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LibraryThe City of Rochester is studying the future of its 10 library branches. The study will look at space, location, staffing, services and hours of operation.

The Center for Governmental Research, which is conducting the study, wants people to fill out a survey about libraries. It’s pretty comprehensive, asking about everything from what kinds of materials should the library buy to whether there should be cafes.

It’s wrong to think libraries are becoming less popular in the digital age. People are still seeking information. They still need assistance to find it or the tools to access it.

Take the survey here.

Meanwhile, check out this “bookless library” opening in Texas.

Links of the Day:

– “Wait your turn, little girl.” The old white guys should have thought twice before telling the young black woman to sit out the mayoral race.

– A lawsuit filed in Erie County over New York’s new gun law focuses on the Fifth, not Second Amendment.

– Perhaps Chicago’s murder rate is so high because it lets off gun offenders with a slap on the wrist.

– Customers may be getting a bit disenchanted with Southwest Airlines.

Check out this 1922 Kodachrome test footage.

– Could you end up having to pay more if you order a cocktail with no ice?

– The world’s most prolific streaker is hanging up his birthday suit.

8 Responses to What Do Libraries Mean to You?

  1. There are way way way too many Libraries, and what are most towns doing? Building more.

    With the internet, and books on Kindle’s, there is no way the demand for Libraries that there used to be. In the average town, taxpayers pay for multiple libraries, a main one in the town, another in the high school, and then middle schools.

    You would think one town would consider consolidating the libraries and build off the HS Library, but that has yet to happen. They are “the cool” thing to build in towns these days, for town Supers, and then we wonder why taxes are so high.

    A county taxpayer pays directly or indirectly for countless Libraries, at MCC, The Main Downtown, and it’s various branches, UR RIT and various colleges, multiple ones in your town with the schools and the main. Clearly there are many missed consolidations that could /should have occurred.

    Rochester needs maybe five large libraries. One in the city and 4 in the burbs. Then a small one in the HS makes sense.

    Other than that let those that use them pay for them – fully.

  2. I am currently working on my masters in Library and Information Science. Orielly’s comment could not be further off the mark.

    Libraries are not just about books. They are community centers that offer programs, classes, exhibits, job centers, access to technology, meeting spaces, history and archival collections, special events for children and teens, and much, much more. Libraries are especially vital to low-income people, who usually cannot even afford a computer or monthly Internet in their homes, let alone an e-reader. (It’s called the “digital divide”; look it up.) Libraries provide them free Internet access and reading materials, and not to mention literacy outreach and programs like GED and English as a Second Language classes. Libraries and schools in poor neighborhoods are often focal points of stability, permanence, and authority. To people who cannot afford cars, having a library they can get to is highly important.

    The library of the future is a multipurpose space that embraces not only reading but community enrichment. To think that a city of over 210,000 people needs only one library is unbelievably ignorant and completely out of touch.

  3. February 10, 2013 at 7:42 pm theodore kumlander responds:

    the kodacolor film from 1922 was so cool.

  4. Well yea Libraries are trying to be things they are not designed to be. Why? Because their core objective is not needed as much.

    What is the difference then between a library and a community center? Every town has a community center. So we’re doubling up here as well and I don’t want to pay for it.

    People who use the libraries use them all the time. Cool, let them pay for it.

    IF the poor in the city used the libraries so much why then are they closing the branches? Why are they not educated and poor? I did not create the digital divide, thats not my problem. If you need to use a computer and don’t have one, where there is a will there is a way.

    And Funny why is the RCSD and virtually every town, and MCC offering all these courses and not at the library? Again thats not the libraries purpose.

    Got any other names to call one, in the face of valid arguments? I suggest you change your major, my I suggest buggy whip manufacturing. They have the same future.

  5. What Orielly is alluding to here (doubling up comment) is very similar to what we are seeing with suburban fire districts. There has been an explosion of expensive new firehouses over the past few years, and virtually no coordination between communities to try to combine resources and not build these Taj Mahal facilities within earshot of each other.

    Actually, the idea of trying to build fewer libraries and sharing resources is not only smart, but but has already been alluded to comercially through the actions of Wegmans’ Pittsford store. I believe that the Pittsford store sells pet products in a separate corner of the store – one that has its own outside entrance and is walled off from the rest of the store (at least it was when it opened). I believe the reason this was done originally was that the high-end pet brands had agreements that said they could not be sold within a regular supermarket. This Wegmans solution was a way around that restriction. I think that this is also a model that could be used with libraries too. Why can’t we have a school library that also functions as a community library at the same time? Maybe the library has a separate entrance for the public and a separate entrance for students. Granted, security is something that would have to be dealt with, but the concept is worth exploring.

    Before everyone laughs and thinks this is nuts, consider what is happening with the latest school improvements. Naples is building a new swimming pool, and the pool is being designed in such a way to function as a “community pool.” Part of this concept is a graduated entry into the pool so children and seniors can have an easier time of it. Another part is separate locker room entrances for the community, and students. This type of model should be able to work for libraries too.


  6. February 11, 2013 at 12:41 pm Kevin Yost responds:

    The library is where I have my internet and e-mail access and where I am doing so right now. Usually, it is Henrietta or Rush libraries, sometimes other suburban branches, rarely the Central Library.

  7. February 11, 2013 at 8:26 pm lellingw responds:

    This is a paper on the need for libraries and librarians. The connection with libraries and librarians on literacy is very strong. http://www.sdkrashen.com/articles/case_for_libraries/index.html

    The Case For Libraries and Librarians

    Invited Paper, Submitted to the Obama-Biden Education Policy Working Group, December, 2008
    Stephen Krashen

    “When I read about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that American society has found one more way to destroy itself.” (Isaac Asimov, from his autobiography I Asimov)

    The case for libraries is very strong.

    Research shows that better public and school libraries are related to better reading achievement. The reason for this is obvious: Children become better readers by reading more (Krashen, 2004), and the library is a major source of books for children.

  8. an accountant can prove anything you want them to prove just tell them what you want them to prove.

    I believe the case of Librarians making the case for Libraries is from the same vein as the accountant. The study starts out with an AGENDA to prove. And amazingly they prove it… who’da thunk it?

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