Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Library News

Libraries Will Soon Move Into Bay Area BART Stations: Note this story is taken from a tv news story, not any librarian press. The author therefore misses the point. The big huge push in libraries is to provide reader's advisory services, which takes more manpower, not less.

This is however, totally awesomely cool. I may break email silence with my old friend and disturb him in a few months to ask if he's seen these and how it is to use one. In the library world we spend a lot of time contemplating why people won't use our services (and why they violate our rules (not me, personally--I'm kinda meh on library rules sometimes, as a user)) and this is an ingenious idea to increase access. And not just for adults--imagine having the ability to pick up a picture book, get on the train, read it to your overtired, cranky kid and then return it when you get to your destination.

It may not increase reading among people not inclined to read, but it is a boon to inveterate readers like me who otherwise fritter money away on magazines or wind up with multiple books for a quick trip somewhere.

In darker, access limiting news, a tragic rape happened at the New Bedford, MA library. Of course, we all feel very bad. However, making people scan barcoded ids for entrance, and barring sex offenders--what the fuck are they thinking?

Not even speaking as a librarian, just as a citizen, this creeps me out. Frankly, I don't care to be "protected" in such a way. I consider it a violation of my civil rights--my right to privacy. The world's a dangerous place. Suck it up or go live off the grid and get eaten by elk. Now, I'll have to go live off the grid if this comes to pass.

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