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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:30 PM
Original message
Philadelphia to close all free public libraries.
I don't even have words for this, and the odd feeling it gives.

Philadelphia to Close All Free Libraries

From Dick Eastman's genealogy letter:

Wow! I have written often about the financial problems of various libraries all around the country but this announcement is the biggest shut-down I have heard of to date. All Free Library of Philadelphia branch, regional and central libraries will close permanently at the end of the business day on October 2, 2009. The shut down is "permanent" unless new funding is found.

City residents and others will lose more than 6 million items, ranging from books and magazines to art, music, film, and other media as well as a number of special collections.

I wonder what Ben Franklin would say?


He added the letter from the library director. Here is part of it.

All Free Library of Philadelphia Customers,

We deeply regret to inform you that without the necessary budgetary legislation by the State Legislature in Harrisburg, the City of Philadelphia will not have the funds to operate our neighborhood branch libraries, regional libraries, or the Parkway Central Library after October 2, 2009.

Specifically, the following will take effect after the close of business, October 2, 2009:

All branch and regional library programs, including programs for children and teens, after school programs, computer classes, and programs for adults, will be cancelled
All Parkway Central Library programs, including children programs, programs to support small businesses and job seekers, computer classes and after school programs, will be cancelled. We are exploring the possibility of relocating the Philadelphia Author Series programs to other non-library facilities.
All library visits to schools, day care centers, senior centers and other community centers will cease.
All community meetings at our branch and regional libraries, and the Parkway Central Library, will be cancelled.
All GED, ABE and ESL programs held at Free Library branches will be discontinued, students should contact their teacher to see if other arrangements are being made.
In addition, all library materials will be due on October 1, 2009. This will result in a diminishing borrowing period for books and other library materials, beginning September 11, 2009. No library materials will be able to be borrowed after September 30, 2009.


Here are several of the comments from the website:

I am sitting here sadly shaking my head. I wonder how in the world the powers that be in Philadelphia justify taking the tools of education away from their constituents. How are our children to learn about their heritage, both genealogical and historical? What will happen to all the special collections?

..."Federal money is available to bail out greedy corporations but not to keep open institutions that provide services to educate citizens and others?


Many more comments at the site.

They have played games with city and county libraries in Florida for years now. In many cases they have been used as politicals tools and in some cases scapegoats. In some cases public records were going to be turned over to private groups with accountability. I used to post here about our battles to keep the state historical library open to the public. We got a reprieve, but I don't know the status now.

This is a crying shame. I hope they get the funding.



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barbtries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:32 PM
Response to Original message
1. that's staggering.
it seems like it should not even be legal.
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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #1
210. +1
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MissDeeds Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #210
212. + 2
To close public libraries... What's next, public schools?
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:34 PM
Response to Original message
2. ok... now I know this Republic is dying
the end of free access for the poor and middle class to knowledge is the death knell of an intelligent populous.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #2
42. How many immigrant families and their children used those libraries to help educate themselves?
Do people not know about their ancestors's use and their ultimate benefit from these public services? Stories abound about immigrants who bettered themselves and their children's lives in this country because of public libraries.

Our shame as a nation, embodied in the great city of Philadelphia. What a disgrace!

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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 08:58 PM
Response to Reply #42
95. Access to Education is THE Pillar of a Democracy
removing access to a library for the poor and middle class creates a caste system, and that in turn leads to an uniformed mass... very dangerous and extremely expensive long term.

The rich and powerful know this but seem to ignore history of civilization itself. They are creating a monster that will come back to haunt them all, regardless of who they are. That's what happens when people are uneducated and ignorant.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #95
96. The rich and powerful do NOT want a strong democracy. That's the LAST thing they want.
And that is why they try so hard to sway the lower classes against the intelligentsia because they fear the end of their unearned wealth and standard of living.
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #96
249. And most intellectuals are quite happy to play along. nt
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bdamomma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #96
307. for the higher ups an uneducated citizenry are easier to control
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hay rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #2
269. The Republic is not dying...
the corpse is becoming putrid. Closing libraries is just another nail in the coffin. The election of George W. Bush in 2000 was a conclusive demonstration that the American people were no longer capable of competent self-government.
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:34 PM
Response to Original message
3. In other news: Benjamin Franklin sits up, climbs out of his casket and begins walking back to Boston
:cry:
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hobbit709 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:36 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I was going to say that sound you hear is Ben spinning in his grave.
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Manifestor_of_Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #4
53. Ol' Ben is red-lining the marble tachometer.
:cry:

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intheflow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. I was thinking the same.
Didn't he start the first public library in Philadelphia?
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:41 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Yes and while we're at it he also founded the first public hospital to treat the poor in PA in 1751
first free healthcare on the continent.

:)
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 07:41 PM
Response to Reply #10
81. and Post Office too, eh?
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msanthrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 11:06 PM
Response to Reply #81
124. And the Patent Office....n/t
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #124
137. Good one!
Where would we be without Ben Franklin?
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Kalyke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #137
231. Apparently where the conservatoids want us to be now.
:(
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Tuvok Obama Donating Member (380 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #6
245. No. It was a members-only subscription library
Philadelphia's first public library was established in 1891 by a donation from George S. Pepper.
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wolfgangmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #3
166. In other news: Canada build wall on souther border.
Prime Minister announces wall during press conference.

"We just need to keep those ignorant dumbasses out of our democracy and a wall seem the only way to do it. The wall is designed to have pictures showing trespassers what will happen to them. We were just going to print "no tresspassing" on the signs but then thought about who we were trying to keep out."

In other news Canada opens a new hunting season. Tags for "Yankbacks" can now be purchased at any gas station.
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tomm2thumbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #166
192. omg - too true
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TxRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #166
264. Nahh they couldn't export all that sweet BC bud then...
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:36 PM
Response to Original message
5. Oh shit.
:(

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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:40 PM
Response to Original message
7. The dumb just got dumber.
The hastening of the emerging third world of the United States AKA United Stupidity!
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Barack_America Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:41 PM
Response to Original message
8. Just got done talking to a Philadelphia librarian.
She thinks this (along with fire and police cutbacks) is still just political gamesmanship and won't actually happen, but is still expecting her layoff notice on Friday.

She's of course that notice will be rescinded by Oct. 2.
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RobinA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #8
93. Tend To Agree
I'm not a librarian, but I am from Philadelphia. They've been playing this game all summer. I especially like the touch of listing in the notice all the things that the library does. A simple "The Library is Closed" would suffice....unless they are trying to make a point.
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marshall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #8
101. The list of all the services that will be cut off does make it seem like a game of one upsmanship
The message is being sent out--the library has many services other than checking out books.
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Nederland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:41 PM
Response to Original message
9. Libraries are Obsolete
Edited on Tue Sep-15-09 05:46 PM by Nederland
There, I said it.

I know many people have a nostalgic feeling about libraries, but the cold hearted truth is that they are obsolete. Is Philadelphia really going to lose 6 million items? No, because, Google Books has over 7 million books searchable, scanned in, and viewable from your own home. The fact is, hard paper bound books cost a hell of a lot of money to store and are not as accessible.

What government really needs to do is spend money from libraries on free, public computers.

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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. Spoken like a truly out of touch clueless RICH guy...
What you just sounds great - UNLESS you don't own and can't afford a computer.

Libraries are more important than ever because they provide free computer (not just internet wifi) access to millions of poor Americans who otherwise have no access whatsoever.

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Nederland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #13
20. Do you actually use libraries?
I'd be surprised, given that apparently YOU CAN'T READ.

If you could read, you'd see that at the bottom of my very brief post I mentioned that government needs to provided free, publicly available computers.
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DoctorMyEyes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #20
51. They already DO
If you could read, you'd see that at the bottom of my very brief post I mentioned that government needs to provided free, publicly available computers.


They already do - at the LIBRARY!
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #51
61. I used to work for the PL where I live (one of the best in the country). Our IT department
rivaled some major small business in the area.
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XanaDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #61
69. Hi, blonde!
The IT depts of the PLs I've worked at were better, more efficient, and worked faster than the place I am in now. We had three IT guys at one place to cover thousands of public-access PCs across the county- yet everything ran smoothly 95% of the time. Where I am now, there are daily problems with the IT network. It makes me appreciate the skill of civil service workers. :hi:

I decided to go for the money now, but I do miss those great IT workers! :D
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 07:00 PM
Response to Reply #51
66. THANK YOU! EXACTLY!
:rofl:

Again he's clueless..
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Wednesdays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #66
115. Which means, of course, they'll be shutting THAT down, too!
:cry:



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Nederland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #51
164. Yup
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 09:32 AM by Nederland
And I expect that is what libraries will morph into: places where there are public ally available computers, where the employees are IT people, not librarians. You could still call it a library I suppose, but it wouldn't have any books...
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svpadgham Donating Member (374 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #164
199. What happens when the power goes out?
n/t
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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #164
211. It will be called the ministry of Information.
All the information the state allows you to see.

I guess you don't realize that Computers take a hell of a lot of infrastructure to operate. You cannot repair a computer without replacement parts. You make the assumption that the infrastructure will always be around. You think that people will want to spend their waking hours inside a data kiosk, when they go read at their pace at home.

You are truly a shallow minded individual. You are unable to even think of the consequences of your particular worldview changing to one of more primitive, less affluent nature. You are the person that is going to be hurt the most when the reality of this depression hits home, because your world will cease to exist as you know it, and you will go, damn, if I only had that book on how to purify water...

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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #164
285. I agree with you, Nederland
I've been in libraries for 17 years, the last 12 in a public library.

During those last 12 years, I've:
seen drug deals go down,
broken up sex acts in the men's room stalls,
weeded and thrown away books that had been urinated on,
been threatened,
had the finger flipped at me numerous times,
summoned housekeeping to clean what was suspected of being ejaculate,
saw numerous "sexually-explicit" images on the public computers (we can't say "porn"),
saw vomit in the drinking fountains,
broken up fights,
been subjected to rude behavior on a regular basis,
been subjected to uncivil language on a regular basis,
summoned housekeeping to clean up human feces on the carpet,
saw prostitutes lining up their next "Johns,"
summoned housekeeping to clean up urine on chairs,
dealt with drunks and druggies,
dealt with people who I suspected had emotional and mental problems.

I suggest you all read,
Blatant Berry: The Vanishing Librarians

The library becomes a dehumanized supermarket or a chaotic bookstore

By John N. Berry III, Editor-at-Large, jberry@reedbusiness.com -- Library Journal, 2/15/2008

It looks like the "transformation" we seek for libraries and librarianship may turn out to be more of a "deskilling" of library jobs than an enhancement of the profession. More and more working librarians are "managed" by a new breed of library leader. Their model for the new public library is that dehumanized supermarket or the chaotic disorganization of the largest Barnes & Noble.

As this process unfolds, the once professional responsibilities of librarians are being dumbed down into the duties of retail clerks or the robotic responses of machines. Our circulation desks are disappearing. The humans who once greeted and discussed with patrons our wares and services as they dispensed them are being replaced by self-service. Those circulation clerks are either being terminated or sent to work elsewhere in the library.

Our reference services and the desk from which they were delivered are gone, too, replaced by wandering "librarians," with or without an MLS. They are supposed to be proactive in searching out patrons in need but are too often summoned on walkie-talkies or terminals to come to the aid of only those who ask or to respond to the few inquiries that arrive online. Of course, we need fewer and fewer of these librarians, because patrons are urged to do it all for themselves, via Google, PACs, or whatever they discover through our terminals or their own laptops and PCs.


and...

The resulting destination libraries resemble the cookie-cutter design of the grocery store, aimed at making sure everyone who comes in goes out with product (books, CDs, DVDs, or downloads). What the patron takes is of as little concern to the storekeeper librarian as it is to the supermarket manager. The success of the enterprise is measured in the number of products collected by patrons, now called customers. It is no longer measured in the usefulness or impact of the service on the quality of life in the community served.

-more-
Library Journal

I believe there's a need for community centers with internet access. And a soft seating area with current magazines and newspapers. Libraries now serve as daytime addresses for the city's homeless and chronically unemployed. Now, before I'm jumped on by well-meaning DUers, I must say that library "oldtimers" noticed a change in their patrons with Reagan and the slashing of mental-health programs. These folks were put out on the streets and the only place they could go was the public library. The library is not equipped to handle individuals with mental and emotion problems! So barring an increase in funding for such services, offer a sanctuary in such community centers staffed by people with backgrounds in counseling, therapy, and, unfortunately, security.

"Real" libraries could exist for the die-hard researcher. And they could be smaller and thusly less expensive, since many researchers are finding information on the internet in the homes or offices. "Real" librarians would staff them.

But make no mistake: Electronic and print resources are not equally used. A vast majority of our patrons use the internet for recreation and amusement; to pass time. A community center with internet-access computers would serve this purpose. Just don't call it a "library...."
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #164
286. It'll be soooooo much fun, standing and "reading" a book from a terminal!
I can hardly wait!

:wtf:
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DireStrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #51
209. He means SOLELY, without all the other services
I think most of those services would wind up staying anyway.

I'm really uncomfortable calling books obsolete. A book can't be erased by the government.
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #20
59. News bulletin: the government does this--
at--guessed it yet?--PUBLIC LIBRARIES.
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DKRC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 08:06 PM
Response to Reply #20
86. They do - they're in the middle of the library
at the two branches we visit. You have to be lucky to catch one free, especially now with so many people out of work. There are days when you can't find a parking place at the main library, so we drive a few miles more to a branch.

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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #20
92. Libraries also have programs for kids, teens, teens at risk. They host book clubs, free films
They provide insured public meeting places for hobby clubs.
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WorseBeforeBetter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 11:54 PM
Response to Reply #92
135. Good points. Libraries foster a sense of community.
I live in Raleigh, NC and the library closest to me is PACKED. Young, old, black, white, Hyundai drivers, Lexus drivers, you name it.
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DollyM Donating Member (837 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #92
270. yes, families can save money by checking out DVD's also at the library
I had forgot about that service. Useage of DVD's is also up at public library as people try to find ways to cut costs.
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madeline_con Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #20
97. They're already available. In libraries.
:eyes:
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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #20
206. They do moron. You get one hour a day at my library
and there are only three.

I can grab 7 books and get a table while waiting to navigate a web that is proxied and restricted to "Safe Sites" full of Web advertisements for an hours. No thank you.

The Internet is good and all, but a good book kicks the shit out of it any day of the week.

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katkat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #20
222. sure, Not
Sure, I really want to spend hours curled up with a public computer to read a book, when I could be reading in my own home. Not.
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Guy Whitey Corngood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #20
257. So these free computers of yours will be given to every citizen or 1 per family? Do people get to
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 04:06 PM by Guy Whitey Corngood
take their library's computer home or what? You know same way that you can take a book home? Oh I know. Who borrows books anymore right? Because everybody can afford to buy all the books they want to read. :eyes: I know you think you're so clever when posting dumb shit like this. But maybe you can elaborate more on how this system of yours works.
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CreekDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #20
274. Actually, your knowledge of what libraries are is obsolete
if you think libraries are just buildings with bookshelves in them... :banghead:
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #13
64. Can't afford a computer...
I remember that being the argument used in 1974 against my bringing a calculator to chemistry class.

I guess my chem instructor couldn't forsee the day when you could buy a calculator for a bit more than the cost of mailing two letters. Computers will become as cheap someday, too.
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mia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:44 PM
Original message
I use books from the public library daily in my classroom.
I'don't agree that they are obsolete.
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mia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #9
15. I use books from the public library daily in my classroom.
I'don't agree that they are obsolete.
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mia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:45 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. I use books from the public library daily in my classroom.
I don't agree that they are obsolete.
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Barack_America Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:47 PM
Response to Reply #9
19. Really? You really think it's a better idea to have people sitting at public computers....
...for hours and hours reading a book on-line? How many hundreds of computers would that take per branch? You really think that is more cost-effective than having books that people can check out and read at home?

Maybe when the Kindle gets down to $5 dollars it might be more effective, but I don't see how it is now.
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Nederland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. Yup
Libraries are expensive, and maintaining large collections of paper books is especially expensive. Public computers are a much more intelligent solution.
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Barack_America Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:55 PM
Response to Reply #23
27. But I'm assuming you would provide IT support for those computers, no?
And people to instruct the public how to read books on-line.

Don't forget about those software updates and viruses!

You really think this would be more cost effective?

I think you could make an argument about on-line reading being more green, but I'm not so sure about cost-effective.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #27
33. Where, when, and how are people taught on what to look for regarding phishing and other sites?
Accidents happen, even in the best of times,but you can't deny too many companies want to "people-proof" things and not be bothered with teaching people some of the basics.

It takes the involvement of EVERYONE to prevent some of these problems.

And with SaaS looming on the horizon, convince the SaaS providers to take all that revenue from licenses and re-invest in their own company and services. (Won't happen, the CEO needs his 27th yacht...)
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XanaDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #27
58. Yes. People have no clue what library workers have to do.
Nt.
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #58
65. Ex Library Assistant in collection development here.
You speak some SERIOUS truth (and our IT gang was top-notch, btw).
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XanaDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #65
70. There is an army of IS workers where I am now
The private sector, and they suck.
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katkat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #27
230. online, not more green
I really doubt that online reading is more green, considering the toxins in computers and the short lives of computers compared to actual books. I'm sure you've seen the piles of toxic parts accumulating in the third world nations where they're disassembled.
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Gman2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #23
36. Fuck public computers, full internet access. To all materials.
And subsidized access to comp/ internet.
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imdjh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #23
39. I agree with you, but think it's premature. Besides, Philly isn't closing the libraries..
... because they are obsolete, it's doing it because it costs too much to run them.

I don't see books going completely out of style for a century or so. You can stuff a paperback in your knapsack, and if it falls into the pool it's no great loss. Big clunky hardcovers, maybe not so much.

But there is another factor in play. Books are piling up. Some people have houses with stacks of them. Thrift stores can't give them away. Used book stores make their money selling vitamins and diet specialties, dream catchers and other hippie crap. Yard sales have books by the ton, ten cents a piece.
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 07:00 PM
Response to Reply #39
67. Costing too much to run
is the first step towards obsolescence.
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MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #39
87. they're closing them because the ASSHOLES in Harrisburg are playing games
Edited on Tue Sep-15-09 08:38 PM by MH1
I live in the Philly burbs and am completely appalled at the legislature. And Rendell.

Philly can't even make it's own rules to raise revenue (like increasing the sales tax in the city) without begging for mercy from the state legislature, all members of which, except those who don't live in Philly, really don't give a f*ck.

What a way to run a state.

Edit to add: I don't think the context is clear in the OP, this is happening because A) the state hasn't passed a budget yet and B) the city has a shortfall that will still need to be addressed and the legislature is too busy dicking around with the state budget (which should have been passed long ago) and also trying to find ways to extort other republican goals out of the necessity for Philly to raise revenue.

PA Budget process = political extortion, plain and simple.
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NJCher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #87
118. I knew there had to be more to it
I was hoping a Philly-area DU-er would fill us in.

Thanks, MH1. I hope things work out for your area. This reminds me a lot of what was going on in the NY state legislature.


Cher

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tomp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #39
173. it doesn't cost too much...
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 11:19 AM by tomp
...it costs more than the state of pennsylvania or the city of philidelphia is willing to allocate.
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shimmergal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #39
225. The "books are piling up" argument
assumes that books are fungible...oops, interchangeable. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I doubt any of us will see the day when ALL books published in the last century or two, even, are available thru IT. Google already faces much trouble in sorting out copyright issues for just the ones it's trying to put online. That's why we have the aggravation of getting a google cite to a single page, only to find it's useless for the topic we're searching.

Arghhh!
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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 10:59 PM
Response to Reply #23
120. Some of us still like to read books.
And can't afford to buy (or store) all the books we want to read. My boyfriend is a librarian. One of the services he provides is helping people research things. Whatever question they might have, he tries to find the answer to, no matter how outlandish. Often these are homeless people. When was the last homeless shelter you saw that had computers? I haven't even seen an internet cafe in years. Not everyone is computer literate, nor should they be, if that's what they want.
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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #120
215. I like to read books. And I like to use a computer.
I see no reason to be restricted to either, but if I had a choice, I would fund libraries over computerized access.

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reflection Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:58 AM
Response to Reply #120
298. I would be so heartbroken if my library closed.
Twice a week, every week, my whole family goes and scatters to the four winds finding something to take home and read. Just in the past month I've plowed through Kurt Vonnegut, Martin Amis and Isaac Asimov. Not to mention my wife and I also like to rent foreign films that we can't find elsewhere. There is something so much more satisfying about holding a paper book in your hand than staring at yet another sterile screen. The library is still relevant and useful for many people.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:00 AM
Response to Reply #23
136. Spoken like the true Libertarian you are
What are you even doing here?

Great ideology your party has: Get rid of all functions of government that actually improve the quality of community life.
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wolfgangmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #136
175. Libertairians - correct me if I'm wrong...
... but didn't they used to call your party "hermits" more than 100 years ago?
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theHandpuppet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 06:24 AM
Response to Reply #23
150. NOT!!!!!!!
I take it you are an infrequent user of the public library and/or the Google digitized library? Because I'm a FREQUENT user of both and you, sir, are full of it.

There may be millions of scanned books in the Google digitized library but only a percentage of those are available for public viewing. There's this little thing called COPYRIGHT in case you've forgotten. Only those books not still covered by the publishers' copyrights can be read online, which means most of the books available via Google are at least decades old. This is handy for me as a researcher/genealogist as I can locate materials even from the 19th Century but unless you want to PAY to read, newer materials -- i.e., books published within the past few decades -- are not available for public viewing. So not only are new books unavailable, so are atlases, microfilms, collections of local histories and small editions, many maps, newspapers, etc. Currently there is no *free* online library that comes close to offering the services of even a small town library.

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wolfgangmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:25 AM
Response to Reply #23
174. re:Public computers are a much more intelligent solution.
A much more intelligent solution to what?

Community? Common spaces?
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katkat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #23
226. repeat
I'm reading you repeating this, but I'm not hearing your arguments about the obvious problems with this, which people have already brought up.
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TxRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #19
266. It's inevitable...
We will end up with tech that will put the library of congress on a couple of disks..

A computer that runs on almost no power, you can run on a solar pad you fold up and stick in your pocket.

How can a library compete with that?

Libraries are becoming museums slowly but surely.


Ask any kid about 45 or 33rpm vinyl records. Or of they have ever seen a record player operate?
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:49 PM
Response to Reply #9
21. really...? libraries are obsolete ?
and everyone in the usa will be able to access books through google....? so sell off all the books and buy computers.

oh wait a minute....you really are`t serious are you.......
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Nederland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Like buggywhips in 1899...
...it's just a matter of time.
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #22
28. dream on..
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Laurab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #22
37. Yeah I love to curl up with my computer and maybe
a nice cup of coffee or something, and start reading a novel on those fuzzy pages google has - it's just so comfortable and all... :sarcasm:

I'm not a fan of Kindle either - I think your prediction is a longer way off than you think it is, at least for those of us who have been readers all our lives.
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #37
71. It's just a matter of providing the right form factor, and proper resolution
combined with durability, and the old paper book goes the way of the buggywhip.

Of course, even those have a use if you're into torturing yourself!
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #71
98. Have you ever actually READ a book, just out of satisfaction? nt
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #98
108. Absolutely
I just got one on Half.com for my upcoming cross-country plane ride. It was 75 cents plus shipping, for a total cost of less than five bucks delivered, for a book with a full publisher price of $15 back in 2002.

Why did the seller let me have it so cheap? I guess it was a burden to him to keep around. If I could afford a Kindle device (haven't used or even seen one yet, no experience with them) I'd prefer it in that form.

Satisfaction in reading comes from the content of the writer's words, not the material they are read from.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #108
165. I obviously disagree but it may have something to do with my sense of
reading from a book page rather than a screen page. The feel and even the smell of a book is something I downright enjoy. A screen presents me with an entirely different feeling, one that is colder and less intimate...
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #165
288. Some people feel the same way about chalk dust
but the whiteboard is here to stay.

Our kids will grow up with no silly sentimentalities for the smell of a book. Libraries as they exist today will be like the livery stables of a hundred years ago.
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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #108
221. A library is free.
But omg, you might have to carry a few extra ounces onto the plane.

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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:54 PM
Response to Reply #221
289. A library is free
if someone else is paying for it. And that's part of what this article is about.

Once upon a time, libraries were sacred cows, you really couldn't threaten them with budget cuts, but in the 21st Century, you can expect them to be on the chopping block every time it comes time to tighten the fiscal belt.

At some point, somebody is just going to chop, and the voices in against that chopping are just not going to be strong enough.
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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #289
292. Actually a Library is not free. They lend out.
Just like I lend my unique books to my friends and close associates.

Libraries also expect their resources to be returned, and if they aren't they make you pay.

As I recall, the treasures of the world were destroyed in the burning of the great library in Alexandria millenia ago.

Think of all the books burned in World War 2. In Dresden alone. Great works all gone. Thats abot the same as your CD Rom drive failing, or the Net going down, or Computers becoming scarce and more sophisticated, rendering all the old media obsolete.

This closing the library thing is a bad sign.





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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #292
316. Heh. My Master's Thesis is forever locked in a floppy disk.
I was a little upset when the school said I had to have a bound copy made to be placed in the library. I think I kept one hard copy extra...
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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #316
320. Yep, the externalities are rarely ever analysed.
Books and paper are the stone axe of communication, and will be around a lot longer than technology that 99% of the worlds population cannot understand, let alone repair.

Even if I was trapped on an island, I could write a book using my blood, or perhaps the ink from a squid to write words on a rock. Or maybe I could just pound pictographs in the stones like many cultures did.

The Technocrats would like everyone to believe that they have the solution for everything, and that one size fits all, but it's all marketing hype, and only makes money for the Technocrats and the support people that glom onto it.

Computers are glorified calculators. Huge resources are expended making them work. The miniturization alone makes them impossible to repair should a circuit fail, and storage technologies are not robust enough to even compared to the printed page.

After being deeply invloved in the Software industry for over 2 decades, watching ARPANET finally come of age into the Internet, I was a true believer for many years, until I took a look at the products we were producing. First Person Shooters that glorified murder. Database applications that allowed extremely detailed profiling of an individual. Finacial applications that allowed Companies to easily explore ever more efficient ways to skimming a few more percentage points off the consumer. Neverending upgrades, and a periperal system that required propellerheads to enable.

For the common person, we received some brain damaged Database applications, Entertainment, and Accounting Packages that feel short on the Basics. I think TurboTax is the poster child of Delusion.. Yes, use Multimedia to make Taxes fun! While the driving motivation at Inuit is to take the Low road to avoid any audits, thus losing many writeoffs in the process. Taxes are not fun. It's almost as obcene as Sniffing a Bottle of Lemon Scented Clorox because it smells like Lemons. Never mind the Chlorine molecules killing the cells in your nose and throat, as long as it smells good!

I like computers, but I would not base my future upon the idea that they will be there. It's just like I use a chain saw when necessary, but for all the rest, I'll take a little extra time and use an axe, get some exercise, and enjoy the good meal at the end of the day.

It's funny, I have Timber resources on my property, and I tried using a Chainsaw mill to mill the wood into timbers. It's fricking hard work! It's loud, it's dusty, it's polluting, and it disturbs the wildlife. It, like the computer, depends on Tools, Fuel, Safety gear, and Brute force in order to get a rectangular piece of wood.

Well, I didn't like it. I researched the older methods and bought a Broadaxe. After learning how to properly sharpen it, which required sharpening tools not readily available in my area without searching, I started hewing timbers the old fashioned way. Imagine my surprise to find that it is very easy, quiet, an involves much less overhead. It take 50% more time, but the overall process is much healthier for me and the environment.

I don't believe in the myth of "Increased Productivity" Labor has not seen any wage increases for it, despite what the Capitalist like to say. I believe more in Honest labor, and have found that the Old ways were not such drudgery as Corporate America has led us to believe.



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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #292
327. Interesting example with the library in Alexandria
Because most works were laborious to copy, there were fewer copies. With electronic information, copies can be made easily, cheaply, quickly, and in as many copies as there are places in the world to store them.

If that were the case with the Alexandria library, nothing really would have been lost, it would have been replicated somewhere else. I have faith that the algorithms needed to decode Word and PDF files have been replicated enough places so that someone will always be able to translate them in the future. The thing that doomed knowledge locked up on very early storage methods was that they were not widespread enough to have survived obsolescence.
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katkat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #108
236. no
Re: "Satisfaction in reading comes from the content of the writer's words, not the material they are read from."

That's obviously incorrect for anyone with slightly impaired vision, which is just about everyone as they get older. All computer screens glare, all book pages do not. Although I guess your book replacement plan includes, besides thousands of government provided computers per city, early cataract operations for everyone over 65. And God help people who get migraines from computer screens.
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:58 PM
Response to Reply #236
290. Well, someday
reading a book from an electronic device will be as easy, maybe even easier than from a book.

Right now, your book cannot change it's font size. Your non-glare electronic reading device will have that capabilitity built into it in the very near future.

When we have a generation of people who are no longer tied to the romantic notion of ink on paper, we will have a generation of people who will happily embrace technologies that not only help them see the "printed" word better, they will have grown up appreciating the power of computer processing to help them make better sense out of what they have read.
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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:35 PM
Response to Reply #290
294. But will it work in 100% Humidty or in Sub Zero temperatures?
Right now, my books can travel with me to the bottom of the ocean, or deep into the heart of the Rainforest, even into the upper atmosphere. It is the purest form of carrying information known to man, otherwise, we'd be speaking in bits and bytes.

Take your machines that want to replace books and shove it where it makes sense, like a tiny rocket capsule. There it makes sense. On earth, where people actually move about, Books make sense.

The rest of the Civilized world is looking at this story and getting ready for the Bankruptcee Trustee to auction off america

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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:51 AM
Response to Reply #294
296. It's just a matter of durability
Think about the first calculator, or digital camera you ever had.

Ah, there's a good analogy, I remember all the film fans saying that digital cameras would never replace 35mm cameras for the ability to really bring out the depth in a subject. That was true when one or two megapixels was the best you could do, but technology marches on.

Newspapers and magazines are already being replaced by people getting their news over the Internet, someday soon, we'll have cheap, reliable, comfortable devices that you will be able to read anything on. Don't know what a word means? Tap it, and you'll get a dictionary definition that is in line with the context that the word is being used in that sentence. That's what I mean by the power of computer technology to make reading more accessible for people.
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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #296
321. No, it's because 40 million Americans are functionally illiterate.
And another 40 million lack fundamental comprehension when they read.

That is evident even here, where I would say we have some mighty inteligent people posting, but their still is a high majority of people that cannot think or comprehend.

Your digital camera analogy is all fine and good, but you fail to acknowledge that they are only good while the battery lasts. They are utterlt useless on extended trips into the back country.

They are convenient, but if the infrastructure is not present to process the data, you are stuck with nothing more than a chunk of fancy silicon.

Anyway, this is not an argument about Digital Photography or eBooks. It's about Libraries that will continue to be important no matter what. We can have Both. We deserve both. With the Trillions we spend on an uneccessary Military, we must have both.

History has shown time and time again that Fascist Governments love to burn books. They know they can't burn books without sxposing their fraud, so they'll just make books harder to get at. Until we have free energy, that is clean, and limitless, I will never submit to the eBook model. It's just too east to disrupt.







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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #321
325. Your photography examples seem stunningly lame
I would imagine that most people would carry an extra battery or two on an extended trip into the backcountry with a digital camera. And if you are going with a vehicle that has plenty of fuel, you'd have a way to recharge the battery.

Your comment about the presence of infrastructure is the same for film. If you get rid of darkrooms, then you have some plastic with silver emulsion on it that nobody can see. You'll be able to copy digital pictures to the next form of storage a LOT faster, more efficiently, and at far lower cost than you would be able to preserve photographs. Incidentally, the very same thing is true for electronic books, versus printed ones.

There will always be collected storehouses of written words, it's just that the large edifice known today as a library will become outdated. Once upon a time, in order to impress depositors, banks had to build enormous buildings with extremely high ceilings, to give an impression that they will be rock solid forever. Today, many people don't even walk into a bank once they've set up an account, they really don't need to be impressed by architecture.
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katkat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #290
300. customerserviceguy
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 08:10 AM by katkat
Fine :-) Come back with the plan to do away with libraries when your electronic devices are as good as books and have access to all the content the libraries have and all the community services. Until then...
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #300
326. I won't have to come back
When the technologies are available, they will do the replacing all on their own. Libraries will just become places to hang out for people who don't have anything better to do. Eventually, taxpayers will want to stop paying for maintenance of buildings, when maintenance of parks is cheaper, and provides the same outlet.

It's just a matter of time, that's all. In every town and city we had livery stables a hundred and twenty-five years ago, they're all gone now.
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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:26 PM
Response to Reply #236
293. I agree with that. As we age, the screens get tinier when they should get bigger
For christ sakes, Terry Gilliam was right when he made the movie Brazil! We all need fresnell lenses for the new age of computing! The iPhone!

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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:53 AM
Response to Reply #293
297. That's because the early adopters of most technology
are younger people with good vision. But adaptive technologies have made things accessible to the older folks, and the disabled, too. It's just a matter of having a large enough market.
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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #297
322. Books work well. Magnifiers on 21 inch screens are over kill.
No advertisements, no control, no demands for money. No distractions.

You may be prosletyzing for eBooks now, but there will come a day when you wake up and see this Libray destruction for what it "REALLY" is.

You are actually a minority, whether you realize it or not.

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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #322
323. Perhaps I am a minority
at this point, but that's going to change over time. Technology replaces a lot of quaint things, eventually.
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WorseBeforeBetter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #37
130. And nothing beats soaking in a hot bubble bath...
Edited on Tue Sep-15-09 11:43 PM by WorseBeforeBetter
with a glass of wine, and my desktop. Aaaaaah...
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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #22
219. My 1909 Block Plane still functions without electricty, and I use it all the time.
Just a matter of time till the Corporate greedsters convince everyone that books are so yesterday, until they forget all about them..

Or like Heirloom seeds vs GMO. GMO are new, and they're technological! You can't grow a good crop without out patented technological GMO seeds!

Nederland, you are so transparant as a DLC cheerleader, you really need to go find a new Propaganda booklet. People are not happy with your shallow minded arguments, simply because they are only effective on pre-teens.

As a former Software Engineer, and an early adopter and innovator, I have disproven your arguments due to hands on experience years ago. You are 8 years behind the times in realizing the true cost of infrastructure, and the time consuming, make work design of computing today. You might want to challenge your self and see if you can imagine how things were done before computers, and maybe you'll get an appreciation of how Computers actually stupefy people and make them more dependant.

The real challenge is re-learning all of the wisdom being lost due to social and marketing pressure in order to promote profits. But with your Coilerroom, clean room woldview, I doubt if you could ever get outside your own little box and take on a different perspective.



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Vilis Veritas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #219
254. I wish I could rec this reply...
Bravo...perfectly said.
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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #254
278. Nah, too many typos...
Just a fragment of my philosophy learned through many careers and real world experience.

(Of course typos are meaningless... )

"
At night, I remember how old I am
Calcium in my bones, forged in the stars, exploding long before the sun was a swirl in the dust.
Atoms, drifting through time...
Every stone is light slowed down, twisted in a knot.
And light is every stone's dream.
"

From a song... But very significant to all of us.

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TheKentuckian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #9
24. Ummm....the books aren't free online. Two of the greatest things about a free public anything
is that they are public and FREE.

Good luck with the copyright crap to allow people to just download any book to use for 30 days at a spell. The research stakes and film readers are still quite useful too.
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Barack_America Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #24
30. Publishers charge crazy fees for someone just redownloading a book to the same Kindle..
Edited on Tue Sep-15-09 05:59 PM by Barack_America
I can't imagine how much the cost would be for 1,000 people to download a best seller.

It sounds like the OP thinks we should all just go to what were formerly public libraries to read books on their computers. I don't really see how that is doable for working people, unless you keep the computer hubs open 24 hours a day (but then there go the cost savings).
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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #30
224. It's the GM model of Autos for Everyone while Destroying Mass Transit
The Marketing scheme is the same, it's just that people aren't recognizing it for what it stands for.

Once the Libraries are gone, they will return only at unimaginable costs.

This is only a ploy to drive massive computer sales, indentured tenure to the ISP's, and don't forget, Internet 2 is just around the corner.

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Doremus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #24
31. THAT is the very reason there will always be libraries or the need for them. n/t
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #31
72. We're still fiddling with the economics of delivering entertainment
Edited on Tue Sep-15-09 07:07 PM by customerserviceguy
by computer. We will eventually resolve that, and we will turn that to books.

Right now, in order to get published, a book has to look like it's going to sell at least hundreds of thousands of copies to be worthwhile. With purely electronic means, you only have to sell a few thousand copies to make it feasible, for the publisher and the author.

Why should an author care about getting two or three dollars from 100,000 dead-tree books, when he or she can get a buck from a million people or more?
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svpadgham Donating Member (374 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #72
207. On those computers
that were left by the magic computer pixie? I mean there are no resources used in making and operating a computer right?
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:12 PM
Response to Reply #207
331. If you think that libraries
are maintained by hard-working pixies, you'd be mistaken, too. At some point, taxpayers are going to stop paying for them, when they no longer see the value of maintaining giant buildings full of dusty books that are laborious to gather information from.

Free Wi-Fi is provided by a lot of cities and towns. I can forsee the day when it will be like fire or police protection, provided for free. Then, we just need cheap devices, and everybody will use it as a preferred method of finding information.
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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #72
227. The Trees are GMO -- They deserve to die.
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #227
334. Perhaps so
but they cost a lot of energy to cut down, transport to a mill, be made into paper, which is then shipped to a publisher, whose books are then shipped to stores. There's a lot of fossil fuels consumed in that whole process.
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katkat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:14 AM
Response to Reply #72
301. not so, computer guy
Re: "Right now, in order to get published, a book has to look like it's going to sell at least hundreds of thousands of copies "

I see you aren't familiar with the various self-publishing sites for creating books on demand, and whose content is browsable by anyone. Time to spend a bit more time on your computer :-)
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #301
335. You're right, I'm not familiar with them
since I've never had the urge to write a book. In any case, it's hard to argue that the logistics of electronic distribution of books allows a greater chance of being published than any of the dead-tree methods.

Many musicians have turned to the MP3 market to bypass the recording companies, where only the lucky or the connected get record contracts. I can see authors doing the very same thing when the electronic book market takes off.
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madeline_con Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #24
100. Some people think poor means buying the smaller size coffee at Starbucks.
:eyes:
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katkat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #24
238. newspaper
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 02:43 PM by katkat
TheKentuckian's post reminds me libraries have archives of their local newspapers going back a hundred years or so. So the "plan" to do away with libraries also includes a massive project to get all the country's newspapers' back files online. As well as all the local historical documents they have only in hard copy. That should cost a pretty penny.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #9
29. Fascinating prospect...
But I would say "netbooks" instead of actual computers.

(far less expensive, have one use: the internet, and so on...)

Let's say one library for a city costs $4 million. For initial costs only, sans upkeep and - forgive me - labor.

Divided by, oh, 30000 people, that's $133 per person. Add in upkeep costs, per year, (we'll save the labor argument for later) and it becomes, give or take, $175/person.

If netbooks are $400 each, the cost WILL eventually match that of ONE library.

Maybe the city government can sell the building and recoup some of the costs...

All of this, is of course, theoretical and unofficial.

And with luck, the users would treat the netbooks properly as well. People bitch and moan about government spending, but I know government workers who have to work with private citizens and the citizens like to abuse things without so much a single thought. It's easier for these anthropomorphic parrots to whine on a two-dimensional level than to be bothered TO think about things...

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katkat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:18 AM
Response to Reply #29
302. Deja Q
I am baffled by your math, which seems to leave many things out. Your prototype library will still be standing and costing only upkeep when generations of thousands of netbooks for that city are polluting Africa.
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gatorboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #9
40. Hey, thanks for reminding me
I have three overdue books I need to get back to my local library. :)
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demmiblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #40
47. Damn... I have four!
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TeeYiYi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #40
185. I have four dvd's due back soon...
... and I'll be checking out many more to replace them.

I love the library. I love to read books on paper.

I work on a computer. My eyes get tired staring at a screen all day. Computer books are good from a research perspective, but for pure entertainment,... aesthetically, nothing beats the printed word.

TYY
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suffragette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #9
41. Libraries are not obsolete
Books are portable and accessible in ways that free, public computers are not.

They can be read while on the bus, pulled out during lunch breaks or even, as many children including me did, under the covers by flashlight.

Not everyone can afford to buy books or to buy a Kindle and buy the digital files.

And libraries are a government entity which currently provides public computer access - one of the few to do so.


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wolfgangmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #41
176. There are things that books cannot do.
They cannot be traced electronically.

They cannot be stopped by governments deciding to censor the web.

They cannot be electronically linked to a specific user.

For these reasons and more, I choose liberty and I choose libraries.
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suffragette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:12 AM
Response to Reply #176
308. And they can't be yanked back out at a whim
like Amazon did with 1984.

Also, it bears remembering that librarians were at the forefront in making the nation aware of how abysmal Patriot Act rules were when they refused to comply.

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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:28 PM
Response to Reply #9
43. The one near me (suburbs) is packed all the time
Computers almost completely filled
lots of parents and kids

lots of them

I thought the same thing you posted, until I started visiting them.
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DLnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #9
46. No, sitting in front of a computer screen jumping from page to page
is not comparable to searching through the pages of a stack of original sources. You may wish it to be so, but it ain't. Perhaps you should spend some time in a library to see if you can find out what it is you've been missing.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #9
48. Try actually VISITING one before your make such a staggeringly
ignorant statement. :eyes:
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Nederland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #48
208. I do
I go to my local library all the time with my daughter. I like libraries, I'm just not optimistic about them surviving (at least in their current form) in the long run.
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DoctorMyEyes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #9
49. What?!?!
I go to the library every week! I read a LOT and I like reading BOOKS! And that's just my own personal preference - because I actually own a computer and have high speed internet access. Many people don't. So, they HAVE to use the library! It's where unemployed people go to search for jobs online or in newspapers they can read for FREE! It's where children go for story time and after school programs.

Libraries are an ESSENTIAL community asset! Just because YOU don't use libraries doesn't mean millions of people don't rely on and enjoy them.
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #49
73. And a hundred years ago
many people had a piano in their homes, with more than one child learning how to play so the family could have a sing-along. It was as equally inconceivable to those people that their great-grandchildren would be sitting around a media center, with the vast array of entertainment available.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:34 AM
Response to Reply #73
148. there's a big difference between having the skill to play & sing & having
a "media center".

deskilling.
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MgtPA Donating Member (390 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 06:31 AM
Response to Reply #148
151. Exactly. One does not replace the other. My daughter loves her Wii, despite having 8 years of piano
lessons under her belt.
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #151
329. I'm glad that your daughter does both
But my point is, what proportion of children take up lessons to play musical instruments today, as compared to a hundred years ago?

A hundred years ago, a much higher proportion of children knew how to ride a horse, too.
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #148
328. I certainly won't argue that
My point was not to say that a media center is better than listening to someone play an instrument, but let's face it, most people would rather hear Itzhak Perlman play violin, than to hear the neighbor kid with a few years of lessons doing it. And if you want to hear Perlman play it again, just start the record over, he won't get tired!

My point was to say that newer technologies end up replacing older ones, especially when there is a difference in quality, convenience, or cost. Electronic books aren't quite there yet, but it took awhile for computers to catch on, too. There were at least fifteen years between IBM's first PC and a majority of Americans having their own home computers. Now, nearly fifteen years after that, you really are out of the loop if you don't own or use one.
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katkat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:21 AM
Response to Reply #73
303. customerserviceguy again
Re: "many people had a piano in their homes, with more than one child learning how to play so the family could have a sing-along. It was as equally inconceivable to those people that their great-grandchildren would be sitting around a media center, with the vast array of entertainment available."

You've just described one of the many reasons family life is on its way into the dumpster, and people have become less competent and less self-reliant.
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:08 PM
Response to Reply #303
330. No argument there
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 08:08 PM by customerserviceguy
And air conditioning ruined the concept of people sitting out on the front porch in the evening, sipping lemonade in the summer. It was a nice way to get to know your neighbors.

I'm not arguing that all technological achievements constitute social progress. I'm just arguing that they are inevitable, if they are cheaper, easier, more convenient, etc.

At least there is an equivalence to someone reading a book, and someone reading an ebook, as far as the social effects of the activity go.
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wolfgangmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #49
177. I agree but if you want to count on the US and access to high speed.
You might want to move overseas. The US is now 27th in the world in access to high speed internet and what we do have that is high speed is glacially slow compared to many countries.

The US is becoming the Cuba of internet as we type.
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XanaDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #9
56. Wrong
Edited on Tue Sep-15-09 06:57 PM by XanaDUer
Not only has the use of public libraries taken a strong uptick in this disastrous economy, with the ALA distributing information to public librarians on how to help the jobless, or homeless, etc., find work, shelter, etc., many libraries are moving to eBooks and eJournal access, remote and through library PCs, handheld devices, kindles, etc.

Many of those google books are missing large chunks of information, they are not indexed well and, thus, not so easy to find what the end user is looking for. Many of them are old and out of copyright, too. Much better for the librarians to select, maintain (I am an electronic-services' librarian and have to know quite a lot of high-tech stuff to do my job)organize, and make accessible up-to-date electronic books selected for the patron population. Also, there are complicated licensing deals to work out, deep linking and URL resolution to keep up with (constant), and all sorts of issues many (overworked and underpaid, frankly) public librarians deal with everyday. I finally got out of public libraries to take a very well-paying job as a special librarian, but that is another issue.

So,database-bundled eBooks are full-text accessible 24/7, as are, in my collection, over 10,000 full-text journals, again, all accessible from anywhere with an Internet connection and a browser and a password and username (which I supply).

Not only are public libraries not obsolete, they are often the only advocates for the poor folks, and there are a hell of a lot of 'em out there in the good old USA, who do not have PCs at home, who cannot afford a Kindle at about $300.00, or even an iPod touch, which allows you to read the eBooks.

Libraries can also go out of their own system and get articles and books from other libraries, free to the patron, and the cost of the community sharing the subscription instead of a single patron having to spend up to $1000.00 per annum on, say, a financial source like Wall Street Digest.

Libraries are overflowing with people who have low-literacy and illiteracy issues, the need to learn ESOL, free meeting rooms for groups, and all of the things libraries provide the public at a hell of a bargain. Usually, the per capita tax is about the price of ONE hardback bestseller.

I have been hearing about the death of libraries now for a long time, and the wake is premature. Of course, better to have a dumbed-down, downtrodden populace to deal with.
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #56
74. You're right
there will always be people unable to do their own research, and will need hand-holders.

Why don't you all just call yourselves social workers, and be done with it?

The rest of your arguments will be moot by the time the technology gets here. Expect that easily within the next ten years.
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XanaDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:53 AM
Response to Reply #74
145. And libraries will adapt, and so will library workers
with the changing technologies, as they have been for the last forty or more years.

Although you're right about one thing - librarians are called on, like teachers, to do a lot of social work that falls outside of job descriptions.
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wolfgangmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #74
178. Wow - could you be more condescendiing.
Your argument is very much like the libertarian "fuck you, I can research mine."

There are people that are poor, poorly educated, immigrants, the mentally ill, or those just down on their luck and it seems that you are assigning them to the scrapheaps because YOU can get what you need from computers and seemingly are unable to fathom or empathize with those who can't.

Wow. Feel free to correct me, but that is my take on your posts? If I'm wrong, try acting like any of the wonderfully helpful librarians I know and explain it to me so I can understand.
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shimmergal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #74
237. Funny, I've been hearing
the same predictions for all the nearly 50 years I've been a librarian.

Do you have a time-crunching device?
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #9
62. Egads, don't you know books are...are...are romantic??!!
Seriously, you're exactly right. Having fully searchable media beats the hell out of thumbing through a million books to find exactly what you want.

It's like the nostalgia of wanting a slide rule over using a calculator.
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RobinA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #62
94. I Like Both
I pick up tons of info while thumbing through a million books looking for what I want. Sometimes I don't even get around to what I started out looking for. Sometimes it's the destination, sometimes it's the journey.
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #94
109. And I do the same while swinging from hyperlink to hyperlink
without all that lifting and re-filing of books. Browsing can be fun with electronic devices, as well.

I'll admit, that once upon a time I could impress my parents that I was able to use a slide rule...
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #9
63. What a really ignorant post.
Edited on Tue Sep-15-09 07:00 PM by Odin2005
For the poor the library is the only place where they can find free information. Oh, and where do poor people go to use the internet? That's right, THE LIBRARY!!!

Your attitude is a god-send to the Intellectual Property Nazis.
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JanMichael Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 07:00 PM
Response to Reply #9
68. How the fuck did you get off "ignore"??? Ignorant Asshole. nt
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #9
75. So is it "obsolete" to do historical research without paying bucks to do so?...
The library always had a reader's guide and microfiche to provide access to many years of past issues of periodicals and significant newspaper articles.

Oh, we can get free access to news online? Really? A lot of them are going out of business. Some of them are charging for all of their content. Many "archive" them to a "pay to play" archive as well. It's just a matter of time before any news but present news will cost people money to get access to. We already moan about how uninformed our American public is.

Take this away, and in addition to not having access to many older books that many can get to through the library, trying to do a comprehensive historical research study without spending a fortune in fees to many different online publications to access their archives will be impossible.

Though we have a lot of news to be concerned about in the present, and have plenty from both M$M and independent sources to sift through to get the real story, not having access to news from the past will make it that much harder to put news of today in perspective.

The libraries might need "updating" to be more in line with today's technologies, but a lot of the principles used to build them and manage them need to be kept alive for our nation to be strong and wise.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #9
76. You probably aren't around the elderly much. They need to be informed too!
And though you can criticize them a lot for not becoming computer literate, the fact is that as people age, they lose the ability to learn a lot newer ways of doing things, even if they still have a thirst for newer knowledge. Having to deal with the intricacies of using a computer that they haven't "grown up with" like the younger generations have is a frustrating thing for them. At the same time, give them access to newer news in some fashion (whether it be a newspasper, book, or magazine) can sometimes give others interacting them a great perspective from what they know in the past comparing what is happening in the present.

If you take away the libraries from us, a whole older generation is put at risk to be being less informed and we complain a lot about their judgment as voters and active citizens on many issues, and why we see many of them as "tea baggers".

Don't antagonize them. Try to work with them and keep them informed of what is really going on today.

There's a whole line of computers that are designed for kids to use them at an early age and cheap so that many can use them. I told one of the company reps/execs at the show I saw it demonstrated at, that it would be good to design a whole line for older people too, with some ways to make an interface simple and not too easy to have them "screw up" the machine, and in addition to having google or some things enabled for those that still are in command of their faculties, provide some staples (like solitaire) for those slipping in to things like alzheimers to be able to use. If the library were to help with access to these sorts of machines, think of how much easier it would be to bring your older relatives in to see what kind of older computer configuration they could get comfortable with before buying something for them. Another way to really make use of the libraries as a public resource too, if we choose to modernize them, instead of just saying they are "obsolete" and letting them die.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #76
79. My 80 year old grandmother learned to use a computer...
Edited on Tue Sep-15-09 07:38 PM by Hippo_Tron
And I think with the proper instruction people of all ages can learn it.

That being said I do not think we are at the point at all where libraries are obsolete by any means and I don't think we will be there until they can make computer screens as accessible and easy to read as books.

I did a research project this summer that involved many days with four or five hours of reading academic books and journal articles. I enjoyed having the articles in electronic format because they were easy to get to and short enough to sift through on the screen. But I am glad that I had access to a good university library to get all of my books in paper form because I don't think I could stand to read something that long in electronic format.
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #79
112. It was my 73 year old mother
who shamed me into paying my bills with an online bank account, just like she does! And by that point, I had an associates degree in computer networking. Sometimes we just need to be led, to take the leap.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #112
125. I think there are many older people that are right with us, but not all of them...
Edited on Tue Sep-15-09 11:18 PM by cascadiance
As people get older there are different parts of their bodies that fail. And many people try to stick with what they are used to as long as it works for them. Yes, many older folk are inspirational and in fact have more time to do net surfing than many of the rest of us do. But there are just as many that have trouble reading computer screens, especially with the predelection many of the sites out there have with using small font sizes. Studying usability is something that some businesses prioritize and can make this experience easier for older people, but just as many don't think as much about how their experience works for older people too, assuming that many use their web sites like their younger selves. I've seen this in the trenches, and it takes leadership in many cases to prioritize this.

And I did see a recent documentary that noted that in some communities like parts of Los Angeles the libraries are one of the few places that the homeless can go during some parts of the day when a lot of their neighborhoods they've lived in are becoming gentrified, etc., and when they are there they get much needed rest, or ability to read books and other material, that might help them return to society and be more a part of it rather than outside it. We still need the spirit and substance of the free community experience and service that libraries provide.

I personally don't use them as much as I used to either. But I think back when I was young, and I think it really will hurt many who for what ever reason won't have the same experience they could have in a library working from home, or not being able to work on a computer at all.
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Oak2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #79
127. I've tought older persons to use computers
and no, not all of them seem to be able to learn it. Many, even most, yes. But not all.

Keep in mind that the first whiffs of dementia are not obvious. Often it takes the form of difficulty learning new things. And for those older persons who simply haven't kept their minds nimble with a lifelong pattern of learning, learning computer use can be an almost insurmountable task.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 07:02 AM
Response to Reply #127
155. And perhaps in a generation or two, this barrier won't be as big as it is today...
I think many of those entering their 80's now are near the last generation of people that didn't grow up with some form of computer experience either in high school, in college, or even to some degree in the work force.

Perhaps in 10-20 years, even those starting to get dementia will be less intimidated with using computers as they will already be "used to it" after a lifetime of experiences with it. A big part of dementia is trying to build "routines" with what a person's long term memory is used to doing, so that they don't get thrown off too much when their short term memory fails them. Still might be difficult at times for them, and they might be set in "older ways" using them (and not use things like mobile devices as much as younger people in the future will), but the barrier might not be as steep to try and use them then as it is for many now. I think its hard for many to understand in the younger generations how it was to grow up WITHOUT computers. Heck, in high school for me in the 70's, it was a big deal just to have a programmable calculator (HP, Kingspoint, etc.). PC's and Apples were still to come when I got in college instead of when I was in high school. So I have a little sense of how different it was earlier when they didn't even have calculators, let alone computers growing up. It was probably getting used to a slide rule then, which if many kids were forced to use now when they start hitting their older years reaching dementia, might find it just as hard to learn and adapt to as other seniors now have with computers. Fortunately, they won't have to have that experience later.

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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 06:35 AM
Response to Reply #76
152. Why would you suggest that older people are computer-handicapped?
I am 70 years old and have been using computers since the early 70s. And I am certain other older people have used computers while in the work force. Just because we are no longer young does not mean we are dumbed-down.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 06:52 AM
Response to Reply #152
154. Don't mean that at all... Some of the brightest people I know are in their 70's...
But there are also many like my father with alzheimers who can't even play solitaire now any more though that was a good "drug" for him for a while, or my Mom, who's really starting to lose her memory and other abilities too. I don't think its the same for all seniors. But I do think that the library is a place where many seniors can still either get help working with a computer, or use more traditional means like books, magazines, and newspapers to stay informed. If they are left on their own at home, like my Mom, who's in her early 80's, they avoid using computers more as their abilities fade, but still read books, etc. when they can.

I'm just trying to make the case for libraries still being of use to many that the online community sometimes takes for granted has certain levels of abilities, since many like you are able to function very well with online experiences.
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #9
77. CHILDREN LEARN TO LOVE TO READ
by handling BOOKS at libraries.
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #77
113. And being as books are way more durable than most electronics
I favor them using books for that, too.

But as soon as cheap, comfortable to hold, and readable in any light devices become available, expect those kids to be the first ones to embrace them as a generation.
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #9
78. As someone who uses Google books on a regular basis..
let me tell you it is nowhere near ready for prime time and it definitely won't be replacing actual libraries any time soon.

The bottom line is that Google has done a piss poor job indexing and the ownership issues involved pose a real long term danger. Having a single private corporation monopolize access to information is just a bad idea. You would think people on a progressive message board could figure that one out.

Art and photography books, textbooks and technical manuals will not find a mass market in the digital format anytime soon, particularly as smaller netbooks and handheld devices begin to dominate computer sales. Seeing a collection from the Louvre on a 5" by 7" screen won't cut it. Then you have the question of ownership, as Kindle users recently learned. When you buy a book, you own it. You can resell it, share it or give it away. This is the same reason that CDs are still so enormously popular despite the widespread adoption of MP3s. Until the legal and copyright issues are worked out in a manner more favorable to the consumer, old media isn't going away.
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #78
85. "Having a single private corporation monopolize access to information is just a bad idea."
Agree 100%
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #9
80. I think we're headed there but we're not there yet
Computer screens will eventually become as accessible and easy to read as paper. But the technology just isn't quite good enough yet and the government shouldn't make the investment on the technology until it is good enough.
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 08:01 PM
Response to Reply #9
83. Aound her, the library is where you find most of the free, public computers.
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #9
84. LOL Computers and technology are not always the answer.
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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #84
234. Exactly my conclusion after 25 years in the Computer business.
They are glorified calculators. with a crap load of Nonvolatile memory.

Unfortunately, the World has much more data than we can handle.
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eilen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #234
284. Hell, I haven't owned a PC laptop yet that has survived a year.
they are shoddily made and undependable. The operating software is usually a microsoft product full of problems (hang ups, security issues) and saddled by all kinds of crap saleware preloaded that stores actually charge you to remove.

My books boot up every time I open them without wait periods or blue screens.
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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #284
287. Yep, It's be a long time before theycan replace the functionality of my senses
Or the capabilities of my brain. I have a much better record than any of my computers, including the obsolete, unreadable backups made way back when.
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slay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #9
99. The libraries are already there! So are the books! Libraries where I live are packed!
And I mean PACKED with adults and children all the time. So what if Google books has 7 million books scanned. I've never once read a book on Google books, but I do currently have 4 books checked out from our local library system. If you want to argue for phasing out libraries somewhere down the line, that's one thing, but to suggest that libraries are obsolete at this point is just plain WRONG.
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PinkoDonkey Donating Member (112 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #9
102. No, they are not.
I use my public library quite a bit. For a while, it was my only way to access the internet. I check out books, music, movies, and attend programs they put on. It's amazing. When was the last time you went to your public library? Maybe it sucks. Maybe you don't need it. Maybe you can buy all the books you want to read, movies you want to see, and music you want to listen to. I can't.

Art matters. Information matters. When you bring down the economic barriers to information you create the possibility of a better society, of richer and fuller lives.

Or, as they said in Lawrence, MA almost one hundred years ago: bread and roses.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 09:18 PM
Response to Reply #9
103. Idiotic.
Computers are not a suitable replacement for the printed word.

A blog is not a book.
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Jkid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #9
104. Not every book in google reader is fully scanned.
The internet isn't and should not be the end all be all solution for everything.
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Frank Cannon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 06:16 AM
Response to Reply #104
149. I have never seen a fully scanned book in Google
Which is why the troll who posted that doesn't know WTF he's talking about.
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demwing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #9
123. And free high speed internet access for all?
yeah, sure.
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quakerboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #9
134. Where is thinking tought?
Free computers are a nice idea. Except for people who don't know how to use them, people who cant afford access, etc.

This is not nostalgia. Where does a broke jobless person go? The library provides a tool for looking for a job. Where does a kid go when dad is drunk and they want to study? Or just when parents have to work and school is over? The library. Where does my grandpa go when the new computer he buys every year goes belly-up because he cant resist looking at porn and getting viruses within a month? The library. How about the homeless person with no electricity? A library provides services that cannot even approach being duplicated by handing out "free computers"

I hope that some posters are correct in saying this is politics, and will not really happen. Because if it does, it deals a massive blow to Hope.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:39 AM
Response to Reply #9
140. Because eledtronic medib is so much morf inexpensivf ane permcnent than old-fbshionee books!
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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #140
240. Ehx4ct1ee! Roflcopter Lawlz!
Buhks r so Leet
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a la izquierda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 06:41 AM
Response to Reply #9
153. One of the densest things I've read on DU
this week.
I don't know where you live, but where I live, libraries are popular with parents, teenagers and college students (who can't always find leisure materials at our amazing university library).
As a PhD student in history, one who reads for a living, I absolutely cannot read for more than a few minutes on the computer screen. Most of my colleagues are like this.
The poor will have their only access to the internet removed if Philly's libraries close (I'm sure someone has pointed this out).

So, maybe YOU don't use your local library, but millions do. This is a travesty.
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tanyev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 07:19 AM
Response to Reply #9
157. Our library's usage stats have been climbing steadily for the last couple years.
Meanwhile, they've been very reluctant to fill positions left vacant, so our staff system wide is down about 20%. All five of our branches have lots of computers which are in constant use from the moment we open to the moment we close. They are considering implementing a 2 hour time limit for computer use. DVDs and Books on CD fly off the shelves. We also provide downloadable books and access to many databases through our website.

We don't even use a rubber stamp to stamp the due date on a paper card anymore.
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grace0418 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #9
159. Well, right now the library IS the place to find free public computers. Along with
tons of other items and services. Things like books you can actually hold in your hands and enjoy out in a sunny park rather than having to use electricity and stare at a backlit monitor all day. And services like research assistance from the very capable and friendly librarians, and free classes and lectures on a range of subjects.

I have access to the internet 24/7, but I still love my public library. And judging by the number of people in my local branch, so do millions of Chicagoans.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:15 AM
Response to Reply #9
161. Reading is obsolete. Google books is useless unless they have the particular book you need.
When that doesn't work, the library is needed, and badly. What kind of research have you done that you don't need libraries?
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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #9
162. Speaking as a medical librarian...
...the Internet and Adobe Acrobat have certainly aided with dissemination of information, but they will never fully replace books.

I've had clashes with higher-ups who wanted to scale back our holdings, but we've compromised by only throwing away resources that we're able to access in PDF format (we have connections), so it helped cushion the blow.

Children need books. Adults need books. Our society needs books. Books don't need batteries or an AC outlet in order to work, and you can take a book almost anywhere you want. Ever try reading a PDF on your laptop in the bathtub? I strongly advise against it.
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LanternWaste Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #9
163.  I imagine some people may actually believe that
"Libraries are Obsolete"

I imagine some people may actually believe that opinion based on their own, personal view/use of IT, Communications Tech, and availability of both literature and internet connections, and people's ability to access them. There, I said it too.
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October Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #9
168. Here in the affluent suburbs of Philly... our library is thriving
I take my children every Sunday -- and it's packed!
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wolfgangmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #168
179. So it's like the money has been drained from those who need it most
... to those who will need it next most.

The worrying thing here is that this might be a trend. Can anyone here remember when they stripped public education of the arts in the 80's? It starts in the poor areas first and then spreads.

And then house values keep raising like a rocket in the few areas that still have decend access because parents will always do whatever they must to give their children the best access and options. This is the leading cause, IMHO, of being house poor.
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Enrique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #9
169. you don't know anything about libraries
who uses them, how much they cost, anything. All you know is that you personally don't use them, therefore they're obsolete.
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mizz zen Donating Member (12 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #9
187. You really believe that? Sorry, Charlie, but I happen to take out books from the library all the
time. See, the common folk don't have the disposable dollars to go to Border's when the mood strikes. And this notion about accessing reading material from computers? For one thing, new books are usually just available via publishers and for another, there is no way in hell that I would ever want to read all my books whilst upright. There is a tactile joy in reading lying down.
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Individualist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #187
243. Same here
I keep books checked out of the library all the time, and there's nothing like lying back against propped up pillows at night and reading until ready to fall asleep. I'd be lost without the library.
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druidity33 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #9
189. i go to the library twice a week at least
It's one of my favorite places. Believe it or not, only 40% of this Nation has dependable access to high speed internet. Most rural areas have the choice of dialup vs. satellite. Some people choose NEITHER because they both suck. What good would a free gov't computer do for these people?

:shrug:

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Xenotime Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #9
191. True. Most everything is on the net now.
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svpadgham Donating Member (374 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #9
198. Reading a computer monitor for long periods
is hell on the eyes, plus the resources involved in manufacturing computers are much more finite than paper and ink. Also, I can take the book anywhere and read it anytime. I have to leave the computer in the library.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #9
203. No, they serve a vital function that cannot be replaced with digital records.
Printed books are an essential repository of unalterable records and knowledge.

As you well know, there is nothing digital that is as permanent.

Orwell, Huxley, Bradbury, Dick, Burgess, etc. have all warned about exactly where we are headed.


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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #9
204. Hate to rain you your parade, but Computers are not sustainable
Books don't have an off switch, nor are they prone to breakdown unless you spill coffe on them. You don't need to recharge their batteries, and they go into hibernation only in the dark, or when noone is reading them.

You can have your Computers and Internet, but when it goes down, and go down it will, I'll be in the meadow reading a book.

You are repeating the myth that the Republicans have bought into lock stock and barrel. They are hoping that you will assume that the Internet or Computers will be around forever. They won't.

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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #9
216. Ha hahaha ha. That is funny.
More spending on free access to the internet though? That is worth the fight, but don't sell out my libraries in the process.
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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #9
223. Philistine.
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 02:31 PM by blindpig

Libraries are a public good. If Google were nationalized I might give your proposal a little thought, and then reject it.
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #223
244. Damn. Now I have to go to the library to look up "Philistine"
:evilgrin:
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #9
229. Neoliberal techno-fetishists are obsolete.
There ought to be a list for the Most Odious Posts.
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #229
251. Don't be so anti-science/anti-progress! Computers and technology will solve all of our problems...
for a price.
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #9
242. Reading a book on a computer screen
is fucking ridiculous. Kindle-style devices are better, but rare among consumers.
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Tuvok Obama Donating Member (380 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #9
247. My public library is always busy
It's still an outstanding resource, even in the digital age.
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #9
248. Just went to the library last week and there was a line of people waiting to use
free public computers, they have to limit time to 30 minutes per person.
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huskerlaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #9
261. Oh really?
Interesting then, that I...a librarian...am always BUSY. What is it that I do with myself all day? Hmmm. Same with my coworkers. If we're so completely obsolete then why does everyone always need our help?

Maybe you should clue in our patrons, because I guarantee you that most of them don't think we're the slightest bit obsolete.

Or maybe...just maybe...you're the clueless one.
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TxRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #9
265. And scanning one heck of a lot more books
And massive redundant data storage for them.
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DollyM Donating Member (837 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #9
268. wow! I can't believe you actually think that!
I grew up in a small midwestern community without a library. When we moved back here 10 years ago, I wanted to start a public library because we had nothing of the sort. If you wanted to use a library, you had to drive to a town 12miles away and pay $65.00 for a library card. For a low income famiy, that just wasn't going to happen. I remember going to the city council meeting here and the Mayor looking at me and telling me that we didn't need a library because we had the Internet! Are you and him brothers? I just thought it was small town people that were small minded! Libraries offer so many more services than books. And it is a lifeline for low income people. Libraries offer computers for internet and word processing, tutoring programs, summer reading programs for kids that expose them to people and places they could never see on their own, newspapers, (our local papers are NOT on line), magazines, ours carries text books that the community college offers for those who cannot afford to buy books, and the list goes on and on. And yes, it took five years of knocking on doors and fund raisers but we now have a public library in our community!
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Shireling Donating Member (222 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #9
275. HMMMMMM
I hate to read books on a computer screen. I find the light irritating and toxic to my health. I like to lean back on my bed with a nice, cozy book or magazine. Plus....by relying on a computer library, it is too easy to delete, FOREVER, important books. :argh:
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green917 Donating Member (124 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #9
277. With all DUE respect, you are a moron!
You quite obviously don't have children do you? My kids have both benefited from story time at the public library and I avail myself of the wonderful music and movie collections even though I own 3 computers and high-speed internet. There are millions of people in this country who don't have internet access other than that made available for free at the local public library. There are thousands of immigrants in this country who take advantage of assistance that programs at the library offer to assist in becoming a citizen, learn to speak better English, or get a job. Libraries are an indispensable resource and if this is, in fact, October 2nd is going to be a sad day.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #9
281. Because computers use so little non-renewable energy, right? And because so many citizens will have
access simultaneously.
And because these computers can GO HOME to be STUDIED or ENJOYED for weeks at a time.

Oh, man. There really is no end to the rebuttal.
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padumdang Donating Member (13 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #9
291. Are you comfortable with a corporation having much or most of our libraries under its control?
I'm not.
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JeanGrey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:27 AM
Response to Reply #9
305. Exactly.
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Terry in Austin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #9
318. Libraries are obsolete like the "paperless office" is paperless
Both are variants of a tiresome trope from the late-twentieth-century myth of "progress." We see particularly virulent strains of this condition among computer geeks, cornucopian ideologues, trekkies, and subscribers to Wired magazine -- the belief that life shall be just like the Jetsons, only more digital, and all those quaint nostalgic relics of the past will be replaced by shinier, smaller, light-blinkier new stuff.

Hell, where's my jet-pack, dude?

Anyway, the way things usually evolve, they don't get replaced so much as get added to. It's not an either-or thing. And as a practical matter, paper is a perfectly valid component of the memory hierarchy.

Books are very much a part of who we are, from the beginning of civilization right down to the end of it, most likely. If we have to pay for our gee-whiz gadgetry with our humanity, I'd say the price was too high.


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nemo137 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #9
319. Try sitting a 2 year old down infront of a computer to read.
Not going to happen. Not to mention that google books' selection learns towards out of print and academic, which is generally not what people go to public libraries for. Or, say, the fact that the library offers things other than books - classes, storytimes, publicly available computers - that you can't find elsewhere. That's setting aside the fact that you're preaching the death of the book way, way too early.
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TK421 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:41 PM
Response to Reply #9
324. Really? Last I checked books don't crash or freeze up on you
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joeybee12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:42 PM
Response to Original message
11. Incredible...Bin Laden is winning...keep our people ignorant...
...don't let them learn.
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wolfgangmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #11
180. I daresay you are wrong. Bin Laden is not winning.
He won the day we passed the patriot act and put out economy on the twin footings of outsourcing and corporate socialism.
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #180
217. The Republicans and Bin Laden tag teamed the US
only because we let them and it was good for corporate welfare MIC.

Oh, and all that free oil.
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BumRushDaShow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:43 PM
Response to Original message
12. The repuke state Senate has been blocking
and stalling budget legislation.

It is long past time to clean house and get them out of office.
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MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 08:40 PM
Response to Reply #12
88. They are extorting everything they can get out of the process
Like giveaways to energy companies to drill and mine without any kind of tax.
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AuntPatsy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:44 PM
Response to Original message
14. This news is staggering....I have no words...beginning or the end?
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:46 PM
Response to Original message
17. my greatest fear. i NEED my library. hubby cant afford all the books i read
maybe kids schools will let me check out books, wink.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:47 PM
Response to Original message
18. I can't believe this-so sad. nt
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:54 PM
Response to Original message
25. yes.... it really is the decline of our republic...
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 05:55 PM
Response to Original message
26. Sadly..
..... this will be happening all over the country sooner than most people think.

Along with a lot of other "vital" services.
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JBoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:00 PM
Response to Original message
32. That is so fucked up and wrong.
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:05 PM
Response to Original message
34. Libraries are no longer necessary.
In the NEW 21st Century "Ownership Society", it is a waste of time to educate the Peasant Class, formerly the Middle Class.

However, The Democratic Congress/Senate/White House did just manage to spend and additional $140 Billion on optional Foreign Wars, though they said this may not be enough to last out the year.

The US is ALSO going to spend a BILLION Dollars on a NEW "Embassy" in the Middle East (Islamabad) that will be even larger and more extravagant than the old, obsolete palace in Baghdad.
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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #34
241. I see the rebirth of the Shaman. The Storyteller
The one that passes down the lore of the ancients when information becomes owned by the Illuminati.

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Jester Messiah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:08 PM
Response to Original message
35. What other fate could there be?
This country no longer values knowledge, learning, or anything else that smacks of "elitism." Expect to see more of this if we can't effect a major attitude adjustment.
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imdjh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:13 PM
Response to Original message
38. Seems a bit theatrical. nt
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #38
218. Care to elaborate? Decrying the loss of libraries is such melodrama, huh? nt
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imdjh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #218
306. When governments, especially local governments, are forced to make budget cuts...
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 08:57 AM by imdjh
they announce closure of things or the elimination of jobs or services which strike closest to the public's heart. That way, the public is supposed to believe that the government has "cut the fat" in all other areas before making this "difficult choice". It's total THEATER.

We go through the same thing here in Florida. We voted to cut the property taxes because they were too high. The elected officials and highest paid employees immediately started the 'we will be forced to cut (senior services, schools, you name it). Then the property values dropped and round two of hand wringing and "desperation" set in.

Here's the reality. WITH the tax reduction, and WITH the property value reduction, I am still paying more than twice in taxes as I paid in 1996 and I am not making any more than I was in 1996. So why the fuck should government employees be making two to six times the average salary in this area? Of course not every, or even most government employees are making two to six times the average for this area, but is anyone cutting the salaries for the top positions? No. Oh God no. We keep getting told that these salaries must remain "competetive". Pull the other one- there are qualified people around this area and the country who would do these jobs for half what the local cronies are paid, just to live here.

So the government employees (read high level employees) first response to being forced into fiscal responsibility is to engage in THEATER. They literally threaten the citizens that the lower paid government employees, aka the ones who actually do something resembling work for the benefit of the citizens, will be cut from the budget. Start at the bottom, makes sense to no one except those at the top. They threaten to close down the senior center. THEATER. The senior center is paid for, staffed mostly by volunteers. If you point to one of their pet projects? THEATER. "That's different money, from grants."

So that's what I mean by theatrical. What did you have in mind?
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #306
313. Thank you for explaining. nt
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asjr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:28 PM
Response to Original message
44. I have no idea whether this is political or not
but I remember starting elementary school in Philly back in 1937--kindergarten. I was an only child and my parents and I had just moved there. The only friend I had for ages was the closest library. I was there all the time. I learned to read there and learned to love reading there. Years later and still when I think of Philly I think of the many libraries that got me through a very bad time as WW2 came along a few years later. I haven't been back there since 1945 but still think of it.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #44
45. I grew up going to our city library twice a week.
I can't imagine people saying they are not needed.

It just boggles my mind.
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MountainLaurel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #45
55. They are very much needed
More now than ever, because library usage skyrockets when the economy goes into the shitter. However, the budget cuts are huge. A friend of mine has been furloughed in definitely due to the same budget problems.
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MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #44
89. It's due to PA's failure to pass a budget.
Political extortion by the republicans in the state senate.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:36 PM
Response to Original message
50. (facepalm)
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Jade Fox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:36 PM
Response to Original message
52. In a mighty blow to Socialism, no doubt......
The teabaggers should be thrilled.
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Lagomorph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:42 PM
Response to Original message
54. People are in denial
about how deep in debt we are.

The money is gone. The jobs are gone.

I won't bother explaining what our options really are, but it doesn't involve war or politics, it involves natural resources.
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dflprincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #54
107. But we can still afford unnecessary wars
we'll never be so broke we can't have a war.
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Lagomorph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 10:19 PM
Response to Reply #107
116. No, we can't.
It's just the only industry we have left.
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wolfgangmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #54
181. There are still lots of republicans -
Maybe we could sell them.

Think the Chinese want them?
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Lagomorph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #181
232. They only know how to turn money into more money...
...since we're out of it, the Chinese would probably be better able to use them.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
57. That is simply evil. An attack on public libraries is an attack on Democracy.
:grr:
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XanaDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 06:55 PM
Response to Original message
60. The Library Value Calculator
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Joe the Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
82. I'm sure republicans and libertarians everywhere are loving this right now......
in fact I'm willing to bet republicans have long had wet dreams about closing down public libraries in general.
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 08:42 PM
Response to Original message
90. Don't forget, when you talk about replacing books with computers,
that libraries are also full of librarians.

A master's degree in library science (MLS) is necessary for librarian positions in most public, academic, and special libraries and in some school libraries. The Federal Government requires that the librarians it employs have an MLS or the equivalent in education and experience. Many colleges and universities offer MLS programs, but employers often prefer graduates of the approximately 56 schools accredited by the American Library Association. Most MLS programs require a bachelor's degree, but no specific undergraduate program is required.

Most MLS programs take two year to complete. A typical graduate program includes courses in the foundations of library and information science, including the history of books and printing, intellectual freedom and censorship, and the role of libraries and information in society. Other basic courses cover the selection and processing of materials, the organization of information, reference tools and strategies, and user services. Courses are adapted to educate librarians to use new resources brought about by advancing technology, such as online reference systems, Internet search methods, and automated circulation systems. Course options can include resources for children or young adults; classification, cataloguing, indexing, and abstracting; library administration; and library automation. Computer-related course work is an increasingly important part of an MLS degree. Some programs offer interdisciplinary degrees combining technical courses in information science with traditional training in library science.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_education_and_training_i...
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #90
160. Don't forget that not everybody working in a library is a librarian.

Lots of them are not professional librarians, they used to be called "paraprofessionals" and I think now the term is "library technical assistant."

I heard a library school professor say that the general public thinks that everybody who works in a library is a librarian.

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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 08:46 PM
Response to Original message
91. Here , tell Ed Rendell what you think of this:
http://sites.state.pa.us/PA_Exec/Governor/govmail.html

I'm ashamed to think he's a Democrat!
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 09:19 PM
Response to Original message
105. In their defense, I would be shocked that anyone in Philly knew how to read
Edited on Tue Sep-15-09 09:20 PM by AngryAmish
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 09:28 PM
Response to Original message
106. Holy Fuck!
I have no words - this is the end
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 09:37 PM
Response to Original message
110. Philadelphia, where public libraries started... there are no words
what is next? The fire department? And at this point I am not joking
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 11:01 PM
Response to Reply #110
122. You are right. Many areas are trying to privatize fire service.
Not a very good idea with much oversight.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 07:09 AM
Response to Reply #122
156. That's one big reason I moved from San Diego area to Portland...
... in addition to the politics being too right wing down there for my tastes.

When I started reading that after the last big fires, the fire protection services seem to be more available to those willing to pay extra for it, I was wondering if I was to ever buy a house down there, if I'd be out of the market to keep it as safe as I'd need to since I wouldn't have the money that the wealthier home owners had to pay for the larger insurance premiums, in addition to buying extra fire protection they'd have to basically help them survive future fires that might rage through others' homes that don't have as much of this protection.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/06/30-4

Kind of like a modern day "Gangs of New York" in SoCal instead!
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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 09:38 PM
Response to Original message
111. Here's more, according to the Library Journal:
http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6618854.html

Philadelphia Closing 11 Branches
San Diego, New York, Phoenix face cuts; Trenton branches stay open; ALA warns of a very tough year
By Lynn Blumenstein & Norman Oder -- Library Journal, 12/15/2008

The economic crunch is taking its toll. Eleven of 54 branches of the Free Library of Philadelphia will close, and 111 positions will be lost in what Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter called mid-year revision of epic proportions, an effort to cut $100 million in response to a dramatic decline in tax collections and increased pension costs.

The library faces a 20 percent reduction, along with recreation and parks, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Nutter, who as a city councilman earned LJ's Politician of the Year award in 2005 along with fellow councilman Frank DiCicco for protecting the library from cutbacks, defended his choices, saying, Painful program and service cuts are necessary, but I want to assure you that we've preserved our core services.

In a message to staff, library director Siobhan Reardon, noting that 85 percent of the budget goes to staff, said 40 jobs would be eliminated through attrition and 71 through layoffs. A system of 43 branches will allow us to continue six-day-a-week service, she wrote, suggesting that reductions at all branches instead would weaken service in every neighborhood and stretch the staff to an unacceptable degree. Sunday hours will be eliminated at three regional libraries.

SNIP

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 10:26 PM
Response to Reply #111
117. So they tried last year, and closed 11 of them then.
Librarians were my friends when I was growing up. I made sure our kids spent time there also as they grew up. No matter where we lived we made at least weekly and usually twice weekly visits to check out books.
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Capn Sunshine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 10:03 PM
Response to Original message
114. and another stealth victory for the neocons
those fuckers never let up, remember that
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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
119. Ben Franklin is rolling over in his grave.
I am sure if he could, he would come back and smack the crap put of these people.
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bdamomma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:39 AM
Response to Reply #119
309. we could do it for him
:hide:
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sofa king Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 11:01 PM
Response to Original message
121. Eh, they're just holding the libraries hostage.
They could generate the money by killing state subsidies to industry or raising taxes or just about anywhere else, but they know that libraries are one of the few government services that people like and need.

So, they threaten to close the libraries down in order to pay for all the crap you don't want and need, knowing that public outcry will either generate the funds through contributions, or put pressure on the state legislature to come up with the money.
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Telly Savalas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 11:16 PM
Response to Reply #121
126. In other words it's not the death of our republic, but rather the standard bullshit.
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sofa king Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #126
131. Yes, but more low-ball than usual, I think.
You've got to be a real prick to even threaten such a thing, because if your plan goes awry, you really do lose the libraries! It's also dangerous because once a certain group of legislators realizes that everything, including libraries, is on the table, they'll go after everything else that smart people (read: Democrats) like--arts centers, welfare, local clinics, and so on. So it's an awful, cynical risk to take.
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Libertas1776 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 11:25 PM
Response to Original message
128. This is despicable
How can they get away with this; I really hope this is just a case of asinine political brinkmanship.

And to those who say that the library is obsolete: Get your head checked out!

The library is only obsolete to those who have the means and ability to afford digital books and kindles, and who scantly ever leave their homes let alone the keys at their keyboard. A library is not just for books, in many places it is the only source of community. Their are youth groups, senior groups, arts and crafts, theater, community awareness, and so much more. I love the library, and I have loved it since I was a little kid. There is nothing that opens up more wonder, imagination, amazement, and escape for a child than a public library.

The people who say that the library is obsolete are people who never have and never will appreciate the magnitude and importance of the printed word.

My God, people, if this is not the real life preface to "The Obsolete Man" episode of The Twilight Zone, than I don't know what is. Is the state going to declare literacy illegal and make all librarians "obsolete?" :shrug:
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XanaDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:58 AM
Response to Reply #128
146. And there are lots of library services for folks who use Kindles
and things those who do not walk in the library can use. But you also make a good point - there are many poor people who need access to books, databases information, PCs, and, pretty much, the only places they can go are the libraries in their communities.


They seem stuck on some kind of brain fart that "the technology" will change everything, blah, blah, blah. Well, there is a time and place for technology, and there is also a need for public spaces and programs for families, book clubs, etc.

Oh, well. Thank you for your support and use of your library, however.
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Kablooie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 11:27 PM
Response to Original message
129. The ignorant religious right is winning! See?
Edited on Tue Sep-15-09 11:31 PM by Kablooie
Anything that decreases education is a boon to the RelRig.

I'll bet you will start seeing this spreading throughout the country soon.

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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 11:35 PM
Response to Original message
132. The states do get federal stimulus money.
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 12:03 AM by merh
I don't know how much Pennsylvania has been allocated, but it appears that the state legislature has not been quick to give it to the city of Philadelphia.

States counting on their slice of $787B
Stimulus package trims some aid to states, but still provides funding for Medicaid, education and infrastructure. Money will help avoid deep spending cuts.

By Tami Luhby, CNNMoney.com senior writer
Last Updated: February 16, 2009: 11:08 AM ET


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Though not quite as generous as first envisioned, the federal stimulus package funnels a nice chuck of change to states to help them deal with their yawning budget gaps.

Most governors are still calculating how much they stand to get from the $787 billion stimulus package, which is expected to be approved by Congress late Friday. The majority of their allotments will go for Medicaid, education and infrastructure projects, but they will also have some funds to use at their own discretion.

Still, many states continue to suffer from steep declines in tax revenues as people lose their jobs and pull back on their spending. This is opening big gaps in their budgets -- and since much of the stimulus money is dedicated to specific uses, governors can only use a piece of their allotment to balance their budgets.

more @ http://money.cnn.com/2009/02/13/news/economy/stimulus_s...


$787 billion is a lot of stimulus money - don't blame the administration or congress - this seems to be a state problem. They don't know how to properly award the funds (it is discretionary).

Seems that there is a problem with the City of Philadelphia - from the Stimulus Package Projects list at the Stimulus Watch website.

Of the $787 billion federal stimulus money appropriated by congress to the states, $4,448,759,130 was awarded to Pennsylvania. Of that money, $69.5 million was allocated to Philadelphia to build new libraries and to renovate and expand existing libraries or library services.


Library system expansion: Construction of two new regional libraries in north and south sections of the city Philadelphia PA 352 $30,000,000


Free Library: Renovation and expansion of regional branches Philadelphia PA 278 $25,000,000


Branch Library Improvements: Upgrade of Facilities including Structural and mechanical Systems Philadelphia PA 58 $5,000,000


Bookmobiles: Purchase and deployment of bookmobiles in underserved communities in the city. Philadelphia PA 14 $500,000


Exterior modernization of libraries: Windows and roof replacements at all libraries Philadelphia PA 0 $9,000,000


http://www.stimuluswatch.org/project/by_state/PA&per_pa...


It appears that the City of Philadelphia will be spending stimulus money to renovate buildings and facilities that won't be operating.

OR - the Philadelphia press is lazy and didn't look deeper into this matter.

:shrug:

http://www.stimuluswatch.org/project/by_state/PA&per_pa...
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:29 AM
Response to Reply #132
139. That puts a different light on things.
:shrug:

I'd like to try and keep an eye on this story.
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Dramarama Donating Member (544 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-15-09 11:37 PM
Response to Original message
133. They need Blagojevich
Edited on Tue Sep-15-09 11:38 PM by Dramarama
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:28 AM
Response to Original message
138. To make it clear, the letter is from the library website.
http://libwww.freelibrary.org/closing /

Read it for yourselves. I am being accused of not vetting it, and I much resent it.
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:43 AM
Response to Original message
141. Wow, that is horrible.
Thank you George Bush and Dick Cheney, fuck you very much.
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:43 AM
Response to Original message
142. tax the fucking rich, already...
the money can only come from where the money is.
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:46 AM
Response to Original message
143. A Libertarian's dream come true ... We're on our way to becoming Somalia. nt
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:47 AM
Response to Original message
144. It's pretty sad when one posts from an official website...
and is accused of not vetting.

http://libwww.freelibrary.org/closing/
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hileeopnyn8d Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #144
172. Just brush it off
Your info was fine and legit, that person isn't taking into account that the reason the libraries are closing is because state legislature is holding the budget hostage.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #172
183. We have fought battles here in Florida to keep libraries open and free...
I know the signs and the symptoms of danger. We had rallies in Tallahassee in 2003 to try to keep Jeb from turning over all stste library stuff to NOVA, a private institution. We stopped him for a while, but I don't know the status now.

Libraries can easily be the first to go if we are not watching.
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hileeopnyn8d Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #183
186. I'll be honest
I cried when I read about this. Someone else posted a thread last Friday evening about it, but the thread didn't get much attention I think because of when it was posted.

Anyway, I'm glad you posted and I'm glad it's getting attention. As I said somewhere else, I grew up in Philly, and my sister has worked for the free library for close to 30 years.

I know that there were rallies last year when they were closing a bunch of branch libraries. This will be devastating to Philadelphia, those libraries hold some of the only after-school programs in the low income neighborhoods. Not to mention ESL classes and a whole host of other programs.

I am still reeling from this news.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #186
188. Hopefully people will read it and call their politicians.
We have had to fight here to keep anything public at all. So the signs are there of what priorities are. I lived on the phone with legislators in 2003 to save the state library. Our genealogical groups worked with each other to get things moving.

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daedalus_dude Donating Member (327 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:01 AM
Response to Original message
147. But the banks get bailed out.
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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #147
233. Exactly
The priorities of our society are completely fucked.
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bdamomma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #147
310. yup, they certainly take care of their own. bastards.
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gmoney Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 07:24 AM
Response to Original message
158. This is a shame...
My local libraries just announced 5 days of furloughs where branches will be closed on a staggered basis during the rest of the year. Supposedly, this will save $1.5 million. A friend who works at the library is thinking there will be more draconian cuts and closures before long.

I'm sure the Defense department spills more in a month in waste and overcharges than it would cost to fund all of America's libraries for a year.
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2Design Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:51 AM
Response to Original message
167. they don't want socialism and this is the result of their efforts - this sucks n/t
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
170. The Mayor will be at a ribbon cutting ceremony tonight at 7:00
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 11:00 AM by Joanne98
Wed, September 16, 6:30pm 7:00pm

Where 1822 Spring Garden St. (map)
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=1822%20Spring%20Gar... .

Mayor Nutter to deliver remarks The Career Wardrobe, the nations largest community-based organization, helps women transition to work by proving free professional clothing, image enhancement and career

Somebody should go over there with a video camera and ask him "What the fuck'?
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2Design Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
171. what's next education, parks, what else do they want to destroy n/t
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tanyev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #171
263. Oh, some wingnut from the public spoke at the last city council meeting here
and suggested that they sell off all the park land to private enterprise.
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JNelson6563 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:10 PM
Response to Original message
182. There are no words
*stunned*

You'd think this would be a really big story in the media. :shrug:

Julie
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proteus_lives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
184. That sucks!
Find the funding!
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
190. And, they still can't shut off Blackwater/Xe contracts. That's directly related to this.
It's called LACK OF GUTS TO CHANGE!
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DrZeeLit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
193. Now that's truly, deeply unpatriotic. We cannot let free libraries disappear. No!
What is afoot to work on the situation?
Let us know!
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tomm2thumbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:18 PM
Response to Original message
194. someone will figure out a way to turn 'em into Borders Bookstores and make a buck on it
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
195. OMG
It's The Decline of the American Empire. And the complete dumbing down of the population...now all a kid can do is join the military, deal drugs, and for the women, sell their bodies.

W/O education, there is NO hope. There is NO way out. There will be NO middle class.

This is a fucking Depression, people. The US will become a third world nation.
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Soylent Brice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:23 PM
Response to Original message
196. ironic isn't it?
the american revolution comes back full circle. the city that was the birth place of the revolution now becomes the place of its final days.

the irony is almost sadly fitting.

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T Wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
197. The political reality is that the pukes in the state legislature always stick it to Phila
in every way they can.

The rednecks in between Philly and Pittsburgh hate to do anything that benefits the "urban" population.

This is an old story, just manifesting itself this year on the library front. Just as the US is cursed and weighed down by flyover morans, so is Pennsylvania.
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hileeopnyn8d Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #197
239. That about sums up the whole sad story.
I'm from Philly but live in St. Louis now, the reality is exactly the same here only it's everything between St. Louis and Kansas City.
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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:42 PM
Response to Original message
200. Linda Lingle in Hawaii is doing this as well.
In my little village in Hawaii, the Library is a social gathering place, and the sole source of information on many things for many people. It is always loaded with people of all age groups, and serves as a focal point for improptu social gatherings.

The Patriot Act definately put a chill on the local library. Many librarians were distrurbed by the new requirements on reporting what people were reading. The result was that the Library Purged many controversial books. Meaning, they gave them away, to people in order to pre-empt reporting on people. One of these books was "The Dark Side of Paradise", which outlines in no uncertain terms the cause of Hawaii being the most Militarized state in the Nation. Complete with Nuclear stockpiles and major significance, along with detailed proof from publicly available sources.

It opened my eyes to the Military landgrab tin Hawaii that is disgquised as a Tourist mecca. It also described in specific terms the Wholesale media collusion with the Military Public Relations teams that paint a rosy picture for the public, as well as the Political Influence purchased by the MIC in Hawaii.

Sen Inouye and Akaka are wholly own MIC yes men, constantly harvesting pork for the military, in a continual buildup of capability.

The Superferry fiasco was the most recent debacles regarding John F. Lehman of a military operation disguised as a Civilian enterprise on record. They even got the state to spend Millions on the Superferry, and got Lingle to waive environmnetal laws on the books for 30 years to enable this thing. All to support the new Stryker brigade, and enable cheap transport to an from Oahu to the newly expanded (150,000 acres) of Pohakuloa Military base on the Big Island.

The libraries are key in informing the Public of Environmental Assessment Reports, Public Announcements, etc, etc, as nobody in their right mind would subscribe to the local newspapers that are focused on advertisements and have very little local news.

It looks like the Library attrition continues as scheduled. And you can thank OBAMA for this. Trillions for Wall street, while the States cut back on everything due to falling tax revenue that is just beginning. They haven't even scratched the surface on re-assessment. Either Obama is too stupids to notice, or he is part of the problem.

With his deep affection for the DLC, the Federal Reserve, Monsanto, and the Health "Maintenance" Corporations, I consider him part of the problem, and a Lame Duck.

I am truly saddened and amazed that he could reveal his true nature so quickly.

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OwnedByFerrets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:45 PM
Response to Original message
201. Just another Brick in the Wall
between the haves and have nots.
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:47 PM
Response to Original message
202. This is devastating. I grew up in libraries. My family could not afford books.
We need to start free, private lending libraries in places in which the government refuses to provide them. People could donate their used books. Lots of used books are just thrown away.

If your local library sells used books to get funds, please get your old books out of your shelves and donate them to your library right away.
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happydreams Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:50 PM
Response to Original message
205. Bush's plans for the Christo-fascist state are working out nicely....
now people will be able to go to church and get "the truth" without the fetters of science.

That motherfucker really did it and Obama is helping him fulfill his dreams.
In Seattle the libraries are having a rough time financially and have closed for the first time since I can remember.
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
213. We lose our libraries, we might as well all just surrender to RW'ers.
K&R
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bdamomma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #213
311. never surrender.
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
214. Thanks, Mad. nt
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onlyadream Donating Member (821 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
220. Very sad
Also, there's a school district in the south that is shortening the week to 4 days b/c they can't afford the 5th day. What's going on?????
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
228. A city without libraries is like a TV that only gets Fox.
Akron, OH just laid off a whole bunch of city employees from various jobs. There is no shortage of wealth in this country. The goddamn states and the Feds. need to raise taxes on the wealthy.
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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
235. Who needs firemen?
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
246. I can't imagine this will actually happen
I bet funding will turn up quick once word gets out.
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:16 PM
Response to Original message
250. Oh, come on - if you're going to do something, do it right.
Remember Alexandria! Burn it down!
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nostalgicaboutmyfutr Donating Member (991 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:29 PM
Response to Original message
252. Why surprised?? What better way to create more stupid republicans!!! EOM
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mant_a_tangi Donating Member (2 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
253. Beside the good arguments already made...
... that Kindles are expensive, that some people can't look at computer screens because of eyesight or migraine problems, that computer access in libraries is sketchy at best, the anti-book folks might want to consider how quickly digital media degrades and how comparably easier it is to restore or copy disintegrating paper than save a corrupted/damaged file.

But whatever: Even if you prefer looking at a screen and think it's the way of the future, being able to browse tangible collections on shelves exposes you to items and subjects you weren't necessarily looking for, and gives you some kind of context about how many subjects outside of your frame of reference there are in the world. When those products come from a range of eras, it also gives you an instructive sense about how items used to look and how they have evolved. Part of our consciousness that we take for granted, because we've all seen and read old books, BECAUSE OF LIBRARIES FULL OF BOOKS.

The internet, and the availability of any kind of computerised databases of knowledge, is already creating a societal fragmentation where people basically look up what they know they're interested in, and live in echo chambers. This is discussed all the time in relation to politics and entertainment; let's hope it doesn't become the pre-eminent problem of basic education and life experience, too.

Besides, why is anyone here smug about the idea closing down libraries to make way for computers, when the libraries aren't being computerised, they're being CLOSED. The whole purpose of libraries is to protect public records, forgotten documents, important collections; I'm willing to make the guess that if there isn't the budget to keep the libraries open, there isn't going to be a mass digitisation of what's in their possession now.

Is this definitely going ahead? Anything that can be done to stop it?
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:54 PM
Response to Original message
255. I have some relatives that work for the state of PA...
when I last saw them, early August, they told me that the state hadn't paid them yet. They were two weeks without pay. They were waiting on budget approval. They eventually got paid, but because of a clerical mistake, their pay was shorted. Accident?

They were told that they would get the money owed them in the next pay check. Don't know if that happened.

There are strange things afoot.
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RoccoR5955 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
256. It seems like this is but one part of a 5 year plan
http://ework.phila.gov/philagov/news/prelease.asp?id=57...

Other departments that will be totally slashed include the Recreation Department, and the City Planning Commission. Drastic cuts to many, many other departments.

972 positions in the police department cut. Trash pickup every other week. 6 Fire companies gone. 1/4 of the city's health centers eliminated.

This is truly absurd.
How can they do this?!?!?!
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Control-Z Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:10 PM
Response to Original message
258. This is the kind of loss
that really hurts. I can't throw my own books away. It would be like throwing knowledge and intelligence into the garbage can. Either I keep them forever, or recycle them. I love the library. It is where I recycle my books and get a lot of my new (used) ones. I can't imagine shutting all of them down. So sad.
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Historic NY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
259. Oh well looks like a boost for Faux Snooze.
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
260. Well, at least, it doesn't affect the wealthy and that's all who matter, after all.
:grr:
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RufusTFirefly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:14 PM
Response to Original message
262. Libraries are socialism!!


Hope they shut down those pinko fire departments next!
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:27 PM
Response to Original message
267. Stunning news indeed
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:37 PM
Response to Original message
271. The Libertarians win again. Be gone, thou socialist libraries!
:cry:
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Zorra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:37 PM
Response to Original message
272. If it's that bad in Philly, then closing City Hall would probably be more cost effective. n/t
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:07 PM
Response to Original message
273. Philadelphia's Republicans must be overjoyed. They can't wait for
the book burning to start. Though they may try to dispose of part of the collection by auction.

Damned socialist libraries!!!!!!
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Liberal_Stalwart71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:23 PM
Response to Original message
276. We're experiencing similar problems with our area public libraries, many of which closed
during the summer. DURING THE SUMMER! The summertime is the time that my parents had my brother and I do most of our reading. And now the kids cannot read during the summer because the public libraries are closed?

Anyway, this is just further evidence of how this country has devalued intellectual curiosity and celebrates utter stupidity. Being dumb has become a badge of honor. Don't believe me, turn on Faux News. You get paid by being pretty, pleasant and just plain dumb. You don't get anywhere being smart and thoughtful.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #276
282. I taught English. I know it from the belly of the beast.
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Liberal_Stalwart71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:27 PM
Response to Reply #282
295. This area in Maryland is one of the most liberal/progressive areas in the country.
The D.C. area is the most well-educated in the country. Maryland is ranked #1 in per capita income. The foreclosure crisis hit, but didn't have as great of an impact here than in other areas of the country.

But even here, there are people who celebrate be dumb or not having any critical thinking skill at all. If it's bad here, I cannot imagine what it's like in ultra conservative areas.
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nolabear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:34 PM
Response to Original message
279. The beginning of the end
of government run institutions that are purely for the common good? This is so terrible. I know many, many people whose lifeline is the ability to take books and movies out of the library and save their money for their FREAKING HEALTH INSURANCE!

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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:36 PM
Response to Original message
280. One might think a billionaire somewhere might lend a hand, but I guess that person is over-taxed.
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 05:37 PM by WinkyDink
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colsohlibgal Donating Member (670 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:45 PM
Response to Original message
283. The Times We Live In
Who would have thought? Times are not good and it would seem that it would be more important than ever to keep libraries available to people.

Just another legacy of the Reagan revolution and eight years of a dry drunk, fake cowboy, semi illiterate buffoon puppet with the devil incarnate pulling his string. Half their fan base at the minimum are hardly rocket scientists and now they can dumb down even more people.

"Fahrenheit 451" in real life - it's impossible to be too paranoid these days.
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melm00se Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:05 AM
Response to Original message
299. this is an example
of finite resources vs infinite wants.

the challenge is to find a balance by looking at the whole system holistically instead of "point" issues
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JeanGrey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:27 AM
Response to Original message
304. Why is this surprising? The internet has virtually killed all
public libraries. Why would you pay to keep a public library up when just about everyone has a public library already in their house? I'm amazed they have lasted this long...........
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bdamomma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:55 AM
Response to Original message
312. kicking this thread
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WI_DEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
314. That is unbelievable.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
315. In FL we have been fighting this for years....they were cutting funding again this year.
But it was stopped by massive outrage.

On April 30, Florida legislators eliminated all $21.25 million proposed in state library aid to public libraries. This prompted a fervent lobbying effort by the Florida Library Association (FLA) and the Florida library community, which paid off with a reversal of the plan. Former FLA president Charlie Parker told members that when the news of the cuts came down, everyone in the governor's office knew about it because the phone didn't stop ringing and citizens came in person to complain. The $21 million is still $2 million less than last year's support. Two Florida library directors told LJ that State Senator Mike Fasano has been a constant supporter of libraries during the strugglea true political hero.

http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6695129.html


They forgot to say that the genealogical community did their share, just like we did for the state library in 2003.
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
317. Oprah and other mega wealthy people need to step in here. nt
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BumRushDaShow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:21 PM
Response to Original message
332. State Legislature has agreed to Philly's budget.
Just before 4 pm today, "Plan C" has been canceled. Rendell expected to sign by tomorrow. Libraries will remain open.

http://www.kyw1060.com/Phila--Dodges---Doomsday--/52397...
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #332
333. LIBRARIES WLL REMAIN OPEN
just to clarify your point in the subject line.

more on the subject:

http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6697623.html

From the FLP's blog:

Just minutes ago, the Pennsylvania State senate passed bill 1828 by a vote of 32 to 17. For all of you who have been following the saga over the city's budget crisis, this is indeed the legislation that was needed for the City of Philadelphia to avoid the "Doomsday" Plan C budget scenario, which would have resulted in the layoff of 3,000 city employees and forced the closing of all libraries.

We are enormously grateful to everyone who advocated on our behalf. More than 2,000 letters to state legislators were collected from our libraries, and countless others made calls and sent emails underscoring how important public libraries are to the economic, educational and social life of our city. We also thank our incredible library staff, who despite the threat of imminent layoffs continued to provide excellent service to the thousands of people who use one of the 54 libraries in our system.
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