Sunday, April 27, 2008

Save Our Libraries

Now, you don’t have to leave home to check out books from public libraries. Better yet, you can forget those pest late fees. Libraries are now starting to offer books for download with expiration for loans built in, so access is denied after a pre-determined date, and no late fee is incurred.

For those with vision problems, libraries accommodate not only by offering audio books but also loan MP-3 players to listen to those books. Library videos also can now be checked out online, similar to movie online subscription services, but without the out-of-pocket fee.

To learn more about how public libraries are implementing technologies to accommodate patrons, check out this April 20, 2008
New York Times article. How do you think changes in the public library will affect school-aged children? What do you think your local public libraries should be doing technologically to make their services more attractive to this population? In general, what do you think of libraries offering more online services, which might affect their in-person patron services? Here is the link to The New York Times article:

Hope you can access it without having to log on. Even if you can’t access it, you can still post comments to the topics summarized in this blog posting. I have also heard that libraries might be opening cafes to duplicate the experience of bookstores with this amenity What do you think of that idea? What about ice cream parlors in libraries? Will that attract young patrons for the right or wrong reasons?

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Jamie Sacharko said...

I'm a library fan and have mixed thoughts regarding this idea. The atmosphere of the library is quiet and relaxed and a great place to go to be surrounded by that which I love most, books. I also love the environment of the bookstore, but you certainly do have more noise and distraction available to you in that atmostphere. Libraries going online and offering technologically savvy options is going with the times. Its the way of the future. I believe that there will always be the need for books because people still like and even need to physically hold a book in their hands to enjoy it. PLUS...please...who can sit in front of the computer to read an entire book? The headaches alone!!

Ice cream in the library? I actually think Farmington library has initiated this idea of putting in a coffee bar and a teen area to attract younger crowds. It could definitely lead to a misinterpreted use of a space. Teens can turn it into a hang out place and little reading will get accomplished. I do suppose I'd rather that teens are hanging out at the library rather than somewhere else.

Meg H. said...

While I am a fan of the library, I would really like idea of sitting at home in front of my computer to read a book. The idea of no late fees is a winner!

On the other hand, as a parent, I would have to access or place a limit on what my child has access to. We have all heard of situations that teenagers have gotten access to which isn't always appropriate.

As an educator, my concern revolves around chidlren living in poverty.. These children don't always have acess to computers, so finding a way for these children to access computers might be an issue. You can't assume that every child today has access to a computer. If so, what does the child have access to? Is the computer online ready? Furthmore, what type of supervision is going on at home.

michele said...

I agree with Jamie. I love spending time in the library and could easily get "lost" there for hours. I think there will always be the need for the physical environment of the library and actual books. I really do not like to read from the computer and will sometimes even print longer articles to read. However, I do find it very helpful to access the library from home and place holds and renewals easily.

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