Libraries


An interesting ‘heads up’ today on the BBC Breakfast news re libraries and their current state. It seems that we are not using them enough and that some are certain to be closed. What to do about this is a really good question in this digital age.

The News report did nothing to highlight the services – mostly free – that libraries offer and just focussed on books. Perhaps it is the image of libraries that has to change. Ideas of ‘libraries’ in shops, cafes and pubs … closer to the people … was talked up. But I am not sure … perhaps schools could do more to foster the connections across the community … or perhaps the community library should be in the local school (I know this happens in some places).

I spend most of my reading time online but always have books and magazines around me. Is this because of where I have come from rather than where I am going to? And I now read books on my iPad rather than on paper. Will the next set of loans be digital downloads to my iPad from a website library? Will the materials that children read in schools soon be coming to them on e-book readers? Are the publishers already onto this?

More space to watch here …

Attribution: Original image: ‘Seattle Public Library’
Seattle Public Library
by: Kees de Vos
Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

2 thoughts on “Libraries

  1. Couple of points, libraries are key to the availability of information, this includes books, documents and of course a gateway to the Internet, and by default many vital services, for those whom, for whatever reason – and there are many, may not have access to the Internet. Removing libraries would dis-enfranchise a great number of people who rely on them. There is an interesting first hand piece in the Guardian on this, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/aug/18/doncasters-library-closures-catastrophe
    Secondly whilst eBooks and iPads are already establishing a presence, and will figure extensively in the future; they are not the solution in the current situation, arguably, much of it ideologically driven. For example if I wish to access an eBook from Leeds Library Services, even though it is digital, if someone has ‘downloaded it – it is not on the shelf. Publishers are only allowing one copy per city of three-quarters of a million people, to be downloaded concurrently.
    The idea of having libraries in pubs and shops seems attractive, in terms of information and education provision it is a non starter, even where such schemes are in place they still rely on “the Library Service” to facilitate

  2. Our library is all over our house. Books here and there in roughly disorganised piles and sometimes on shelves brimming with annoying ornamentation that has to be move to access the books. But there all the same. That’s part of reading in our house. Why everywhere? Well when I have a moment to read, it is often literally just that; a moment. So grab a book and dip in or continue a read of a book you are already reading so it’s kept close to hand.
    The best place in the house to read during the day is the smallest room. There is a magazine rack brimming with gaming and technolgy reading as well as slimming and design mags. Along side this sits a narrow ex-church bookcase with a large selection of fiction and non-fiction for all ages. Useful for us in education! Here I can spend ‘quality’ reading time. I get lost in my own world of imagery whithout disturbances. That is until the knock and the, “Just how long will you be?”
    Is this a reflection on how busy we are? Your iPad or what ever tablet you use is a whole library in one.
    I still support the argument that there’s nothing like opening a book to continue to read or remind ourselves of what’s already happened. To flick through old loved novels especially with their associated smells that according to biochemists and neuroscientists, will bring not just memories of stories but memories of the excitement of first reading those stories and the treasures contained therein.
    I hope that as teachers we are not forced to let reading time fall away as the powers that be tinker with some other ideas or make reading a totally e-thing.
    There is a place for ebooks but not as a substitute for libraries.
    Ebooks dont smell right for readers. They’re mot multisensory enough!

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