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Libraries 'have had their day'


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It seems his argument comes down to money. I've heard, and disagree, with the notion that libraries ought to be private and funded by membership fees and donations. I like our system, even when we had major financial issues my family was still able to access a wide variety of books, movies, and music.

 

His point about movies seems to be misplaced. My library carries a huge selection of movies available for free. And CDs, ebooks, computer time, and genealogy resources.

 

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100% disagree. He comes off like a greedy twit. Libraries are not just about checking out books. Librarians do more then shelve things. There is a reason you need a masters degree to be a librarian.

 

Libraries are community centers that open doors to the world. There are programs for children and adults Our library has an art gallery where they feature local artists. It drives me nuts when people say there is no longer a need for public libraries because of the internet and ebooks. It is a limited view of what libraries are and the services they supply. The interent is not a replacement for human interaction and intelligence.

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His biggest complaint is all the royalties he is missing out on by being so popular in libraries. Although I think he has a point to an extent, he can't claim all of those check-outs as missed sales. If I didn't have library access, I simply wouldn't read as much or would buy more used books; I definitely wouldn't buy all the titles I'm interested in, as I couldn't afford to. He also failed to acknowledge that libraries have helped give him the success he has had. I can't even count the number of authors I never would have known about had I not discovered one of their books at the library. How many sales has he received as a direct result of a new fan's discovery of his work at a library?

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I disagree with the author. Our library is also always packed, and individuals are turned away from some events.

 

Other thoughts:

 

1) Libraries need vision, community support, and $$$ to transition to the next age of libraries. Don't get your panties in a bundle over libraries asking for money to transition. Imagine if hospitals, firemen, and universities had made no changes in the past 300 years. Change is coming, and for libraries to serve the new e-society, they must change, too.

 

 

IMNSHO, our local library is a poster child for this.

a) LOTS AND LOTS of programming. We have tons of children's programming -- everything from Hot Dog Dinner Theater to the standard "reading programs." Other programming includes:

--film festivals

--local music talent

--English conversation group for individuals who want to work on their conversational English skills

--Any clubs free and open to the public may reserve library rooms for use by their members for free. I have attended the knitting club there.

 

b ) A tech guy who gives classes on how to use your ipad/nook/kindle to download books.

 

c) Ebooks available to checkout. Iowa did something right by forming the WILBOR consortium for all participating Iowa libraries to share ebooks.

 

d) Bookmobile instead of branch libraries.

 

e) Employees that will pull books from the shelves and "hold" for me to pickup -- for free!!! This was a godsent when I worked 60+hours/week as an in-home daycare provider. This program is helpful for busy patrons/parents who don't have time to play hide-and-seek for a handful of books.

 

f) Online access from home to library information: website, reserve books, check what is out on my account and when it is due...and renew online!

 

2) "Bookshops are closing down, he said, "because someone is giving away the product they are trying to sell."

 

Uh, no.

 

Bookstores are closing because people find it cheaper (25%+off) to purchase from Amazon.

 

Bookstores are closing because in our busy lives, it is easier to have Amazon delivered to our front door. The other option is to put two kids in and out of carseats to drag them to the bookstore where they cannot touch. Amazon allows browsing at 3am in my underwear.

 

Bookstores are closing because small bookstores have standard hours of ~9am-6pm. Most people would have to choose between picking up their kids on time from daycare, and going shopping for books.

 

Bookstores are closing because they don't do good follow up with customers. My experience: we had a local book coop that I ordered and bought from often. However, more than once I would request a book, and I would never hear from them again. So is the book on order? Is it coming? Or were you just not able to get it? If you couldn't get it, that's fine. I'll look at another venue for that one item, but please follow up!

 

3) If anything, libraries are like drug dealers: they get you hooked on a product, and then as an adult, you continue to need the product...but often pay for it out of your pocket!!

 

By providing many free children's books, children are hooked on the joy of reading. They learn the warmth of a good story, the glow of a happy ending, and the thrill of an unexpected and devastating twist.

 

As a result, these children grow up to be readers themselves!

--As good readers, they hold good jobs....and pay more taxes to support our schools, libraries, and businesses!

--Even if they don't read for pleasure, they purchase books to aid them in work: computer manuals, Tony Robbin's newest book, textbooks for college!

--The worst of offenders grow up and get their own children hooked on books by sharing their own childhood favorites with babies! Babies I tell you! Good Night Moon and Where the Wild Things Are! There are even Green Eggs and Ham involved!

--Some even purchase books for OTHER PEOPLE'S CHILDREN!!!!

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I am really glad that we have never bought a Horrible Histories book! Actually my dcs don't like them so haven't supported his 6.2p either. Didn't know about the 6.2 p that was interesting.

 

Seriously our family goes to maybe one movie a year. We no longer buy everything on dvd. No more room. If we buy something we have to get rid of one which ends up in the cheap amazon resale market. We watch most things on the tv. Which thanks to the tv license is really good-- think basic cable in the US. I know several people with no TV license who do not watch telly. There are choices.

 

Seriously just dd and I read 6 or 7 books a week(sometimes the same now she is older) which would cost at least £50 a week new. No way long term. I love my library. All those books would hit the resale market and give Amazon more business. Plus kindles...

 

 

 

 

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Haven't read the article yet, but just on the title of this thread - I agree. Our library is awful. It carries mostly bestsellers, whatever Oprah is reading, and diet books. No one bothers to go there for computer use - the computers are slow and I don't know anyone in this city who doesn't have their own computer anyway (or at the least, a smartphone that can get online). I think a lot of people are getting their entertainment from the internet or cable TV - and using their own equipment to do it. There is very little there in the way of programs for kids, with limited events planned when there *is* something available. The hours are limited, too. They cut way down on staff so usually the librarian on duty in whichever area you're in can't leave her desk to help you if you need it. It's not like it was when I was a kid and there were library staff members walking about and ready to help you if you needed it. Having said that, this makes me sad. Especially in this city when our library is a historic building and they recently spent a ton of money trying to update it inside. I hear the archives are nice if you have a need for it, but most of the renovation took away a lot of space and the new modern interior doesn't jive with the building's architecture.

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I disagree with what he says in both principle and fact, but I'm not going to boycott him for having an opinion different than mine. Heck, I recently purchased Jurassic Park and Ender's Game for my eldest... hard to beat Crichton and Orson Scott Card for holding opinions counter to mine.

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2) "Bookshops are closing down, he said, "because someone is giving away the product they are trying to sell."

 

Uh, no.

 

Bookstores are closing because people find it cheaper (25%+off) to purchase from Amazon.

 

3) If anything, libraries are like drug dealers: they get you hooked on a product, and then as an adult, you continue to need the product...but often pay for it out of your pocket!!

 

By providing many free children's books, children are hooked on the joy of reading. They learn the warmth of a good story, the glow of a happy ending, and the thrill of an unexpected and devastating twist.

 

As a result, these children grow up to be readers themselves!

--As good readers, they hold good jobs....and pay more taxes to support our schools, libraries, and businesses!

--Even if they don't read for pleasure, they purchase books to aid them in work: computer manuals, Tony Robbin's newest book, textbooks for college!

--The worst of offenders grow up and get their own children hooked on books by sharing their own childhood favorites with babies! Babies I tell you! Good Night Moon and Where the Wild Things Are! There are even Green Eggs and Ham involved!

--Some even purchase books for OTHER PEOPLE'S CHILDREN!!!!

 

Completely agree with this. I don’t think libraries are the cause of the demise of local bookstores, it’s Amazon.

 

I love the libraries as drug dealers idea. I completely agree, I think libraries create readers and readers buy books.

 

I love our library. We regularly have 100+ books checked out (we still are in the picture book stage). I can’t imagine homeschooling without the library. Our library is often packed and seems very relevant.

 

I also think he’s naive about the poor. There are people who depend on the library for books or for Internet use.

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We have the absolute best library system in the country (it's actually been voted that!) and it shows. We just got a branch 5 minutes from our house and it is our new living room. :001_smile: I am constantly bumping into neighbors there as well as a lot of strangers, of course. We have lots of books there and fill our suitcase with them. There are lots of other programs available too but I go there primarily for the books - and their nice clean study room.

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I haven't read the article (and don't have time right now). However, our library has definitely seen it's heyday. They just spend 1.5 million dollars upgrading the facility, but in the process sold all the classics. Almost the whole library is filled with twaddle. The programs they offer are more to teach the kids about the relativistic hot topics of the day than about reading or learning. There is a good library about 30 minutes away, but we rarely get over there. Anyway, I wish that our library had fewer Captain Underpants type books and more real, living books. I just buy our books. :seeya:

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I haven't read the article. I disagree with the premise that libraries have had their day.

 

We are fortunate to have an amazing library system in our town (with ~10 libraries in all if I'm not mistaken). Our library system fits the "community center" model, where it's a lot more than books. We have a huge selection of books, movies and other media, programming, an overwhelmingly large events calendar with both fun and educational events, visiting author series, movie nights, computer centers, etc. Our downtown branch is providing a major community service as it appears to reach out to the homeless as well. To my knowledge, they cannot check out books (you need to have a home address to get a library card) - but they come, get out of the cold, and read a book or work on a computer. The non-profit group I work with schedules all of its support group meetings at the library - we are able to host five support group meetings each month (for families with kids on the autism spectrum as well as autistic adults) using the library's community rooms free of charge.

 

I love, love, love our library and we usually go twice a week.

 

If anything, libraries are like drug dealers

 

LOL. :lol: This gets my "quote of the day" vote. Now to work this into a conversation somehow....

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If you would have posted this 4 months ago I would have heartily disagreed. Now we are not renewing our library membership when it expires the first of May. The system hired a new manager at our local branch. She is a grade A b**ch. I was at the park with my kids the day she got hired and she showed up to visit with some friends and was laughing that she never even knew our town had a library before she applied for the job, had never been in it, never knew so many people in town used it. She still got hired, and has been nothing but rude to my family ever since. She has decided on one hand to run the place "by the book" which whatever, is the way it is. We had lots of perks being small town that are now gone BUT then she decided that my kids should only be allowed to have 3 items out at a time instead of the card limit of 25 and some things that are 3 week loans she starts phoning the house after 4-5 days demanding them back. Yes we have had to replace a few damaged items but on the whole we had been taking 200-300 items out a month and maybe every 2-3 months something would get damaged. Now they are allowing 12 items at a time. The sister library in the next town is closed for renovations as they redo a new building they are using. Otherwise we would just use that one, but now can't.

 

I had previously been told at both locations that my family were the biggest patrons. The gov't gives the libraries money to buy more materials based on what is checked out. So if lots of adult fiction is out they get money to buy adult fiction etc. Well because of us they said they were able to beef up their children's non fiction, children's/teen fiction sections, movie selection. In addition I was happy to pay late fees because even if they got high it was still cheaper than buy books new. THey always got paid though not as quickly as I would like, which gave even more money to the libraries.

 

Well this 1 manager has ruined the experience for us. When we moved here the moving truck wasn't even gone yet and we were at the library getting cards. Library day was the highlight of the week. Now it feels like a chore that we dread, because it means dealing with that woman. I filed a complaint with the council that oversees the libraries in this region but she is still there just as rude as ever. So we will not renew. They can stop having so much money brought in.

 

The worst part is we love the sister library but if we do not have a membership at our home branch we can't use it.

 

So yeah I think they have had their day. We will be strictly buying books once it expires and I am looking at finally getting a kindle or other ereader to make that easier.

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our system is adding a parking garage (desperately needed.) to our downtown library just to handle the volume of visitors. I prefer to just order online. I can also get items from other library systems. My local branch moved into brand new and bigger digs (with more parking) about three years ago. they needed more parking and had previously enlarged their building as much as they could. I do miss the drive through drop off . . . . .

 

eta: our membership is permanent. unless you lose your card, then you need to get another one. (I've memorized my number.) but it's all tax-payer supported, so it's "free". I've had my current number for 30 years. My understanding is we have a very large/high volume system - which probably makes a difference, both in terms of selection, and volume of visitors.

 

etaa: it fits much of the "community" model as described above by a pp.

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I haven't read the article. I disagree with the premise that libraries have had their day.

 

We are fortunate to have an amazing library system in our town (with ~10 libraries in all if I'm not mistaken). Our library system fits the "community center" model, where it's a lot more than books. We have a huge selection of books, movies and other media, programming, an overwhelmingly large events calendar with both fun and educational events, visiting author series, movie nights, computer centers, etc. Our downtown branch is providing a major community service as appears to reach out to the homeless as well. To my knowledge, they cannot check out books (you need to have a home address to get a library card) - but they come, get out of the cold, and read a book or work on a computer. The non-profit group I work with schedules all of its support group meetings at the library - we are able to host five support group meetings each month (for families with kids on the autism spectrum as well as autistic adults) using the library's community rooms free of charge.

 

I love, love, love our library and we usually go twice a week.

 

 

 

LOL. :lol: This gets my "quote of the day" vote. Now to work this into a conversation somehow....

 

Wow your library sounds great. OUrs is the size of a convience store, open 3 days a week for 6 hour each time. No programming unless we do the 30 minute once a week storytime for preschoolers. Or the seniors tea the first friday of the month. THere is nothing to persuade families to come in. The children's section is dismal, but if you want a cook book, harlequin novel or other trashy adult fiction the place has just what you want. It does have 4 computers but 2 do not have flash drive or adobe, on them and they will not upload them, so there is lots of sites we can't use (mostly children's sites), so the computers are not even an allure there,.

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Libraries aren't the cause of the problems in the publishing industry.

 

You want people to buy more books? Make them readers. Reading isn't a (relatively) passive activity like listening to music or watching a movie. Strong library systems integrated into the community help make people readers.

 

You want people to purchase your product? Listen to your customers: When do we want it? Now. What do we want to pay? In the case of most media (especially e-media), less than what you're charging.

 

This is where traditional publishers, RIAA, the MPAA and similar bodies are intentionally keeping the blinders on. Yes, there's a component of piracy driven by "free" but just as much is "now" and "you want me to pay what? For what format? With region encoding? And I can't download the UK print/audio version of Harry Potter?" Consumers are resistent to a premium price point in all but a small number of circumstances. I'm not the only one wondering why should I pay the same price for an e-book I don't technically even own (read the fine print) as for a paperback I can resell?

 

My fantasy, though I doubt it will happen in my lifetime: subscription models across the board for e-books, e-music, e-movies, etc., with the only "premium" being the first six months or so after release. I'd pay for all three subscriptions.

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Wow, I really disagree with his attitude. First, he expects people to learn only through compulsory schooling? How narrow of a view is that for a children's author? Second, I disagree that I need to buy every book I read and buy it new from a bookstore. I borrow books from friends, buy at the used bookstore, borrow from the library as well as buy from the bookstore. If a book is good enough, then I will often add it to my collection after reading it.

 

There seems to be a disconnect between what he expects from readers and the types of books that he writes. He doesn't write long, ponderous books that I must read more than once to absorb. He writes short, humorous resource books for children. And how do many children discover his books? Through their classrooms or libraries.

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We rarely use our library, so I, personally, wouldn't miss it if it was gone. It is a lovely library branch and does offer other things besides books, but we just aren't library people, I guess. I would much rather just buy the books we read, so we buy lots.

 

However, even though I don't have use for libraries, I think they are very important for many. I think they need to evolve, but I can't imagine them not existing.

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He is uninformed if he believes that libraries are closing down bookstores. That is just ignorance of the realities of the business world. Maybe he should find a place that would allow him to research economics. Hmmm... I wonder where that would be... if only there were places with books that one could use for educational purposes, but that could be expensive to buy all those book at once. What to do...what to do....

 

http://www.marcmorris.org.uk/2013/02/a-letter-to-terry-deary.html

 

And as Neil Gaiman says "Google can bring you 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you the right one."

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My library system is wonderful compared to some described here. At two branches, they know me and my kids by name. All of them are willing to talk to us, help us, etc. Yes, more movies and computers have been added, but most people I see are checking out more books than movies.

 

My fantasy, though I doubt it will happen in my lifetime: subscription models across the board for e-books, e-music, e-movies, etc., with the only "premium" being the first six months or so after release. I'd pay for all three subscriptions.

 

I would love a netflix type service for ebooks!!

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I agree with the pp- I would love to be part of a subscription-based model that offers e-books, e-movies, mp3 downloads, etc. we love many things about our library (service, reservations, inter-library loans) BUT it is crowded and everything is so over-used that to borrow any e-book takes months. Checking out physical books is a gamble (the last few from the children's section were disgusting, one was covered in mucus and another had streaks of blood all over it), and anything of quality needs to be reserved and requires a long waiting period.

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Wow. We have an excellent library system. My only complaint is that collection management is about popularity (circulation), not necessarily about the richness and completeness of the information (seeing the sections on many medieval cultures shrink with no new quality books to replace the ones they discarded.) However, we have programming to appeal to all ages. Dd is on their Teen Advisory Group that helps come up with programming to get teens into the library. We have books in every format, ebooks for check out, e-readers for checkout, computer banks (although our town is considered upper middle class to wealthy, there are people who cannot affort internet access due to job loss or other circumstances), movies, tax help, book clubs, you name it.

 

I think the demise of book stores is only partially due to Amazon's success. The big box book stores forgot about customer service. They stopped hiring people who actually read books. We have a thriving independent book store in our town. Border's closed, but they are still here, despite a huge B & N only blocks away. They offer superior customer service, author signings, community events ... heck, they even have their own local cable TV show (actually the owner hosts an author talk every week.) The store hourse are better than the library hours. If I ever need a gift for someone, that is the first place I go ... I can describe the person and they will find an appropriate read. While I typically have a ton of books out from the library, I spend a small fortune every year at Anderson's Bookshop. I buy books from Amazon as well, but the frequent buyer club at our bookstore makes it competitive for what they offer.

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My library has two branches near me, plus another in town. It's connected to a county system, so my card is reciprocal at any library in the county system.

 

We have lots of programs, story time, music & movement, book clubs for all ages, a brown bag lecture series, computer help, a program that brings in dogs to have kids who are learning to read read to them, a teen social time with Wii or movies... One library sets aside space for schools to display student's art and includes homeschoolers.

 

The hold system works great and is set up so I can form "wish lists" similar to Amazon, but for books I want to check out later. We do have self check out, but the employees are largely friendly and helpful.

 

I love our libraries! I don't think bad libraries means libraries as a whole have had their day. It means those libraries need to improve...wishful thinking, but still.

 

We've been dirt poor the last few years, but my kids(particularly DS) have had a wealth of exposure to good books thanks to libraries. :)

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I think the demise of book stores is only partially due to Amazon's success. The big box book stores forgot about customer service. They stopped hiring people who actually read books. We have a thriving independent book store in our town. Border's closed, but they are still here, despite a huge B & N only blocks away. They offer superior customer service, author signings, community events ... heck, they even have their own local cable TV show (actually the owner hosts an author talk every week.) The store hourse are better than the library hours. If I ever need a gift for someone, that is the first place I go ... I can describe the person and they will find an appropriate read. While I typically have a ton of books out from the library, I spend a small fortune every year at Anderson's Bookshop. I buy books from Amazon as well, but the frequent buyer club at our bookstore makes it competitive for what they offer.

 

 

I agree that this is a large part of the reason people just buy online. Our Borders in Hawaii had some excellent customer service people. They would help me find unabridged editions of books. If our homeschool class was doing a book, then they would order several of a book for us, etc. But, that level of service is few and far between. The Barnes and Noble here, not so much. I have had to write down names of authors because they couldn't spell them to put them in the computer. And some of the books are in the strangest places! A Once and Future King was in the Sci-Fi section, for example. Much easier to order off of Amazon, if I cannot get customer service (or find anything) at the store.

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I have become too OCD for libraries. Icky unidentified stuff in books, bed bugs, and generally a very mainstream selection. Even in our library which is wealthy and highly rated. Meh.

 

I LOVE libraries - the concept of libraries. I just intend to build my OWN. ;)

 

I miss how I used to feel about them. I loved them as a kid. I would never remove their funding...I would never discourage their use by kids (if I ignore the ick factor.)

 

But I do believe that they will go away. Unless there's an EMP strike rendering electronic reading impossible. And then they will anyway, as people burn whatever they find for warmth...ok, I've been reading too much dystopia. :)

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I didn't read the article because I have no toleration for whining today and it sounds to me as if this man is whining. LOL

 

I think that libraries will go the way of the dodo bird, but I don't want them to. I love the library. I love holding books in my hand. I love the search. I love walking around and reading the backs of books and that feeling when I find something I want to read. I hope libraries are able to find a way to make it work in the digital age.

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I also wanted to add the value of libraries as a place young people can learn about things that their parents can't (or won't) expose them to.

 

I discovered Shakespeare, the concept of the Hundredth Monkey, and Tatterhood at my local library. I also learned about birth control by opening a random "women health" book. (I'm still waiting for "the talk" from my mom, so basically the library is what kept me from being a teen mom).

 

Where else can kids read Bill Maher next to Bill O'Reilly? Ultimate Proof of Creation next to Origin of the Species? Captain Underpants next to the Chronicles of Narnia?

 

I know that this idea of our children learning things parents don't want them to know strikes terror into many parents' hearts, but it has its place in our society. I remember reading some books only a chapter at a time because I dared not check it out and bring it home.

 

 

 

It makes me wonder what books my own children will not check out.

 

Reason for editing: A kitten died because of my careless apostrophe use.

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He sounds like a greedy twit.

 

The computers get the most use at our library. I live in a very poor area with 12% unemployment, I think a lot of people here don't have computers at home or can't afford internet. Our library is part of a larger system so I can get almost any book I'm looking for. My complaint is the children's librarian isn't very well versed in children's literature.

If I had to buy every book I wanted to read I wouldn't be able to read much at all.

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I think the demise of book stores is only partially due to Amazon's success. The big box book stores forgot about customer service. They stopped hiring people who actually read books. We have a thriving independent book store in our town. Border's closed, but they are still here, despite a huge B & N only blocks away. They offer superior customer service, author signings, community events ... heck, they even have their own local cable TV show (actually the owner hosts an author talk every week.) The store hourse are better than the library hours. If I ever need a gift for someone, that is the first place I go ... I can describe the person and they will find an appropriate read. While I typically have a ton of books out from the library, I spend a small fortune every year at Anderson's Bookshop. I buy books from Amazon as well, but the frequent buyer club at our bookstore makes it competitive for what they offer.

 

 

 

I agree that this is a large part of the reason people just buy online. Our Borders in Hawaii had some excellent customer service people. They would help me find unabridged editions of books. If our homeschool class was doing a book, then they would order several of a book for us, etc. But, that level of service is few and far between. The Barnes and Noble here, not so much. I have had to write down names of authors because they couldn't spell them to put them in the computer. And some of the books are in the strangest places! A Once and Future King was in the Sci-Fi section, for example. Much easier to order off of Amazon, if I cannot get customer service (or find anything) at the store.

 

 

:iagree: with both of these posts. However, the folks working at my B&N don't know much about the authors I inquire about, just like Mrs. Mungo's experiences. We also have the same problem with books being in strange places. I usually can't find what I am looking for... even using their computer~~ it sends me to a location but the book isn't there. Often, if I just wander each aisle looking for my author, I can find the book (providing, of course, the computer tells me they have it at all!).

 

I *had* to order most of my dc's reading lists because the big, shiny new Barnes & Noble didn't have what we needed. Ender's Game? Who doesn't carry Ender's Game? Oh, wait.... they didn't have room for it because they expanded their *stuffed animal* and puzzles area. (An exaggeration, but maybe not by too much). They also didn't have the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, something by Maya Angelou... I think I bought two books out of about 30 between the two kids. Dh was stunned and I wanted to shout at someone!

 

When I asked at the desk about ordering the books I needed, their prices were much higher than Amazon, or even their *own online prices*. Sadly, I went to Amazon, because even if I had ordered from B&N online, I still would have had to make the trip to the store to pick them up, and I *hate* where their 'shiny new' store is located. I saved well over $30 (probably more like $40) by using Amazon, but I sure felt guilty when I hit 'order'. I would much rather walk into a bookstore and then come out holding a book or two or three that I had been leafing through than to order one sight unseen.

 

I *big puffy heart* books!!

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I often end up buying books if I've checked them out more than three times. But it's because of the library that I gave these books a try in the first place, so I'd hardly say that libraries are "robbing" bookstores and authors. I live in the country, and the nearest town's library is small (they have plans to build a huge one in the next few years ... hooray!), but I can get books from any library in the region (which includes the city about 45 minutes away). Our "local" library extended its Saturday hours last year due to demand, and other libraries I've been to in the system have newer facilities and always have a good number of people in them (and I usually go at more off hours). It really does seem to depend on the area. The previous area where I lived had a really subpar public library system, so I mainly stuck to my university library privileges, since I was a grad student at the time.

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our town rebuilt our library about 3 years ago and it is amazing. It is the main part of our community center that is 2 stories and an entire square block. The library is the main part but it also includes our Historical Museum (which features the life of Grace Kelly as she spent all her summers here even after she was a princess) , Also our Aquatic Center with its Olympic size pool that also the schools use, our large fitness center, the new Senior Citizen complex, art classrooms for lessons, meeting rooms, a room where they show free classic movies, tons of childrens programs, a cafe with great salads, soups, wraps, coffee, smoothies, etc. The library is 2 stories and the 2nd floor has floor to ceiling windows with tons of comfy armchairs tucked away in little reading nooks. It is the hub of our town. FEMA even set up their headquarters there after Sandy.

 

All the librarians are also very nice. It is a friendly place.

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So, if I just look at the question and ignore the article, I would answer that 'yes' *MY* library has seen its day.

 

BUT... but, but, but.... we need libraries. For all their shortcomings, we need libraries and we need them to be free to the community. I shudder to think of what would become of us as a society should libraries close. Even if one day, the only thing they have to offer are public-use computers and e-readers.... we need our libraries.

 

 

I agree with Wildcat -- our library here (NJ) has "seen its day." It is underfunded, understaffed, and falling apart in so many ways. It's sad to see it go downhill, but the money simply isn't being put into the public library. Ironically, their funding depends on usage -- numbers of patrons, numbers of reference questions, numbers of items checked out, etc. But the less they get, the less they have to offer, so patrons get bored and stop coming in for new items, and then the library gets less money. It's a vicious, downward spiral.

 

But I also agree with Wildcat that communities need good, public, free libraries, and the costs of them (borne by taxpayers) is worth it to the community as a whole. When we were completely "tight" in our budget just a few years back, there were times when we had to choose between spending that last $30 on food for our children or gas for my husband to get to work. It was a trying time. There was certainly no money for books. :( We used our library extensively, and were thankful for it.

 

I do hope this anti-library trend turns around soon, but something tells me it will not go away, only get worse and worse until libraries become worn-out shells of their former selves. Or abandoned "ghost libraries," like this book dump in Detroit.

 

http://www.artificialowl.net/2008/09/abandoned-detroit-public-schools-book.html

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When I asked at the desk about ordering the books I needed, their prices were much higher than Amazon, or even their *own online prices*. Sadly, I went to Amazon, because even if I had ordered from B&N online, I still would have had to make the trip to the store to pick them up, and I *hate* where their 'shiny new' store is located. I saved well over $30 (probably more like $40) by using Amazon, but I sure felt guilty when I hit 'order'. I would much rather walk into a bookstore and then come out holding a book or two or three that I had been leafing through than to order one sight unseen.

 

I *big puffy heart* books!!

 

 

If you order online to pick up at store, you are charged store price, not online price. Asinine policy, and one people often don't find out about until confronted with the higher price at the store.

 

But now that Amazon has dropped 4-for-3, it is cheaper for me to order paperbacks at B&N with my Educator Discount.

 

ETA: My local B&N has consistently kept the best children's staff ever. They give our children's librarian, no slouch herself, a run for the money. This is not my experience at other B&N stores.

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"Bookshops are closing down, he said, "because someone is giving away the product they are trying to sell."

 

Uh, no. Bookstores are closing because people find it cheaper (25%+off) to purchase from Amazon.

 

Bookstores are closing because in our busy lives, it is easier to have Amazon delivered to our front door. The other option is to put two kids in and out of carseats to drag them to the bookstore where they cannot touch. Amazon allows browsing at 3am in my underwear.

 

:iagree: :smilielol5: I love Amazon. LOL! I do wear a robe, though! :D

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His biggest complaint is all the royalties he is missing out on by being so popular in libraries. Although I think he has a point to an extent, he can't claim all of those check-outs as missed sales. If I didn't have library access, I simply wouldn't read as much or would buy more used books; I definitely wouldn't buy all the titles I'm interested in, as I couldn't afford to.

 

Since Husband has been out of work, I've bought no books. Not one. In two years. If I had not had access to a library I would have re-read my bookshelves or borrowed books from friends. Over those two years, my children have also had access to books that I would have been hard pressed to afford. Over that time, I have also used the public library's free computer access to study a programme that I did not own, in order to allow me to get the job that I currently have, supporting my family.

 

Laura

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I haven't read the article (and don't have time right now). However, our library has definitely seen it's heyday. They just spend 1.5 million dollars upgrading the facility, but in the process sold all the classics. Almost the whole library is filled with twaddle. The programs they offer are more to teach the kids about the relativistic hot topics of the day than about reading or learning. There is a good library about 30 minutes away, but we rarely get over there. Anyway, I wish that our library had fewer Captain Underpants type books and more real, living books. I just buy our books. :seeya:

 

Our library system did the same thing about 5-6 years ago, except when they weeded out the so-called "outdated" books, they put them in the DUMPSTER. Seriously, when I saw cartloads of books going in, I just about had a heart attack.

 

The branch manager said to horrified book-loving patrons that there was some policy about not being able to sell them or donate them ANYWHERE. It felt like a bold-faced lie at the time, but what do I know?

 

Anyhow, they had a problem with one patron who kept waiting for the staff to go back inside, then he would get INTO the dumpster and toss the books out. He was filling is trunk with them, all in still good shape, classics all. The library called the county sheriff, and he chased the guy away.

 

Sigh.

 

I agree, fewer Junie B. Jones books would be nice. We buy our books now, too. Almost all of them.

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