Monday, May 20, 2013

Musing Monday..Not an Open Book



 

 Another Monday, so let's Muse!! Here are the questions from  Should Be Reading...



Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!


Since we were talking about libraries...

We were last week, and it seems that many of us have fond memories of the local library as a child and probably as an adult as well. Most likely we are thinking about our local branch. However, if you live in a city or a large community, how about your central library. You know, like the place in NYC with the lions outside. Whatever the future of our local outlet in this digital age, what about those places with stack after stack of 'real' books? Are they needed in the modern world, the digital information world?
Well, according to another article from the WSJ, The Library's Future Is Not an Open Book....what can I say, they have good articles!...that future is not as clear.
Branch libraries have long served as community hubs offering book clubs and after-school story times. But central libraries, dedicated to the care and maintenance of weighty collections within ornately crafted and lofty spaces, are having to recast themselves. Thanks to the shift of emphasis to online resources over hard copies, the prevalence of mobile technologies and changing approaches to studying and learning, libraries have a different social purpose.
These day, these central libraries are not about books, those stacks often being moved to other places. No, now it is about 'information', it is about being 'relevant'! The problem is no one is really sure what that means. And if they can determine what it means now, today, and shape the library for that use, what will it mean in a year or 5 years. Timeless this is not.
Librarians themselves don't talk about "books" much anymore. The library today, said Michael Colford, the director of library services in Boston, "is more of a platform launching you in all different directions."
Launching you in different directions...
Is that how people learn? Personally, I know I need guidance, direction. If not, why just not give everyone a laptop and launch them out there. In fact, lets close the schools altogether and let kids just decide what is revelant themselves.

I fondly remember my days in my local branch library, but I also fondly remember my trips downtown to the central Newark Public Library, an impressive old building, to work on some school project. Yes it was full of stacks of books, and microfiche for newspapers article and rooms full of cabinets with illustrations and prints. There were librarians to help me and guide me and get me to pull my scattered ideas for a project into some sort of order, to guide me to where and for what I might need to look.
But maybe most of all, the building, the atmosphere, convinced me that learning was an important thing. Look at this beautiful building built to its honor, in honor of knowledge. There was a timeless quality to it, something way bigger than me, Big Things and Big Ideas. These beautiful buildings, these..
structures still serves the function for which it was created—to hold books—and inspires awe through the ideals expressed in its architecture and the intellectual resources housed within.
Inspire awe..what a nice idea!

9 comments:

  1. aww I remember our high school library which I really love. When I'm in there or any library for that matter, I always get this sense of belonging. I can't help but feel sad at how the future of the libraries is uncertain nowadays...

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    1. Yes, libraries have always been one of my happy places.

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  2. My fond memories are of my elementary school library. The librarian was awesome and even opened several days a week during the summer. I would walk up to the school just to hang out with her.

    I swear my local library is half computers and half books, etc.

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  3. I hope libraries don't go away in MY lifetime. Our little local one was a big memory for me growing up (it has since moved to a new building and isn't nearly as cool), and when my kids were little I would take them to our central library here in Orlando. It is HUGE but has intimate areas for the various type of books...the kids' area is adorable. You can tell they are cutting back though...no more drive-through service :(

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    1. Drive through! You Florida folks...

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  4. It is funny..or sad..but even at my local branch more people are there for the computers than the books.

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  5. Love libraries and think they deserve a lot more support. Wonderful community resource!

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  6. I love the library. I get all my DVDs there and I can even download books to my Kindle from there. I, also, get all my audio books from there.

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    Replies
    1. See, you are their digital audience!

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