Free Reading

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Earl Lemongrab
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Free Reading

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:51 pm

When I started high school, it was at a brand-new school where they were trying many innovative and experimental educational concepts. One was a class called "Free Reading" where you received English Communication credit for showing up and reading whatever you wanted. This is not about that.

This is about my exploration into using my new iPad Mini as an ereader. That includes finding low or no cost reading material for use. This might be of use to others.

1. The public library. My library uses Overdrive. You get the app and log into the library through it, then download any checked out books. The book will expire and become unavailable at the end of the checkout period. I use the longest available, usually 21 days, as there isn't any way to renew a downloaded book.

2. Amazon free Kindle books. The have a page with free and cheap books: https://www.amazon.com/b?node=2245146011. You can also just do your normal search in the Kindle area, then sort by price. The free ones will be listed first. These offerings are generally in the "the first taste is free" category, so they tend to be the first book in a series, or a short story from a series background. They hope you'll read it, like, buy others. No doubt this works at Barnes and Noble as well. There are free Kindle reader apps.

3. Online free book search engines. These link into seller sites for free offerings. One example: https://www.freebooksy.com. At least one I looked at didn't differentiate between Amazon free offerings and free with Kindle Unlimited, a paid service.

4. Project Gutenberg. They have been scanning and converting public domain works for years. Often available in a variety of ebook formats. https://www.gutenberg.org/

5. The Baen Free Library. Baen is a publisher of Science Fiction and Fantasy. They frequently have free offerings from their catalog in ebook formats. http://www.baen.com/categories/free-library.html. I like short stories, so I downloaded the anthologies they offer.

6. Sometimes authors put stories up on the web. Example, Charles Stross has some stories in his "Laundry" series up on Tor.com. For ease of offline reading, there are tools, either online or on your computer, that will convert them to a convenient format. I like this one: http://ebook.online-convert.com/convert-to-epub. You give it the URL, it gives you an epub file for download and transfer to your device. I use the free Bluefire Reader for general epub books.

I hope this is useful and I'd be interested in any other tips people might have.
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JDCarpenter
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Re: Free Reading

Post by JDCarpenter » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:07 pm

4.5 gutenberg.org is not the entirety of gutenberg. If you examine the UK, Canada, and Australia, for example, they have their own outposts.

This is of interest for people living there, as the copyright protections tend to be shorter than in the US. (Thanks, Mickey!) Of course, those of us living in the US really shouldn't take advantage of any such hypothetical opportunity.
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mega317
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Re: Free Reading

Post by mega317 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:07 pm

Many libraries also have free access to e-magazines.

incowtown
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Re: Free Reading

Post by incowtown » Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:55 pm

Smashwords

http://www.smashwords.com/

I can't vouch for the quality - as with all self-published stuff you get the bad with the good - but they do have a lot of free stuff.

lostdog
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Re: Free Reading

Post by lostdog » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:27 pm

My library uses the app Hoopla.
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Zott
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Re: Free Reading

Post by Zott » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:06 pm

https://www.hathitrust.org

Has a variety of publications, but you can't download books (can only read them online).

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Shackleton
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Re: Free Reading

Post by Shackleton » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:10 pm

If you sign up for bookbub.com you can get daily suggestions for free or very cheap ($.99-2.99) books in the genres you select. I've gotten a lot of free books from that.
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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Free Reading

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:04 am

incowtown wrote:Smashwords

http://www.smashwords.com/

I can't vouch for the quality - as with all self-published stuff you get the bad with the good - but they do have a lot of free stuff.
Some of the descriptions sound interesting. Some are so wildly incoherent, I can't imagine what the book must be like. I guess I could find out!

Edit: I had an example here, but on reading the author's background I didn't feel right mocking the effort.
Last edited by Earl Lemongrab on Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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mega317
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Re: Free Reading

Post by mega317 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:18 am

That looks like one of those computer-generated books.

https://www.theverge.com/2014/11/25/727 ... thor-novel

rgs92
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Re: Free Reading

Post by rgs92 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:30 am

Do brick-and-mortar libraries have a useful purpose anymore? Are they worth the public funds they cost? Just asking.

mega317
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Re: Free Reading

Post by mega317 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:37 am

I think they are. They have many books not available electronically, quiet areas to read or work, computers for public use, and meeting spaces. The four or five libraries I have used in the last few years have always been pretty crowded to the point it can be hard to find a place to sit.

mortfree
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Re: Free Reading

Post by mortfree » Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:18 am

rgs92 wrote:Do brick-and-mortar libraries have a useful purpose anymore? Are they worth the public funds they cost? Just asking.
Libraries in my area also have programs/activities for kids to participate in.

So it's more than a building with books in the shelves.

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legio XX
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Re: Free Reading

Post by legio XX » Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:16 am

rgs92 wrote:Do brick-and-mortar libraries have a useful purpose anymore? Are they worth the public funds they cost? Just asking.
Yes, and yes.

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prudent
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Re: Free Reading

Post by prudent » Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:36 am

rgs92 wrote:Do brick-and-mortar libraries have a useful purpose anymore? Are they worth the public funds they cost? Just asking.
Our local library (in our little township of 25,000) is fantastic and worth every penny. Computer lab, thousands of DVDs to borrow (who needs Netflix?), programs, seminars, community meeting room you can reserve at no charge, access to millions of books and DVDs through interlibrary loan (which I have used plenty), a place for food trucks to set up. Need something but can't get there when they're open? They have lockers outside, will put your items in a locker and email you the access code for whenever you can make it. And that's just the B&M-related things, not counting the amazing online resources they have (training classes, language classes, hundreds of magazines, dozens of databases (full-text access to hundreds of periodical back issues) including full access to Morningstar, Chilton car repair guides, and tons more.

At times my research skills failed me and I've asked the reference librarian for help finding some data, they always come through. They find the sources I couldn't.

Sitting on my desk at the moment is a rare book I wanted to consult in order to help a friend evaluate a certain collectible he had. My library found a copy in a library 9 states away, and borrowed it for me. Cost me nothing.

Careful
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Re: Free Reading

Post by Careful » Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:54 am

rgs92 wrote:Do brick-and-mortar libraries have a useful purpose anymore? Are they worth the public funds they cost? Just asking.
Yes, we love our library and visit weekly. It's a popular place. We prefer reading on paper though the Kindle is handy for travel. Library check-outs are increasing in my area, though that includes the entirety of library checkouts: books, DVDs, CDs, downloads. It's also a wonderful meeting space and they have chess club for kids, cooking class, financial literacy classes (!), and much much more.

That said, we're pretty new to the Kindle world so I'm enjoying learning more on this thread!

NorCalDad
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Re: Free Reading

Post by NorCalDad » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:41 am

rgs92 wrote:Do brick-and-mortar libraries have a useful purpose anymore? Are they worth the public funds they cost? Just asking.
If you have kids, they are invaluable. Not only the programs, but the way they help motivate kids to appreciate reading. I would rather have my kids leave the library with a stack of books than download them on a Kindle and spend even more time glued to a screen.

Many older users of the library spend hours there reading newspapers and magazines. People who can't afford a computer and broadband access rely on the library as a lifeline.

I love that I can reserve new books through our library's online reservation system and then pick them up at my nearby branch when they are available.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Free Reading

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:52 am

rgs92 wrote:Do brick-and-mortar libraries have a useful purpose anymore? Are they worth the public funds they cost? Just asking.
They've been busily refurbishing the county libraries locally. They are more popular than ever, largely for computer use.
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incowtown
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Re: Free Reading

Post by incowtown » Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:09 am

Shackleton wrote:If you sign up for bookbub.com you can get daily suggestions for free or very cheap ($.99-2.99) books in the genres you select. I've gotten a lot of free books from that.
Similarly, http://www.rifflebooks.com.

scooter
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Re: Free Reading

Post by scooter » Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:54 am

I use overdrive from local library to download books.

I take pictures of book covers at BJs with my cell phone and add them to my library wish list.

My library also has ....zinnio that allows reading several free magazines

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heartwood
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Re: Free Reading

Post by heartwood » Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:40 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote: 1. The public library. My library uses Overdrive. You get the app and log into the library through it, then download any checked out books. The book will expire and become unavailable at the end of the checkout period. I use the longest available, usually 21 days, as there isn't any way to renew a downloaded book.
I've used Overdrive for years, but my county library has switched to Cloud Library by Adobe. It's a giant step backwards. You no longer download but must read in the Cloud Library app. No downloads to Kindle, only readable in newer Fire's that can have the app. I called and asked why the change. I was told I was the only person to question it and that it was a cost saving measure. As far as this library system is concerned my older kindles are bricks.

I still have access to Overdrive in another library system. I particularly like its search functions that lets me search for items added in the last week, fiction, arrange by author, etc.

mega317
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Re: Free Reading

Post by mega317 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:06 pm

heartwood wrote: my county library has switched to Cloud Library by Adobe. It's a giant step backwards.
Yep the two library systems I currently use both made that switch, and I have read about it in a post here sometime not too long ago. I agree with everything you wrote. Does anyone know if there are any benefits other than cost savings for the library? Larger selection, maybe?

munemaker
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Re: Free Reading

Post by munemaker » Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:15 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote: 1. The public library. My library uses Overdrive. You get the app and log into the library through it, then download any checked out books. The book will expire and become unavailable at the end of the checkout period. I use the longest available, usually 21 days, as there isn't any way to renew a downloaded book.
I have a Kindle Paperwhite and also have the Kindle App on my Chromebook and Android phone.

If you live in PA, you can join the "Free Library of Philadelphia" (freelibrary.org) online; you do not have to show up in person. This enables you to borrow online materials: ebooks, audiobooks, etc.

Also, I don't live in the Pittsburgh area, but I did visit Pittsburgh and became a member of the Carnegie Library system (carnegielibrary.org) (you have to be a resident of PA).

Both the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Carnegie Library use Overdrive. You can borrow ebooks and read them on Kindle or in your browser. Using the Overdrive app, you can download audio books to your phone and play them through the overdrive app. I think you can stream them too if you prefer that.

The obvious advantage of joining these larger library systems is they have more electronic resources (ebooks, etc.) to loan.

munemaker
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Re: Free Reading

Post by munemaker » Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:23 pm

NorCalDad wrote:
rgs92 wrote:Do brick-and-mortar libraries have a useful purpose anymore? Are they worth the public funds they cost? Just asking.
If you have kids, they are invaluable. Not only the programs, but the way they help motivate kids to appreciate reading. I would rather have my kids leave the library with a stack of books than download them on a Kindle and spend even more time glued to a screen.

Many older users of the library spend hours there reading newspapers and magazines. People who can't afford a computer and broadband access rely on the library as a lifeline.

I love that I can reserve new books through our library's online reservation system and then pick them up at my nearby branch when they are available.
I agree. Since I retired, I have been visiting our local library, and it is as you say. Our library has kids programs on Mondays; if you are not a kid, it is a good day to stay away. There are usually some older patrons hanging around reading newspapers and magazines. From time to time, they also offer adult programs such as basic computer stuff, yoga, etc.

munemaker
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Re: Free Reading

Post by munemaker » Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:26 pm

mega317 wrote:
heartwood wrote: my county library has switched to Cloud Library by Adobe. It's a giant step backwards.
Yep the two library systems I currently use both made that switch, and I have read about it in a post here sometime not too long ago. I agree with everything you wrote. Does anyone know if there are any benefits other than cost savings for the library? Larger selection, maybe?
I belong to 3 library systems and fortunately they all still use Overdrive.

gkaplan
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Re: Free Reading

Post by gkaplan » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:29 pm

rgs92 wrote:Do brick-and-mortar libraries have a useful purpose anymore? Are they worth the public funds they cost? Just asking.
Really? This sounds like a person who rarely or never has visited a library. What do you use as research tools? Are Wikipedia and Google your sole research tools?

I borrow books from the library. I don't have the space in my small condo to buy and keep books, and I don't want to use an e-reader, especially for nonfiction books. I also borrow CDs from the library. I borrow DVDs from the library, because many DVDs have "special features" that streaming sources do not.

As for funding, I donate to the Friends of the Library and to my library's foundation, but libraries still need public funding to supplement private donations.
Gordon

koditten
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Re: Free Reading

Post by koditten » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:56 pm

Another website that is quite useful for free online books is: Onehundredfreebooks.com

You need an Amazon account.

Edgy033
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Re: Free Reading

Post by Edgy033 » Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:00 pm

If you have Amazon Prime, you can get one free book per month through Kindle First:

https://smile.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/kindlefirst/

I mean don't buy Amazon Prime just for this, but if you have Amazon Prime you can get one of the books they pick for free.

knick17
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Re: Free Reading

Post by knick17 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:00 pm

Nowadays you can find free reading everywhere. I use pdf of Comics and books, even if not the most convenient way of format.
Used amazon a lot. But generally speaking pdf for me seems the easiest

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Free Reading

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:36 pm

knick17 wrote:Nowadays you can find free reading everywhere. I use pdf of Comics and books, even if not the most convenient way of format.
Used amazon a lot. But generally speaking pdf for me seems the easiest
You can convert PDF to other formats that work better with ereaders.
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knick17
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Re: Free Reading

Post by knick17 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:46 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
knick17 wrote:Nowadays you can find free reading everywhere. I use pdf of Comics and books, even if not the most convenient way of format.
Used amazon a lot. But generally speaking pdf for me seems the easiest
You can convert PDF to other formats that work better with ereaders.
I have tried few and most of them so far mess up the page layout. Plus, i read a lot in Japanese, and to find a converter that work with that seems impossible.
Do you have any suggestion?

SirRunsabit
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Re: Free Reading

Post by SirRunsabit » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:21 am

Thanks for this.

<autocorrect edit>
Hi!

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Free Reading

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:41 am

knick17 wrote:Do you have any suggestion?
We're out of my area of expertise, I'm pretty much at the newbie level. Perhaps someone else can give some tips for your situation.
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nymeria.stark
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Re: Free Reading

Post by nymeria.stark » Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:29 am

rgs92 wrote:Do brick-and-mortar libraries have a useful purpose anymore? Are they worth the public funds they cost? Just asking.
Hello, library board trustee here.

In my opinion, ABSOLUTELY YES. There is no other institution that is required by law to protect free access to information, no questions asked. Many people don't realize that public libraries and their lobbyists are on the front lines of the fight for freedom of information.

Often, people don't like paying taxes for things they don't use. Maybe you can afford to buy your own books, maybe you don't read that much, maybe you have internet service at home. Maybe you don't see the value in supporting a place where other people can read blogs and borrow sub-standard literature. And you don't have to like that, particularly.

But a library is so much more than that. Anyone, no matter who they are, can go into a library and find a book on any topic or use a computer to find information. And unfettered access to reliable information is one of the keystones of democracy.

*steps off soapbox*

Also, libraries are often repositories of local history and historic documents, which are available to the public. Ours has many collections of photos that depict our small community as it was during its mining heyday. Because of the sheer quantity of photos and other documents, a museum would not be able to provide the same access that a library would.

(My dad's a Libertarian [not librarian] and has asked me this very question many, many times. You hit a button. :))

azurekep
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Re: Free Reading

Post by azurekep » Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:32 am

Quoting got messed up, but I'm responding to the question about converting comic pdfs to a better format.

This may not be applicable here since many pdfs are locked or ortherwise not available for manipulation, but...

Comics are best read in .cbr or .cbz format. These are called comic book archives, which are just a series of images "zipped" into one file (creating a .cbz file) or "rar-ed" into one file (creating a .cbr file). If the comic pdf has extractable images, you can just zip (or rar) them up, append a .zip (or .rar) extension and read the resulting comic book file using any comic book reader, or a simple image viewer.

The big IF is whether the images in the pdf are extractable.

Tip: Make sure the images are numbered sequentially before zipping them up.

Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia:
A comic book archive or comic book reader file (also called sequential image file) is a type of archive file for the purpose of sequential viewing of images, commonly for comic books. The idea was made popular by the CDisplay sequential image viewer;[1] since then, many viewers for different platforms have been created.

Comic book archive files mainly consist of a series of image files, typically PNG (lossless compression) or JPEG (lossy compression) files, stored as a single archive file. Occasionally GIF, BMP, and TIFF files are seen. Folders may be used to group images.

The file name extension indicates the archive type used:

.cb7 → 7z
.cba → ACE
.cbr → RAR[2]
.cbt → TAR
.cbz → ZIP[3]

Comic book archive files are not a distinct file format; only the file name extension differs from a standard file of the given archive type.

Comic book archive viewers typically offer various dedicated functions to read the content, like one page forward/backwards, go to first/last page, zoom or print.

gkaplan
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Re: Free Reading

Post by gkaplan » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:07 pm

nymeria.stark wrote:
rgs92 wrote:Do brick-and-mortar libraries have a useful purpose anymore? Are they worth the public funds they cost? Just asking.
Hello, library board trustee here.

In my opinion, ABSOLUTELY YES. There is no other institution that is required by law to protect free access to information, no questions asked. Many people don't realize that public libraries and their lobbyists are on the front lines of the fight for freedom of information.

Often, people don't like paying taxes for things they don't use. Maybe you can afford to buy your own books, maybe you don't read that much, maybe you have internet service at home. Maybe you don't see the value in supporting a place where other people can read blogs and borrow sub-standard literature. And you don't have to like that, particularly.

But a library is so much more than that. Anyone, no matter who they are, can go into a library and find a book on any topic or use a computer to find information. And unfettered access to reliable information is one of the keystones of democracy.

*steps off soapbox*

Also, libraries are often repositories of local history and historic documents, which are available to the public. Ours has many collections of photos that depict our small community as it was during its mining heyday. Because of the sheer quantity of photos and other documents, a museum would not be able to provide the same access that a library would.

(My dad's a Libertarian [not librarian] and has asked me this very question many, many times. You hit a button. :))
I posted similar thoughts up-thread. rgs92 has not replied to my post, and I have my doubts whether he will reply to yours. rgs92 will continue to question the role of public libraries.
Gordon

not4me
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Re: Free Reading

Post by not4me » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:30 pm

nymeria.stark wrote:
Hello, library board trustee here.

In my opinion, ABSOLUTELY YES. There is no other institution that is required by law to protect free access to information, no questions asked. Many people don't realize that public libraries and their lobbyists are on the front lines of the fight for freedom of information.
!st, I'm on the "pro" library side, but don't think I could improve on what has previously been said. I do have a question regarding the law cited (my underline added)....I honestly don't know what jurisdiction that is...Local? State? etc. I would be interested in hearing more. I note you say 'protect access' so wonder if you could elaborate. I don't have an ax to grind here, but I'm not sure I've seen this really in practice. The libraries I've been associated with over the years obviously had finite budgets & that meant some info would NOT be available. I've seen occasional flaps mostly with school libraries, not 'public' ones, regarding what is & isn't on the shelves

Hoping to learn yet again!

2015
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Re: Free Reading

Post by 2015 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:19 pm

nymeria.stark wrote:
rgs92 wrote:Do brick-and-mortar libraries have a useful purpose anymore? Are they worth the public funds they cost? Just asking.
Hello, library board trustee here.

In my opinion, ABSOLUTELY YES. There is no other institution that is required by law to protect free access to information, no questions asked. Many people don't realize that public libraries and their lobbyists are on the front lines of the fight for freedom of information.

Often, people don't like paying taxes for things they don't use. Maybe you can afford to buy your own books, maybe you don't read that much, maybe you have internet service at home. Maybe you don't see the value in supporting a place where other people can read blogs and borrow sub-standard literature. And you don't have to like that, particularly.

But a library is so much more than that. Anyone, no matter who they are, can go into a library and find a book on any topic or use a computer to find information. And unfettered access to reliable information is one of the keystones of democracy.

*steps off soapbox*

Also, libraries are often repositories of local history and historic documents, which are available to the public. Ours has many collections of photos that depict our small community as it was during its mining heyday. Because of the sheer quantity of photos and other documents, a museum would not be able to provide the same access that a library would.

(My dad's a Libertarian [not librarian] and has asked me this very question many, many times. You hit a button. :))
+ Several million.
Since retiring a little over two years ago, I have read almost 300 non-fiction business books, in fields ranging from investing to chaos theory, to genomes (my goal is to read another 50 "catch-up" books by the end of this year). All courtesy of the County of Los Angeles public library system. I read about some new book I want to read, order it on the library's system online, and it's then delivered from any library within the all of Los Angeles County to my local library. Entirely for free.

It was either Munger or Buffet who said they knew of no highly successful person who didn't read. I would agree entirely. In my experience, nothing is more life-changing than reading non-fiction books.

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Watty
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Re: Free Reading

Post by Watty » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:27 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
rgs92 wrote:Do brick-and-mortar libraries have a useful purpose anymore? Are they worth the public funds they cost? Just asking.
They've been busily refurbishing the county libraries locally. They are more popular than ever, largely for computer use.
My local libraries are always busy when I am there.

Just FYI, one thing my local library has is free access to the Library Edition of Ancestery.com but it can only be used while you are in the library because of licensing restrictions.

gkaplan
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Re: Free Reading

Post by gkaplan » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:31 pm

Still waiting for a response from rgs92.
Gordon

Pigeon
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Re: Free Reading

Post by Pigeon » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:48 pm

rgs92 wrote:Do brick-and-mortar libraries have a useful purpose anymore? Are they worth the public funds they cost? Just asking.
Public libraries are awesome. Print books aren't dead. There's a place for both and many readers vastly prefer print. Libraries have all sorts of programming, for toddlers through senior citizens. They play a vital role in community building. In many parts of the country, kids routinely go to public libraries after school, to do homework, study, be with friends. They offer meeting spaces for civic groups and host art shows. Interestingly, use of public libraries is way up with younger people.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front ... mmunities/

simmias
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Re: Free Reading

Post by simmias » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:01 pm

gkaplan wrote:Still waiting for a response from rgs92.
Why so confrontational? I imagine the 10 or so people who responded to him/her argued the point well enough that there's no need to respond.

gkaplan
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Re: Free Reading

Post by gkaplan » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:21 pm

simmias wrote:
gkaplan wrote:Still waiting for a response from rgs92.
Why so confrontational? I imagine the 10 or so people who responded to him/her argued the point well enough that there's no need to respond.

Because as a former librarian, a former database indexer, a former archivist technician, and a former library volunteer, I felt rgs92 made an uninformed statement. I'd like to hear why he felt the way he did.
Gordon

rgs92
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Re: Free Reading

Post by rgs92 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:14 am

I think people misinterpreted my question. Sorry. I grew up using the library constantly in the pre-internet age.
I practically memorized the Dewey Decimal system. (Do they still use that?)
I read lots of books when I was younger. (Now my attention span is shorter, sorry to say. Too much internet I guess...)

I always thought it was mainly for reading and browsing books and periodicals in quiet introspection. Nowadays, when I go to the library it looks like most people are using it for the free computer stations or just bring their own laptop and use the WiFi like Starbucks.

And people are talking a lot as if it's Starbucks or Panera.

And there are huge areas in the stacks of CDs and DVDs (like an entire set of shelves for Horror Movies, no kidding).
They had several copies of the Spice Girls movie from 1997. (My apologies if you are a fan of this movie. No offense of course.)

At the regular rummage sale, they won't even take CDs or DVDs or even CD/DVD players since they say nobody wants them.
They are pretty much archaic technology and all of this music and even the movies are available for free on youtube.

Physical media for music and movies almost seems like a niche interest these days and I question the acreage devoted to it.

I guess I have a retro view of what a library is. It's not like all the time I spent as a child in public libraries or when older in college libraries.
Maybe we need "classic libraries."

So thanks to gkaplan for what sounds like years of dedicated valuable work. But you kind of prove my point, that the library is popular largely for computer usage, and it just seems like that was not the original purpose of the library system I knew and loved or what Ben Franklin intended.

[I'm sure the library would even be more popular with kiosks for free super-premium-package cable TV access. But is that a public service per se?]
Last edited by rgs92 on Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:42 am, edited 6 times in total.

munemaker
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Re: Free Reading

Post by munemaker » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:26 am

rgs92 wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:14 am


And there are huge areas in the stacks of CDs and DVDs (like an entire set of shelves for Horror Movies, no kidding).
They had several copies of the Spice Girls movie from 1997. (My apologies if you are a fan of this movie. No offense of course.)
At the regular rummage sale, they won't even take CDs or DVDs or even CD/DVD players since they say nobody wants them.
They are pretty much archaic technology and all of this music and even the movies are available for free on youtube.
I don't know who would borrow physical CDs and DVDs; I do still see people renting DVDs from machines in front of our grocery store, so there must be some dinosaurs still roaming.

Libraries do have ebooks and audio books available online. The 3 libraries I belong to use "Overdrive" and "Hoopla" apps to loan out this media. I like to borrow audio books: novels and finance books. I currently borrowed the audio version of "The Intelligent Investor" by Benjamin Graham.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Free Reading

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:34 am

munemaker wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:26 am
I don't know who would borrow physical CDs and DVDs
I do. Why do you think people wouldn't?
This week's fortune cookie: "The stock market may be your ticket to success." I sure hope so!

munemaker
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Re: Free Reading

Post by munemaker » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:37 am

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:34 am
munemaker wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:26 am
I don't know who would borrow physical CDs and DVDs
I do. Why do you think people wouldn't?
I was feeding off of the above quote "At the regular rummage sale, they won't even take CDs or DVDs or even CD/DVD players since they say nobody wants them. They are pretty much archaic technology." I personally do not know anyone who still uses physical media anymore. Everyone I know has gone digital.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Free Reading

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:45 pm

munemaker wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:37 am
Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:34 am
munemaker wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:26 am
I don't know who would borrow physical CDs and DVDs
I do. Why do you think people wouldn't?
I was feeding off of the above quote "At the regular rummage sale, they won't even take CDs or DVDs or even CD/DVD players since they say nobody wants them. They are pretty much archaic technology." I personally do not know anyone who still uses physical media anymore. Everyone I know has gone digital.
Remember that you're considering what people would do for something that is no direct cost to them. I frequently check out DVDs and CDs. Saying that they are archaic isn't really the case. After all, they are available and I have the equipment. It's not VCR tapes where fewer people have the base equipment anymore.

I do know that my library is starting to get into digital media for some of these things, but the available catalog is low at this time. Similar to books some years ago.

Brian
This week's fortune cookie: "The stock market may be your ticket to success." I sure hope so!

teen persuasion
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Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:43 pm

Re: Free Reading

Post by teen persuasion » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:07 pm

rgs92 wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:14 am
I think people misinterpreted my question. Sorry. I grew up using the library constantly in the pre-internet age.
I practically memorized the Dewey Decimal system. (Do they still use that?)
I read lots of books when I was younger. (Now my attention span is shorter, sorry to say. Too much internet I guess...)

I always thought it was mainly for reading and browsing books and periodicals in quiet introspection. Nowadays, when I go to the library it looks like most people are using it for the free computer stations or just bring their own laptop and use the WiFi like Starbucks.

And people are talking a lot as if it's Starbucks or Panera.

And there are huge areas in the stacks of CDs and DVDs (like an entire set of shelves for Horror Movies, no kidding).
They had several copies of the Spice Girls movie from 1997. (My apologies if you are a fan of this movie. No offense of course.)

At the regular rummage sale, they won't even take CDs or DVDs or even CD/DVD players since they say nobody wants them.
They are pretty much archaic technology and all of this music and even the movies are available for free on youtube.

Physical media for music and movies almost seems like a niche interest these days and I question the acreage devoted to it.

I guess I have a retro view of what a library is. It's not like all the time I spent as a child in public libraries or when older in college libraries.
Maybe we need "classic libraries."

So thanks to gkaplan for what sounds like years of dedicated valuable work. But you kind of prove my point, that the library is popular largely for computer usage, and it just seems like that was not the original purpose of the library system I knew and loved or what Ben Franklin intended.

[I'm sure the library would even be more popular with kiosks for free super-premium-package cable TV access. But is that a public service per se?]
Libraries are repositories of information, not just books. Today we have many more ways of accessing that information, and libraries are working to ensure that as many people as possible have access to that info. Local conditions mean that local libraries may look and function in different ways.

I'm in a rural area, and internet access is sketchy for some parts of the region, and for some low income patrons. Computer stations, printers, and WiFi are essential to apply for jobs, print airline/concert tickets, apply for health insurance, submit SE billing, file taxes, take online courses and tests, research and type homework assignments, etc. Physical media is still popular with those who don't have internet access, and when cable goes out!

As the MS and HS are nearby, many kids drop in after school for books for projects as well as just to read for enjoyment, but also to meet up with friends, work on group assignments, and play online games or coding (and yes, use the WiFi). Social learning is important, so the library hosts Lego Club, Game Club, Book clubs, Summer Reading Program, a Drama Club, individual educational programs for both children and adults, yoga classes, preschool story time. Tutors meet with students in the library.

The library is also the default place to post community information: legal notices, community events, DEC info on a long term cleanup issue, government program applications and forms (from SNAP and SS to tax forms).

Regarding electronic books: several of the big publishers and/or authors are trying to maintain a monopoly by refusing to release certain titles in e-book format, or refusing to sell the ebook version to public libraries. The available titles may have restrictions on them that physical books sold to libraries do not have - higher library prices, and limited circs. For example, a library purchasing a best seller in print form gets up to a 40% discount off list price due to volume, and can circulate it unlimited times, while a library licence for an ebook may cost $96 and have a max of 26 circs before we must repurchase. That model also treats e-books just like physical books, in that only one patron may use the copy at a time. Newer circ models charge on a per use basis, and allow unlimited simultaneous checkouts - no waiting needed! Hoopla has unlimited simultaneous checkouts, while Overdrive uses the one book-one checkout model, but may experiment with unlimited checkouts soon, on a limited basis. Each service has a different collection, so finding your favorite author or title may be an issue. Thus, print books are still necessary at some level.

munemaker
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Re: Free Reading

Post by munemaker » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:18 pm

teen persuasion wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:07 pm
Each service has a different collection, so finding your favorite author or title may be an issue.
I am still fairly new at this, but it seems like the collections are tied to the libraries, not the services. For example, using Overdrive on Library A may find a book that using Overdrive on Library B does not have. Same with Hoopla.

teen persuasion
Posts: 320
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:43 pm

Re: Free Reading

Post by teen persuasion » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:35 pm

munemaker wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:18 pm
teen persuasion wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:07 pm
Each service has a different collection, so finding your favorite author or title may be an issue.
I am still fairly new at this, but it seems like the collections are tied to the libraries, not the services. For example, using Overdrive on Library A may find a book that using Overdrive on Library B does not have. Same with Hoopla.
Are these libraries in the same system? My system is a consortium of independent libraries in a 3 county system. We all contribute to fund the shared system subscriptions to both Hoopla and Overdrive, on a proportional basis. Each library also has the option to purchase additional titles available only to "their" patrons. Larger city libraries have expanded their e-collections, but smaller libraries like mine just don't have the funding, so our patrons have a slightly more limited selection.

I also wouldn't doubt that different systems purchase different collections, based on their local market. As I'm not directly involved in the system level decisions, I don't know all the options.

We also use Zinio: on a proportional basis, each of the libraries is asked to select individual magazine subscriptions totalling a minimum $ amount. The aggregate subscriptions are then available to everyone in the system. The titles available to patrons changes each year - if we see that there was little interest in our selection last year, we choose something else, perhaps a second title in a more popular genre.

It's very fluid.

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