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Monopolies bad, libraries good

This post about libraries reminded me of this story about how Netflix is ending Saturday shipments.

Kevin Drum predicts,

And so it begins. A few years from now, I assume Netflix will be out of the physical disc business entirely, which means it will be impossible to watch anything more than a few years old.

Well no, not as long as public libraries are still around. Though big business interests are doing their best to keep urging tax cuts that end up closing libraries.

So here we are. Netflix has helped drive video rental places like Blockbuster out of business. Then Netflix begins to phase out DVD delivery to focus on their streaming business. Yet there’s strong evidence that internet providers like Verizon are deliberately throttling Netflix streams. And they’re also shifting customers to plans that resemble the ones for our mobile phones, with built-in caps and all kinds of extra fees and penalties for going over your allotted amount. Meanwhile, the U.S. has some of the worst internet service in the world.

Yeah, the unrestrained “free market” has done a wonderful job of providing us with all the books and movies we need in the most efficient manner.

lalie:

thecatwillplay:

libraryadvocates:

lalie:

The fact that the ALA shared this link is so gloriously bitter and angry and I love it.

Is there a portmanteau for that? Angritter? Bangry? 

Shit, this doesn’t even touch on the fact that libraries have so much more to offer—they have invaluable references, comic books, audiobooks, audio cids, movies, computer software (some library systems even carry games), online services that can include free educational material including free access to language learning programs, etc.  All of this paid for by your taxes and free to all to use.  Libraries are fucking awesome and you don’t think so you can get out of my face.
So sure, go pay $120 a year to Amazon so that you can read a few books.  Or, go to your public library and get a free card and expand your whole fucking universe.

^^^ This guy gets it.

lalie:

thecatwillplay:

libraryadvocates:

lalie:

The fact that the ALA shared this link is so gloriously bitter and angry and I love it.

Is there a portmanteau for that? Angritter? Bangry? 

Shit, this doesn’t even touch on the fact that libraries have so much more to offer—they have invaluable references, comic books, audiobooks, audio cids, movies, computer software (some library systems even carry games), online services that can include free educational material including free access to language learning programs, etc.  All of this paid for by your taxes and free to all to use.  Libraries are fucking awesome and you don’t think so you can get out of my face.

So sure, go pay $120 a year to Amazon so that you can read a few books.  Or, go to your public library and get a free card and expand your whole fucking universe.

^^^ This guy gets it.

Bedbugs now being found in library books →

To reassure skittish patrons like Mrs. McAdoo, libraries are training circulation staff members to look for carcasses and live insects. Some employees treat suspect books with heat before re-shelving them, to kill bedbugs, which are about the size of an apple seed when fully grown. Others vacuum the crevices of couches, and some furniture is being reupholstered with vinyl or leatherette to make it less hospitable to insects.

As Michael Potter, a professor of entomology at University of Kentucky in Lexington, noted: “There’s no question in past few years there are more and more reports of bedbugs showing up in libraries.”

NOOOOOOOOOOO

What can a library do when people are cold, tired, hungry, and scared? The library brings them all the things it always does. It provides information, such as FEMA applications, where aid centers are set up, locations for Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders. It provides comfort: charge your cell phone, send an email, or just get out of the cold for a few minutes. It provides entertainment: books were lent whether people had a library card or not.

These are all the direct benefits, but there are many intangibles as well. Everyone knew that, even at their lowest point, the library was still there for them.

Christian Zabriskie, of Urban Libraries Unite and a staff member of Queens Library, on helping the community after superstorm Sandy (via queenslibrary)

Help ULU!!!

(via thelifeguardlibrarian)

They’re currently collecting new and good-quality used children’s books and monetary donations. The flooding from Hurricane Sandy damaged a lot of books that were placed on lower shelves specifically for children.

(via shrinkinglibrarian)

Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay. In the modern state there are very few sites where this is possible. The only others that come readily to my mind require belief in an omnipotent creator as a condition for membership. It would seem the most obvious thing in the world to say that the reason why the market is not an efficient solution to libraries is because the market has no use for a library. But it seems we need, right now, to keep re-stating the obvious. There aren’t many institutions left that fit so precisely Keynes’ definition of things that no one else but the state is willing to take on. Nor can the experience of library life be recreated online. It’s not just a matter of free books. A library is a different kind of social reality (of the three dimensional kind), which by its very existence teaches a system of values beyond the fiscal.
zoearcher:

Don’t come between a cowboy librarian and Jane Austen.

zoearcher:

Don’t come between a cowboy librarian and Jane Austen.

(via shrinkinglibrarian)

Libraries raised me. I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.

— Ray Bradbury  (via quixotic-hobbit)

(via shrinkinglibrarian)

Amazon Considering a "Netflix for Books" →

shrinkinglibrarian:

No, it’s not a punchline.  It looks like it might be linked with Amazon Prime.  More at LISNews, original article from the Wall Street Journal.

Not a bizarre concept at all.

I used to find e-books on a website that had a huge selection of contemporary fiction and which used a semi-library model: you could download up to three files every two weeks (or something like that). It got too popular, so the site owner began charging monthly and yearly membership fees to cover bandwidth costs. If you paid the fee, you not only got access to everything, but you could download as many e-books as you wanted.

Given that, and how popular services like Netflix are, a legit version of an e-book store operating on a membership basis makes perfect sense to me.

Abbey Library of St. Gall, Switzerland

Abbey Library of St. Gall, Switzerland

housingworksbookstore:

In The Library by Tatsuro Kiuchi
(via 20x200)

housingworksbookstore:

In The Library by Tatsuro Kiuchi

(via 20x200)

motherjones:

runfromtheherd:

wallofdis:

lauralush:

EL ATENEO: A theatre turned into a library. Gorgeous right?

Right!


!!!!!1

Beautiful!

motherjones:

runfromtheherd:

wallofdis:

lauralush:

EL ATENEO: A theatre turned into a library. Gorgeous right?

Right!

!!!!!1

Beautiful!

St. Deinol’s Library, North Wales

St. Deinol’s Library, North Wales

The magnificent (new) Library of Alexandria

The magnificent (new) Library of Alexandria

Library of Parliament, Ottawa

Library of Parliament, Ottawa