A Literary Legend Fights for a Local Library

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A Literary Legend Fights for a Local Library Empty A Literary Legend Fights for a Local Library

Post by Garmar on Sat Jun 20, 2009 2:12 pm

‘To hell with you. To hell with you and to hell with the Internet.’ Ray Bradbury after Yahoo approached him about putting one of his books on the internet.


I don’t know about you guys, but I love the internet. I enjoy reading ebooks and would love to have a Kindle.

But losing our library would be a crime in my opinion.

I wonder if the new technology being developed and current economic problems will eventually make the humble library nonexistent? I for one don’t begrudge the tax dollars that I spend for the local economy and think they should go up.

I’m also an active contributor of an organization called “Friends of the Library” (a lot towns have one of these it seems); financially and by volunteering my time to sort discarded books from the library as they come in. In turn, they offer these books to the community for 50 cents for a hardback and 25 for paperback. Popular books go for a dollar if they’re in great shape.

My point? If there is an organization like this in your hometown try to support them in any way you can. Even if it's just to mail them a check. And be mindful of the financial situation of the public libraries in you area.

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Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.  ~Italo Calvino

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Post by Lady Goodman on Sat Jun 20, 2009 2:17 pm

I second that motion all over the place. Think of how much money we all save by using a library.

Personally, I don't mind donating $20 a month to our friends of the library fund, that's like two brand new paper back books... and lawd knows I go throw at least 10 in a month haha.
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Post by NaClshaker on Sat Jun 20, 2009 9:43 pm

First, let me say, I love libraries and will gladly pay taxes to support public libraries.

That said, many public libraries are becoming obsolete. The internet provides better access for research, lots of classic books free to download and enormous diversity in public reading programs for children. What do public libraries have to offer that is not replicated on the internet? ...and the internet is 24 hours a day no requirement to travel.

In my opinion, libraries need to re-define their mission. If I managed one, I would build a strong program of literacy-related free classes. Literacy would mean public education and would not be limited to reading and writing. Many people learn better in face-to-face classes, rather than through a computer screen and interface. I'd offer teaching programs, running all day long and in every manner of “knowledge”. What would my library teach? Anything that you might study online or through books and would be unlikely to find in a public school.

For example, lots of women enjoy quilting. I would provide a once-a-month quilting class that teaches a different quilting pattern each time. Participants would be encouraged to bring their sewing machines, build the targeted "quilting square" during the class and go home with photocopies of the quit pattern from the library's book(s) on quilting.

How bout writing? I can't believe that libraries don't offer multiple classes each month on various aspects of writing. Plot development. Building a "hook". Manuscript formatting. Writing query letters. How to rewrite. How to edit. Using Word to format documents. How to write a powerful synopsis. Classes on writing could easily attract good turn outs and provide a valuable public service related to literacy.

Let's see, what else could a library teach? Child rearing choices (this would attract lots of tot-moms). Lawn care. Health care -- prevention, nutrition/meal planning, common sense cures. How to paint a house. (Lots of do-it-yourself projects). Money management. Taking good photos. How to use eBay effectively. The list is endless.

My point is simple. If libraries continue in the primary role as repositories for books, then they are doomed to obsolescence. If they decide to become outlets for knowledge, to include offering a wide variety of books, then they will continue to hold an important place in modern society.
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