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Are Libraries Becoming Obsolete?

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message 1: by Koren (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 167 comments Along with other institutions in our small town, I go into the library and not very many people are there. People can download the books and everyone has a computer on their phones and most people have Netflix for some sort of movie channel so no need to drive to the library. The bank and post office used to be the gathering spots for local gossip but now they are empty shells. Do you think libraries will one day be obsolete as everyone can do on line what they used to go to the library to do?


message 2: by Julie (last edited Sep 04, 2018 11:44AM) (new)

Julie (julielill) | 827 comments Koren wrote: "Along with other institutions in our small town, I go into the library and not very many people are there. People can download the books and everyone has a computer on their phones and most people ..."
Our library is pretty busy and we just passed a referendum to re-model our library. We offer a lot on line, including movies and books. We also have a lot of programs for all ages, summer reading programs, a knitting group, a movie night monthly and are a meeting place for people to have their own programs or groups. Anyone can come in and get help on almost any subject. Plus a lot more.


message 3: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 1127 comments What Julie said. My village is about 2800 residents, but we joined with three other suburban communities to form a joint library. We're about to undertake a significant remodeling project over the next two years.


message 4: by Charlene (new)

Charlene (librarymomforall) | 150 comments Koren wrote: "Along with other institutions in our small town, I go into the library and not very many people are there. People can download the books and everyone has a computer on their phones and most people ..."
Our Library offers a lot of programs for our patrons. Download books, we have Acorn on our website, and many many databases for genealogy, learning a new language, book clubs, and a very large program for children of all ages. We are constantly busy even for a small library. We have Research programs on our website, links for financial aid, help for seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, resume help and job and career help.


message 5: by Fishface (last edited Sep 08, 2018 03:18PM) (new)

Fishface | 553 comments Libraries are information centers for sure. They will probably change form quite a bit over time, but I think there will always be a need for them.


message 6: by Koren (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 167 comments Fishface wrote: "Libraries are information centers for sure. They will probably change form quite a bit over time, but I thin there will always be a need for them."

We have already lost some of our smaller town libraries. I'm talking towns with only a few hundred people. My town has 1200 and so far we have been able to keep it. They keep a census every day which includes traffic and not just circulation. I dont know how low it has to go before they close it but I worry when I go there and there is no one else there. I dont think the main branch would close but the small towns are always touch and go. I have also noticed the main branch has fewer actual books now that so many are downloading the books.


message 7: by Fishface (new)

Fishface | 553 comments Well, since you tend not to re-read, this is a great opportunity for you to expand their bio and true crime collections!


message 8: by Koren (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 167 comments Fishface wrote: "Well, since you tend not to re-read, this is a great opportunity for you to expand their bio and true crime collections!"

Our main branch library will only accept books for donations that are 10 years old or newer. There is a library In the next county that is still doing used book sales and I donated quite a few books to them. I got a lot of true crime there last year so hope I can repeat it.


message 9: by Charlene (new)

Charlene (librarymomforall) | 150 comments Koren wrote: "Fishface wrote: "Well, since you tend not to re-read, this is a great opportunity for you to expand their bio and true crime collections!"

Our main branch library will only accept books for donate..."


We will be holding a book sale in about 2 weeks at my library. People have been bringing in books (and we have been weeding books from the shelves) and boxing them up to get ready for the sale. What I really dislike is you tell people no TEXT books, no ENCLYCOPIDAS, no DIRTY BOOOKS, no MOLDY books, no DAMAGED books but we still get them. Yesterday I put 4 big boxes of books in the dumpster because people DON'T LISTEN. If you don't want these books in your home WHY DO YOU THINK WE DO.


message 10: by Koren (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 167 comments Charlene wrote: "Koren wrote: "Fishface wrote: "Well, since you tend not to re-read, this is a great opportunity for you to expand their bio and true crime collections!"

Our main branch library will only accept bo..."


They want to get rid of the books without paying.


message 11: by Koren (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 167 comments Charlene wrote: "Koren wrote: "Fishface wrote: "Well, since you tend not to re-read, this is a great opportunity for you to expand their bio and true crime collections!"

Our main branch library will only accept bo..."


What I dont understand is why our library didn't utilize more volunteers. They used volunteers to man the cash registers on the sale days but thought the library employees had to set up the sale, thus not cost effective to run a sale. Oh well.


message 12: by Charlene (new)

Charlene (librarymomforall) | 150 comments The book sale at our library seems to have done very well. Friends of the Library run it. But since there were SO MANY books this year we will not be accepting any books from people until next August. The sale will be in September. We were just inundated with books this time and we really don't have the space to store them. And of course not enough of the FRIENDS showed up to help at the sale, it is always the same people who do all the work.


message 13: by Lady ♥ Belleza, Gif Princesa (new)

Lady ♥ Belleza (bella_foxx) | 188 comments Mod
Fishface wrote: "Libraries are information centers for sure. They will probably change form quite a bit over time, but I think there will always be a need for them."

I was going to say this.


message 14: by Koren (last edited Oct 07, 2018 01:36PM) (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 167 comments Lady ♥ Belleza wrote: "Fishface wrote: "Libraries are information centers for sure. They will probably change form quite a bit over time, but I think there will always be a need for them."

I was going to say this."


Is someone in charge of contacting people to help? I think a lot of times people just dont know or dont think you need help unless you contact them. They could advertise and develop a list to work from when the time comes.


message 15: by Charlene (new)

Charlene (librarymomforall) | 150 comments Koren wrote: "Lady ♥ Belleza wrote: "Fishface wrote: "Libraries are information centers for sure. They will probably change form quite a bit over time, but I think there will always be a need for them."

I was g..."


Friends has a large list of people who belong and I would assume that they would contact the people on their list to help out for a day here and there. But of course there are always excuses as to why they can't help. I know the woman in charge and she would certainly get in touch with people.


message 16: by Fishface (new)

Fishface | 553 comments Lady ♥ Belleza wrote: "Fishface wrote: "Libraries are information centers for sure. They will probably change form quite a bit over time, but I think there will always be a need for them."

I was going to say this."


Great minds think alike!


message 17: by L J (new)

L J | 171 comments Years ago our library became part of a multi county system so it is now a branch rather than a local library. It seems to me it is always pretty busy but then in addition to books it offers activities, public computers and free Wi-Fi.


message 18: by Fishface (new)

Fishface | 553 comments I think it's very possible that local libraries are becoming extinct. They're being absorbed into the systems run by the big-money boys. Like the family-owned Darcy's Diner on the corner being bought out and made into a Tim Horton's, that will be selling Darcy's secret-recipe meatloaf at all their locations from now on...


message 19: by Anna (new)

Anna | 5 comments As a librarian I believe absolutely libraries are still very relevant and our library, including our branch libraries are an integral part of our community. We were able to add a large addition to our main location funded solely by the support of our local businesses and community members, showing that they believe in our relevance.


message 20: by L J (new)

L J | 171 comments As times change so do libraries. Decades ago I was told that library buildings were moving toward becoming multi function community centers and I think that is often the case. For books and other physical items there are automated 24 hour machines where you can pick up items you put on hold. Some of these machines stock items you can check out without placing a hold. Automated sorters check in and sort returned books. Patrons are encouraged to use self check out rather than going to desk so staff can do other things. In our system it is easier to suggest the purchase of a e item than a physical book. Each physical item in the system has RFID tag so more automated ways of handling items can be added. Patrons are encouraged to use downloading and streaming services. All this and the availability of public computers and free wi-fi have changed how and why people use libraries and how libraries work but libraries are still here, just different.


message 21: by Julie (new)

Julie (julielill) | 827 comments We just finished a major construction project at the library I work at and they put more private rooms in for the patrons use. Also we added more tables so that the patrons could plug in their devices in the table so they wouldn't have to plug it into the very few wall plugs we had. We also have a new teen/tween room instead of a corner and that has been very active. We have had a lot of good feedback from the remodel.


message 22: by Koren (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 167 comments Fishface wrote: "I think it's very possible that local libraries are becoming extinct. They're being absorbed into the systems run by the big-money boys. Like the family-owned Darcy's Diner on the corner being boug..."

Agreed. I live in a rural area. My town is 1200 people and some of our smaller libraries have closed. I foresee someday it will just be the main branch and all the small libraries will be gone. Just like everything else I guess.


message 23: by L J (new)

L J | 171 comments Koren wrote: "Fishface wrote: "I think it's very possible that local libraries are becoming extinct....
I foresee someday it will just be the main branch and all the small libraries will be gone. Just like everything else I guess."


Our library system locations seem to be increasing. In addition to full service library buildings still being built and remodeled our system has information stations, 24-hour machines, and book boxes for a total of about 20 pick up locations spread over 3 counties. The system also has a books-by-mail service.
It's not the same as having a town library but I suspect few towns with populations of less than five hundred or even smaller ones with populations of less than a hundred had a town library. At least this way they have local access to books from the libraries in the system.


message 24: by Fishface (new)

Fishface | 553 comments L J wrote: "Our library system locations seem to be increasing. In addition to full service library buildings still being built and remodeled our system has information stations, 24-hour machines, and book boxes for a total of about 20 pick up locations spread over 3 counties. The system also has a books-by-mail service.
It's not the same as having a town library but I suspect few towns with populations of less than five hundred or even smaller ones with populations of less than a hundred had a town library. At least this way they have local access to books from the libraries in the system."


It all goes to show that someone thinks it's important!


message 25: by Fishface (new)

Fishface | 553 comments This is one reason why libraries are not yet obsolete: I finally, for the first time in a while, managed to snag an inter-library loan of a book I wanted to read, Looking for Carroll Beckwith: The True Stories of a Detective's Search for His Past.


message 26: by Fishface (new)

Fishface | 553 comments Libraries are not becoming obsolete, and neither are bookstores!!!

*shakes fist at an uncaring sky*

https://www.architecturaldigest.com/g...


message 27: by Lady ♥ Belleza, Gif Princesa (new)

Lady ♥ Belleza (bella_foxx) | 188 comments Mod
Fishface wrote: "Libraries are not becoming obsolete, and neither are bookstores!!!

*shakes fist at an uncaring sky*

https://www.architecturaldigest.com/g..."


YAY! The Strand made it in!


message 28: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 1127 comments Libraries obsolete?

Tell that to the dozens of patrons who flocked to the library to use the internet during our recent outages due to severe weather!


message 29: by Koren (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 167 comments Our library had a summer reading program but no activities or story times. We live in a small town so at times the library is the local coffee shop so to speak. I told my librarian friend when I was there last week that I seldom spend so much time at the library in the summer because it is full of kids. This year I have been able to chat with her an hour or more with no one coming in.


message 30: by Julie (new)

Julie (julielill) | 827 comments Koren wrote: "Our library had a summer reading program but no activities or story times. We live in a small town so at times the library is the local coffee shop so to speak. I told my librarian friend when I wa..."

We haven't gotten the crowds we used to get especially now that we are open our regular hours. After 7pm, it is pretty dead with one or two people reading the newspapers.


message 31: by L J (last edited Aug 16, 2021 08:56AM) (new)

L J | 171 comments When I was at the library last month there were few patrons sitting but people were coming and going.

Library has summer reading challenge. I noticed they were short on minutes to receive free books. In past years they've met goal early. By this month, goal was met without my contribution.

It may be people are just using library differently.

ETA: I hope libraries continue virtual programs and don't cut back too much on e materials.


message 32: by Julie (new)

Julie (julielill) | 827 comments People are coming in to get books but are just not hanging around. We do have a few regulars that come in to use the computers but still slower than past summers before covid.


message 33: by Charlene (new)

Charlene (librarymomforall) | 150 comments Our Library is open now, and has been for awhile. You can use our study rooms for 2 hours or sit at the table for the same amount. You can browse, take out books and whatever else you want. The childrens programs are done mostly outside, a few inside with a certain amount of children and parents. Still doing Zoom or story time and Summer reading you sign up online but we have prized for the kids each week they can come in and get. At the moment we are back to wearing masks since our county is a bit hi with COVID but once that goes down we probably will not have to wear them. Most people have no problem with that at the Library. We have great patrons.


message 34: by Fishface (new)

Fishface | 553 comments Libraries will not be obsolete as long as they are the sole keepers of books I can't find anywhere else, or at least not affordably. I couldn't find a copy of a particular horror novel for less than $795 so, yeah, library time.


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