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Old 12-05-2019, 09:21 PM
 
923 posts, read 348,187 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silibran View Post
I am a retired librarian. Public libraries are known for keeping themselves relevant by doing outreach. That is the heritage and mission of public libraries, and it is one I am intensely proud of. Many public libraries are not funded by government, but are funded directly by taxes. Everyone pays a small amount to fund a lending library that allows the public to read borrowed books which they might not be able to afford to buy, or have room to keep in their homes.

Libraries usually are independent of local governments—often maddeningly so. They provide materials that some consider subversive, and others consider hidebound.

And modern public libraries do not just lend reading materials. They lend movies and sound recordings. Libraries provide meeting rooms for civic groups. They sponsor clubs and reading groups for kids and adults. They sponsor visiting authors. They usually have free computers for the use of the public. They often subscribe to special interest internet databases that help students and researchers. They house government publications.

I feel that it is a tragedy when citizens do not value their local libraries. And, contrary to some opinions, librarianship is much more than being familiar with the Dewey Decimal System.

If your community has its own library, you should treasure it and support it. Public libraries are America’s invention. They are as American as baseball. Their invention is our country's gift to the world, rather like the idea of National Parks.
This is beautifully stated. I'd like to have a community full of lovers of literature, wordies, lovers of nomenclatures and order, and people like you who've been instrumental in my research and "uni" years. So thanks in that regard.

The library is so much more than a lending library. It's the difference between not knowing the answer, and being able to find the answer - and FREE! Truman once stated, if memory serves, that he got his education from the library. Wasn't able to find the quote, but here's the link: https://www.trumanlibrary.gov/educat...h/school-years

The public library is more than institution and I hope it stays even though it's being overtaken by the bums. The bums are temporary.
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Old 12-05-2019, 11:25 PM
 
Location: Pacific Northwest
2,213 posts, read 800,368 times
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I love most libraries.

What I don't like or tolerate well is all the homeless that have currently taken over the local library near me. Its smells so bad you walk in, gagging. There are so many of them sitting in every available chair with their blankets, bags and garbage.

I try to borrow most books on e-book format instead. The libraries back in the Midwest were beautiful, quiet and free from homeless loitering. I miss it.
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Old 12-05-2019, 11:31 PM
 
923 posts, read 348,187 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wintergirl80 View Post
I love most libraries.

What I don't like or tolerate well is all the homeless that have currently taken over the local library near me. Its smells so bad you walk in, gagging. There are so many of them sitting in every available chair with their blankets, bags and garbage.

I try to borrow most books on e-book format instead. The libraries back in the Midwest were beautiful, quiet and free from homeless loitering. I miss it.
That's what I meant before. You're so right. I miss it too
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Old 12-06-2019, 10:04 AM
 
7,063 posts, read 3,875,424 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by settled00 View Post
I miss the libraries of my past where I spent hours upon hours with some project or another during high school. I worked in the reference library during college and loved it. Even after I got married, the local librarians knew me by name because I was always borrowing books from universities around the world. They charged a minimal fee to first find the book, then asking the university or other source to borrow it --all without the internet. They always came through for me, kindly.

Today though the libraries are so different. People are loud, dirty, careless and rude. The library has turned into a crash-pad for the bums and other ill-bred derelicts. The last two times I've been in has been quite different and not at all a welcoming experience. it's not entirely gone, but I can't see them continuing to operate with such a free-flow of available information online. It's sad but as I say, it's not the same institution it used to be. Just like public libraries, i've given up flying coach for the same reasons --but that's another thread.
Today’s libraries are not to blame for having bums in them. The smelly, drunk, loud people have long plopped themselves in larger libraries, typically those in big cities. What’s changed is that the bums have proliferated and spread so that now they’re in small town libraries, too. Which was rare decades ago.

It’s kind of like how druggies infest rural areas. Drug-related crimes used to be mostly an urban phenomenon, long ago.

Bums hang out at any warm, free public place they can find that is close to liquor stores (add pot shops to that now, too) or free food or good panhandling locations. City parks are always littered with them, often in huddles eyeing every potential target for “contact.”

In the town closest to me, police reports show that bums sometimes sleep in the post office. Again, it is a public place open 24 hrs (for access to PO boxes) that charges no admission to enter. Shoplifting incidents at the WalMart and one supermarket must occur every single day, probably multiple times, judging by their frequency of inclusion in the select few listings that the newspaper publishes.

We still visit and support our libraries. We have watched them tactfully evicting the drunks. Some librarians know which troublemakers leaving a computer spot taken-yet-vacant to go outside (vacancy is supposed to mean the spot is available for another person) are going out for yet another booze break.

They do what they can, and the police sometimes have to be involved.

I agree that this daily infestation of bums turns legitimate users off of going to the library. But if that happens, guess what? The library becomes a de facto repository of nothing but bums. It is important that decent, respectful, genuine library users continue to support—and fight to keep, not abolish—their public institution that provides access to a world of learning, understanding, and imagination.
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Old 12-06-2019, 10:19 AM
 
7,063 posts, read 3,875,424 times
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The book titled The Library Book gives an engrossing history of public libraries. Although it starts with a random small project and expands to include research into a huge fire at the Los Angeles Public Library, it continues further and turns into a history of American libraries overall.

I was afraid it would be a dry read. Not at all! I highly recommend reading it, especially the accounts of how the LA library was immediately and quantifiably beloved.
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Old 12-06-2019, 05:51 PM
 
923 posts, read 348,187 times
Reputation: 2680
Quote:
Originally Posted by pikabike View Post
The book titled The Library Book gives an engrossing history of public libraries. Although it starts with a random small project and expands to include research into a huge fire at the Los Angeles Public Library, it continues further and turns into a history of American libraries overall.

I was afraid it would be a dry read. Not at all! I highly recommend reading it, especially the accounts of how the LA library was immediately and quantifiably beloved.
thank you, I want to read this book!!!
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