On 06/04/04, Karl Miller wrote:
> I cannot help but wonder if libraries make aa mistake by giving away
> information, as I would suspect, that most people take that which is
> free, for granted, and don't value it unless it is taken away, or
> costs them money.
People like Carnegie were thinking of the poor boy who had to educate
himself on a tiny budget.
Even for the not-so-poor, libraries have been a great educator. Who,
even now, can afford to buy all the books they ought to read?
One problem for public libraries is that most schools and colleges now
have adequate libraries, at least for the subjects on the curriculum.
Also, there are fewer teenagers educating themselves - it has all been
organised into a system.
(In developed countries, that is.)
> Happily there are those that have placed great value
> on both providing that "free" access and having that "free" access. It
> seems that our libraries now are the internet, and our libraries are
The Internet is handy, but the information is all very shallow, more on
the level of magazine articles than books. Consider biographies of
musicians, for example.
Gutenberg is great, but there is no attempt to find good texts, nor any
notes. They simply point the OCR at a 19th century edition of each book.
> Yet even on the internet, getting too much of the most valued
> information, costs money. It just seems to me, that the way libraries
> operate...I think of how google can catalog the internet, and how much
> it costs a library to acquire, catalog a book, put it on the shelf and
> circulate it. Libraries would seem to priced out of the marketplace.
> Karl (at this point, not feeling particularly optimistic about the
> long term prognosis for libraries)
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