in our home at that time. I remember going to the library for the first time and I was absolutely amazed that they were going to allow me to take their book home with me. I have only experienced that feeling of amazement very few times in my life (I wish that I was the type of person who got excited more often) and I have a tendency to remember those feelings to this day. There are still many poor families in the US and many of them live in my state, WV. There are a few homeless people, who hang around the downtown library, and I always try to keep an eye on what they are doing when I am there. I know that many homeless do have mental or emotional problems. I wish they did not hang out there all day, but I am sure if I were homeless, I would do the same thing. Some days I will drive to a smaller library on the outskirts of town, but really prefer the downtown library. You have to pay to park at the downtown library, cross a busy street, pay to reserve a book or check out a video and to make copies. I still enjoy going to the library and do not mind paying taxes to support it. My DD used it a lot for books and still reads a lot to this day.
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Old 06-09-2011, 08:10 PM   #42
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Dreamer's post really brought back memories to me . We were middle class but no way could we have afforded all the books I brought home from the library .
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Old 06-09-2011, 08:30 PM   #43
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Probably called a library but should probably be a multi functional building.

Cafatornasium - is what they called the building in my daughter's elementary school which served as a Cafeteria, Auditorium and Gymnasium.
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:52 PM   #44
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At present, E-readers are a rip-off compared to owning the paper. When you buy an ebook from Amazon, you don't own it. You can't give it to a friend, you can't loan it, all you bought was a license to read it on your Kindle. And, Amazon sells a lot of these for the same price as the paper.
This isn't saying that these devices don't have attractions for some users.
Books are heavy and a drawback for travelers. They carry an energy burden much heavier than electronics.
However, I can't see myself sitting with my grandson on my lap trying to use a kindle to look at any one of many children's books.
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Old 06-10-2011, 09:10 AM   #45
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However, I can't see myself sitting with my grandson on my lap trying to use a kindle to look at any one of many children's books.
I have no trouble imagining that.





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Old 06-10-2011, 09:44 AM   #46
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We use our library quite extensively for the purposes defined by T-Al. Book access and retrieval. I have made inquiries with the librarians on how to best access certain information. I also have asked about book recommendations, other books in a series or by similar authors, etc. We use the reading room at the library to let the kids pick some books and preview to make sure the content is appropriate for their reading level. I occasionally browse the shelves.

But I would not be too heartbroken if the library was replaced by an automated kiosk that takes up 1/20th the square footage. If I could swipe my library card and have the books I reserved yesterday drop into a bin for pickup, I would be ok with never having to interact with a human. I would make do. As it is now, I usually reserve books online and have them shipped to my local library for pick up. Quite frequently I use our interlibrary loan service (at no cost to me) where they borrow books from other libraries. I use amazon to find out about books I may want to read.

For kids books, I would miss the library. It is so easy to browse and grab 10-20 books for my 4 and 6 year olds. Let them read em for a couple weeks, then return them all and get a whole new collection.

I wouldn't like to hand my 4 and 6 year olds a digital e-reader because it would get broken or smashed quickly. And it can't be as easy to access and change books as hard copy books.

I don't see libraries going away. Some predicted the demise of brick and mortar retail establishments with the advent of online shopping. At least locally, I can't tell that construction of shopping centers has decreased significantly (other than the dip the last few years due to that mini-Great Depression).

I imagine libraries will continue the shift from being solely repositories of books to being places to access information (hard copy or digital). Books are simple. No barrier to entry, zero boot up time, no batteries, very durable, drop resistant, water resistant, easily viewed particularly in the brightest sunlight. And you have a whole cohort of folks that have been accessing the printed word via paper for years or decades that probably won't change their ways completely any time soon.
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Old 06-10-2011, 09:49 AM   #47
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At present, E-readers are a rip-off compared to owning the paper. When you buy an ebook from Amazon, you don't own it. You can't give it to a friend, you can't loan it, all you bought was a license to read it on your Kindle. And, Amazon sells a lot of these for the same price as the paper.
This irritates me. I have physical books that are decades old. With eBooks the distributors/publishers want to treat you as licensees knowing you will change platform or otherwise loose track of the license and the product. It is fairly easy to strip the DRM from them so you can save readable copies on backup, change the format to read on a device of your choice, give it to a friend, etc. But I assume that violates the law and is not a viable long term solution. I hope the cost for major releases comes down but I am not optimistic.

Edit: I wish they would post used eBooks for sale like Amazon does with used physical books (i.e. easily transfer the license). That would be a valuable market.
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:04 AM   #48
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I have no trouble imagining that.
Learning how to turn pages helps develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination--but the next generation will need less of those I guess (and they won't have to physically get up off the couch to go to a library).
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:32 AM   #49
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In the middle of this debate, a local library has been told that its rock walls don't look right for their (relatively wealthy) neighborhood. $300K to fix this "problem".

StarAdvertiser.com - Mobile Edition

I don't know what classes or studying go into a "Masters of Library Science", but I've been mystified by the alleged "user interfaces" of many periodical and database systems. I suspect the Dewey Decimal System may not be considered a hot topic anymore.

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Learning how to turn pages helps develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination--
Multi-finger swipes on an Apple touchpad/touchscreen certainly require more of those skills than I've developed.
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:51 AM   #50
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In the middle of this debate, a local library has been told that its rock walls don't look right for their (relatively wealthy) neighborhood. $300K to fix this "problem".

StarAdvertiser.com - Mobile Edition

I don't know what classes or studying go into a "Masters of Library Science", but I've been mystified by the alleged "user interfaces" of many periodical and database systems. I suspect the Dewey Decimal System may not be considered a hot topic anymore.


Multi-finger swipes on an Apple touchpad/touchscreen certainly require more of those skills than I've developed.
Yeah, depth perception development in turning pages is so old-fashioned--and those toddlers are going to have a lot more fun with a fingerpainting app, too--they don't have to deal with the horror of texture and messiness of real paint .

Sounds like someone screwed up that library's design, less for appearance and more for safety and maintenance from the article:
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More important than the look of the building, the protruding stone veneer on the building’s interior could pose safety concerns, DAGS and library officials agreed, and on the exterior it would create “serious maintenance challenges,” such as requiring more frequent cleaning and making it more expensive to paint the building.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:00 PM   #51
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When I was young, my parents would drop me off at our municipal library, and I would head down to the basement and wander the aisles for a half day, browsing old books. At college, I always contrived to get a professor to sign me a stack pass, and I could continue my browsing in a much larger library. That was something. But times change --- now I have a similar pleasant time browsing the web, and as more resources go on line, it's getting more interesting by the year. The money that could go to providing physical facilities for housing books would be better spent improving web access, in my opinion.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:09 PM   #52
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Sounds like someone screwed up that library's design, less for appearance and more for safety and maintenance from the article:
Quote:
More important than the look of the building, the protruding stone veneer on the building’s interior could pose safety concerns, DAGS and library officials agreed, and on the exterior it would create “serious maintenance challenges,” such as requiring more frequent cleaning and making it more expensive to paint the building.
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Lau and Fujio said that after examining a number of options, “the difficult decision” was made to remove the veneer, fill in the indentations, then plaster it all over with cement, leaving a smoother plaster finish.
Incredible - - they are replacing the rocks with cement.

I wonder how long that $295K would last if it was spent on hiring a painter with a paint sprayer once a year, to paint those rocks (that they claim are too hard to paint).
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:17 PM   #53
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Incredible - - they are replacing the rocks with cement.
But they weren't real rocks, I gather (I haven't seen it). The story refers to a "plaster and random cast stone veneer".
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:21 PM   #54
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But they weren't real rocks, I gather (I haven't seen it). The story refers to a "plaster and random cast stone veneer".
Maybe they were hoping for a more traditional structure, such as cinderbock and a tarpaper roof.

(Just like our old library. The one with all the roof leaks over the stacks...)
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:30 PM   #55
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Wonderful library memories from my childhood - - -

(1) When I was a little kid, my mother would take us to the public library once a week since our elementary school had no library. There we could take out 1-2 books each and I thought it was great fun. We had to read them clear through and give her a satisfactory verbal report in order to get another book the next week.

(2) When I was 13, every Tuesday and Thursday she had my older brother take me to the university library where we were both to study from 7-10 PM. He would take off with his girlfriend as soon as we got there, but I never told on him because I loved that library. After I finished my homework, I would find interesting books to skim through and I looked forward to getting out of the house like that.

But you know, the cherished memories we have now probably are not going to be the same memories future generations will cherish because times are changing. Maybe they will cherish memories of spending time at a friend's house and exchanging titles of books they downloaded on their Kindles.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:53 PM   #56
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Our elementary school librarian fit the stereotype perfectly. She was great and inspired one of classmates to become a librarian.

I remember the moment I realized that Jenny's nostalgic memories were being "set." Hard to express, but each generation's fond memories are different. Mine include snowstorms, snow days, and a Rambler that splashed water through the floorboards when we went over a puddle; hers will not.
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Old 06-10-2011, 01:04 PM   #57
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This might be the rejected veneer of the Manoa library ("Ready for Manoa Rain" by Drew Wertheimer).
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Old 06-10-2011, 01:13 PM   #58
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Our elementary school librarian fit the stereotype perfectly. She was great and inspired one of classmates to become a librarian.

I remember the moment I realized that Jenny's nostalgic memories were being "set." Hard to express, but each generation's fond memories are different. Mine include snowstorms, snow days, and a Rambler that splashed water through the floorboards when we went over a puddle; hers will not.
For me, it seems that with increasing age I become more and more focused on the present. Some of the past was good, some was bad, but none of it is strong enough to pull my attention away from today. I occasionally remember going out with M&D to cut a swamp cedar tree for Christmas on GPs farm. Good fun, and tying it on the old Dodge for the trip back to the city, having some Pfferneuse and hot milk before leaving. Also going fishing with my uncle. We'd go up a little creek off the river and seine some minnows, have a sandwich and start fishing as the sun got low. Always catch some bass. But I would be wet from seining, and I'd freeze trying to stay asleep on a damn rock by the river bank. My uncle was way too tough to pay any attention to things like comfort.

All very nice. But are these better memories than last weeks happy hour? No, for one thing it is harder to remember that many years ago and there were no oysters included. Although I do remember how good bass straight from the river taste next morning.

This applies even those highly praised early sex experiences. For me, this week's or next week's are worth a much more. All I have to do is remember that those girls from the past are old ladies today and the whatever fantasies I might have had are quickly over. I would like to relive some of that, but remembering it lacks punch.

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Old 06-10-2011, 04:04 PM   #59
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For me, it seems that with increasing age I become more and more focused on the present. Some of the past was good, some was bad, but none of it is strong enough to pull my attention away from today.
+1 I can fondly reminisce about a variety of childhood thru college experiences but they don't hold more (or even as much) appeal than the present. I also enjoy the ubiquitous "remember when" email lists that fondly talk about various things we did back in the day but I don't agree with the implied judgement accompanying most of those messages that things were obviously better back then.
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Old 06-10-2011, 04:44 PM   #60
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The idea that libraries are wildly expensive doesn't hold up to my investigation.

I live in Plymouth MN, which is in Hennepin County.

From the county website, it looks like the library operating budget was about $69 million last year. The capital budget was about $16 million. So they spent about $85 million on libraries in a county with 1.15 million people.

That's a per person cost of about $74/year for libraries. For my family of three, that amounts to $222/year. That's not a huge ebook budget for three people (although our two month old isn't reading yet ).

For perspective, our state and local property tax burden was about $9000 plus whatever sales taxes we've paid (we bought a car last year, so the sales tax is not trivial, I just don't keep records of it).

I just looked up the price of the library books I currently have out--

Don't vote it just encourages the bastards $9
Moyers on Democracy $11.99
False Alarm $10.49
Divided America $12.99
Empire of Illusion $8.20

That's $50 in books in one month right there for just me. Unless the pricing on eBooks changes dramatically, I don't see eReaders replacing libraries anytime soon.

Frankly, I still see them as toys for the mostly affluent.

We don't have an eReader (although my wife likes her Ipod, and reads a lot of online stuff on it now).
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