A recent Forbes article by Panos Mourdoukoutas recently made a lot of people crazy. It was called “Amazon Should Replace Local Libraries to Save Taxpayers Money”. I’d like to link it here, but the article appears to have been deleted fro the site, leading only to an error message now (which was really what we all thought).
But the uproar over it hasn’t stopped. Essentially, the author claimed that libraries weren’t needed because people now use Starbucks, Netflix, and Amazon more. He claimed we don’t need library spaces, and that they are underused. Apparently, the man hasn’t been to a library since he was a child.
As frustrating as the article was, it’s the backlash that has been the most interesting. You can find a great (although long) post from the Nocturnal Librarian here. She makes some great arguments, and has the facts to back it up. Although it’s a little difficult to read through the text, stick with it. It’s interesting.
And the tweets that follow Mourdoukoutas’ twitter post after his article ran are even better. And it applies just as much to Canadian libraries as it does to American libraries.
What do you think? Will Amazon ever give libraries a run for their money?
Do you ever work outside of your place of business? Do you work from home, but have to get out sometimes just to get things done without the distraction of your fridge or comfy couch? Have you ever thought about working in your library?
I recently came across a post about the top 5 places in Toronto to work remotely. One of them–unsurprisingly– was the Toronto Reference Library. What do you need to work outside of your home? Reliable Wi-Fi, a quiet space, somewhere that allows coffee, and maybe access to a printer? We’ve got it all!
We often have people come in, grab a table, and set up shop for an afternoon. While we don’t want to promote seeing clients, or doing meetings in our quiet(ish) spaces, we’re certainly up for people bringing their laptops and getting down to work. We have a couple of great little nooks, mostly away from the busy circulation desk, and you can sit and be productive for as long as you need.
If the coffee shop is just too noisy to focus, try your local library branch. It’s cool in summer, and warm in winter. And you might just find a great book to take home while you’re here!
This week, we’re doing a little bit of special FUN-draising at the library. With all of the kids off for March Break, we’re looking to add a bit of excitement to an already busy week…and it’ll help us out, too!
Drop in anytime this week and donate $1 toward our Children’s Summer Literacy Program, and you’ll get a piece to add to our bookworm. We’re going to see just how long this bookworm can get. Maybe he’ll grow to the entire length of the library….or maybe he’ll even get TWICE as long! Who knows? It’s all up to you.
So, bring your loonies with you, and we’ll do the rest. All of the proceeds go toward helping young community members who need a little extra reading help over the summer. We’ll be telling you more about this great program as the weeks go on, but without your support, we might have to scale it back. So please donate. Even one dollar will make a big difference.
And if you can’t make it into the library, you can always donate online. It’s easy…and you don’t even have to get out of your pajamas!
Thanks from all of us at the Carleton Place Public Library! Your generous support means so much to us, and will mean even more to a little reader out there.
We run lots of fun programs at the library, and one of our most popular (and constantly growing programs) is our Children’s Summer Literacy Tutoring program. Let’s face it—funding is tough for libraries, and we’d love to keep this one going at full speed, and possibly expand. But we need your help. That’s where our FUNdraising program begins!
Starting this week, drop into the library and stop by our FUNdraising wall. It’s loaded with envelopes, each with a denomination on the front. Pick a donation you’re comfortable with, take the envelope, and fill it with cash or a cheque in that amount. Any and EVERY donation is welcome, even the little ones, so don’t feel shy.
For donations over $10, we can provide a charitable receipt, so keep that in mind–it’s good for us, and for you. Cheques should be made payable to the Carleton Place Public Library. And if you don’t have time (or the cash on you) when you drop in, make sure to take the donation envelope of your choice and bring it back in later.
As always, a HUGE thank you to all of our patrons for making our library such an important part of our community. We couldn’t do any of this without you!
Questions? Give us a call at 257-2702.
If you suddenly found yourself in a brand new place, without knowing anyone in the community, where would you go first to find out information about:
- local services
- social programs
- free wi-fi until yours is set up
- activities for you and your children
- job opportunities
…all for FREE?
The public library, of course! You can’t these things at your local big box store, that’s for sure.
In 2016, the Federal Communications Commission in the US (the FCC), estimated that nearly 46% of Americans living in rural communities do not have regular access to high speed internet. The number would be similar here in Canada. And while high speed internet might not be seen as an essential service, it means that these people might be able to surf the web at home, but they won’t be able to stream content such as movies, or download websites that have a great deal of active content on their sites. And for those that can stream the odd bit of content pay much more for their internet fees than those in high population urban areas.
What does that mean for people? It’s about much more than just not being able to binge-watch Netflix. It means children won’t have access to some school activities or homework. It means that children (not to mention adults) will be missing out on important cultural references that their peers are taking for granted. It also means that families don’t have regular access to things that they might need to use, such as government websites, weather and news sites, and health information. When it takes too long for something to download, or a person knows the time they spend waiting will cost them extra that month, they’re reluctant to use it.
That’s where public libraries come in. It’s hard to believe, but not everyone has a cell phone or mobile device. That means people need reliable high-speed access from a free source that they can use regularly. And they need it at convenient times. Our community is a perfect example of this, with Beckwith and Mississippi Mills making up a large majority of the rural population. We have regular users, drop ins, and seasonal users of our computers, as well as people who come by just to use the free WiFi. We’re definitely an important part of the rural community.
If you didn’t have access to high speed internet, would you miss it?
It’s true–space is always at a premium for libraries. We can’t keep every old book, but we also need space for new books. And now with digital content becoming more prevalent everywhere, we also need storage space online. And space equals money.
But space is not just about the building. It’s also about content. Books take us on journeys, and libraries provide those books. We can sit in a library and be whisked away to places we might never visit, to adventures we might never take part in, and meet people we might never encounter.
Libraries are also about real life, however. They are places that teach children to read. They help people find jobs and shelter and education. They are places where you can meet people, engage with others, and create long-lasting friendships. People often come to the library as a community landing spot, or jumping-off point. It’s a safe zone for children, and a quiet space for adults. It’s an entertainer, a teacher, and a respected community member.
Libraries are centers of learning, training, updating, forging, creating, establishing, and continuing. Money can’t solve every issue that libraries face these days, but it certainly needs to be part of the community discussion.
What kind of journey are you on?