Free Reading

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azurekep
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Re: Free Reading

Post by azurekep » Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:43 pm

gkaplan wrote:
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.
Are Wikipedia and Google your sole research tools?
From what I've seen, most people do just use Wikipedia and a search engine these days. That brings up the issue of what is "reliable" information. But at least for casual research, the free Internet does a good job... assuming one is a critical thinker.

I think one of the respected members of this board contributes to Wikipedia, btw.

I've had occasion at work to use specialized research sources, but it doesn't entail going to a library, but rather having access to commercial databases. As much as I like libraries, I don't have reason to physically visit one these days.

But I value libraries for other reasons and am willing to support them.

gkaplan
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Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: Free Reading

Post by gkaplan » Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:43 pm

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 do, as well. One thing I like about the DVDs I borrow is they frequently have "special features," at the end of the season or movie. I find these interesting. Most streaming services don't have these special features.
Gordon

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Free Reading

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:54 pm

gkaplan wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:43 pm
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 do, as well. One thing I like about the DVDs I borrow is they frequently have "special features," at the end of the season or movie. I find these interesting. Most streaming services don't have these special features.
I think that notion that "nobody uses DVDs and CDs" is wrong. While sales of them have been falling substantially, they still sell lots of them every year.
This week's fortune cookie: "The stock market may be your ticket to success." I sure hope so!

Iridium
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Re: Free Reading

Post by Iridium » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:18 pm

Other sources of 'free' reading material are organizations of which you are a member. Sometimes it would just mean getting an electronic copy of their magazine. Other times, it is a whole cornucopia of stuff. I am a member of a couple of professional societies, and have access to literally tens of thousands of books through them.

munemaker
Posts: 2008
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:14 pm

Re: Free Reading

Post by munemaker » Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:36 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:54 pm
gkaplan wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:43 pm
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 do, as well. One thing I like about the DVDs I borrow is they frequently have "special features," at the end of the season or movie. I find these interesting. Most streaming services don't have these special features.
I think that notion that "nobody uses DVDs and CDs" is wrong. While sales of them have been falling substantially, they still sell lots of them every year.
I stand corrected!

munemaker
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Re: Free Reading

Post by munemaker » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:39 pm

teen persuasion wrote:
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.
I should have more correctly said that (in Pennsylvania) it seems like collections are tied to library systems. Since retirement, I have joined 3 library systems in Pennsylvania, each system having numerous branches. Not sure, but it seems these library systems are county-wide. Each system has its own collection of ebooks and audiobooks on Overdrive and Hoopla; regardless of your local branch, you can access any ebook, audio book or physical book in that particular system.. I don't typically visit the physical libraries, just borrow the e-material online. Bigger systems like Carnegie Library System (Pittsburgh) and Free Library of Philadelphia have more selection of e-material. Even though I don't live in the Pittsburgh or Philadelphia areas, I was able to join these library systems (open to PA residents). In the case of Free Library of Philadelphia, I did not even have to visit a physical location to sign up...all done online.

All or most of the public libraries in Pennsylvania seem to be loosely affiliated, in that you can request an interlibrary loan of a physical paper book from a library outside a system where you are a member (providing your local system does not have the book). You can go to your local library branch, fill out a form, and they will eventually borrow the physical book from a different library system in PA. I did this once. It takes a while...a few weeks, but eventually it came. I only had a 2 week loan period in that case.

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Robert The Bruce
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Re: Free Reading

Post by Robert The Bruce » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:08 pm

Just to add to the OP :

You can read some books for free here: https://muse.jhu.edu/

Also, sometimes if I google a book title I'll see a link to a site like https://www.ebooks10.net/. Are sites like this legal? Are they safe?
The stone age didn't end for lack of stone.

munemaker
Posts: 2008
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:14 pm

Re: Free Reading

Post by munemaker » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:13 pm

Robert The Bruce wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:08 pm
sometimes if I google a book title I'll see a link to a site like https://www.ebooks10.net/.
I just tried this. It is a scam. Don't waste your time on it.

teen persuasion
Posts: 331
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:43 pm

Re: Free Reading

Post by teen persuasion » Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:50 am

munemaker wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:39 pm
teen persuasion wrote:
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.
I should have more correctly said that (in Pennsylvania) it seems like collections are tied to library systems. Since retirement, I have joined 3 library systems in Pennsylvania, each system having numerous branches. Not sure, but it seems these library systems are county-wide. Each system has its own collection of ebooks and audiobooks on Overdrive and Hoopla; regardless of your local branch, you can access any ebook, audio book or physical book in that particular system.. I don't typically visit the physical libraries, just borrow the e-material online. Bigger systems like Carnegie Library System (Pittsburgh) and Free Library of Philadelphia have more selection of e-material. Even though I don't live in the Pittsburgh or Philadelphia areas, I was able to join these library systems (open to PA residents). In the case of Free Library of Philadelphia, I did not even have to visit a physical location to sign up...all done online.

All or most of the public libraries in Pennsylvania seem to be loosely affiliated, in that you can request an interlibrary loan of a physical paper book from a library outside a system where you are a member (providing your local system does not have the book). You can go to your local library branch, fill out a form, and they will eventually borrow the physical book from a different library system in PA. I did this once. It takes a while...a few weeks, but eventually it came. I only had a 2 week loan period in that case.
It can depend on the library system's charter, which may be different by state - I know our charters are tightly controlled by the state Board of Education. My system is a consortium of independent libraries of various types (public, association, school district) that share ALMS services and service patrons of any member library. The metro area south of us has a county public system - the county owns all the branches, none are independent. We also do outside ILL with other systems, which may include educational institutions.

Generally any patron can use any library in our system, but individual libraries may put limits on, say, ILL rules. One large library does not interloan DVDs. A patron from another library may walk in and checkout their DVDs, they just won't send DVDs for pickup. Smaller libraries don't like it, as we share, but that is their prerogative in our consortium.

nymeria.stark
Posts: 84
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:27 am

Re: Free Reading

Post by nymeria.stark » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:13 am

not4me wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:30 pm
!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!
Sure thing! You're right, school libraries have a totally different set of codes and are not considered public libraries. As far as the required by law, I was thinking our state library codes but also the policies of the American Library Association (admittedly not law).

Here's an example of protecting access: a teenage girl comes into the library and wants to check out "What to Expect When You're Expecting." Maybe she wants it because she thinks she's pregnant; maybe she wants it for a research project. In my state, at least, librarians are 1) not allowed to ask why she wants the book, 2) are not allowed to restrict her access to it, 3) are not allowed to call her parents and alert them to the checkout if she has her own library card. In fact, even if the parents call and ask what books their daughter has taken out, the librarian can't tell them. This is one of the reasons you'll see self-checkouts popping up more and more now--at least for us, it's a matter of privacy and making it easier for everyone to access information.

However, because of finite budgets, not every library can have every book ever published. And, one could argue, there's not a need for every library to have a complete collection of, say, Harlequin Regency novels. So each library has a set of circulation guidelines governing what books they acquire. Patrons can always request that the library purchase a book that is not already on the shelves, and the request will be run through those guidelines.

Does that make sense?

nymeria.stark
Posts: 84
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:27 am

Re: Free Reading

Post by nymeria.stark » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:16 am

gkaplan wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:07 pm

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.
I'm cool with that. :) I haven't changed my dad's mind on this, either.

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not4me
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Re: Free Reading

Post by not4me » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:27 pm

nymeria.stark wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:13 am
not4me wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:30 pm
!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!
Sure thing! You're right, school libraries have a totally different set of codes and are not considered public libraries. As far as the required by law, I was thinking our state library codes but also the policies of the American Library Association (admittedly not law).

Here's an example of protecting access: a teenage girl comes into the library and wants to check out "What to Expect When You're Expecting." Maybe she wants it because she thinks she's pregnant; maybe she wants it for a research project. In my state, at least, librarians are 1) not allowed to ask why she wants the book, 2) are not allowed to restrict her access to it, 3) are not allowed to call her parents and alert them to the checkout if she has her own library card. In fact, even if the parents call and ask what books their daughter has taken out, the librarian can't tell them. This is one of the reasons you'll see self-checkouts popping up more and more now--at least for us, it's a matter of privacy and making it easier for everyone to access information.

However, because of finite budgets, not every library can have every book ever published. And, one could argue, there's not a need for every library to have a complete collection of, say, Harlequin Regency novels. So each library has a set of circulation guidelines governing what books they acquire. Patrons can always request that the library purchase a book that is not already on the shelves, and the request will be run through those guidelines.

Does that make sense?
makes sense to me. I think you may be referring to a state law that doesn't apply to me. I was also really thinking in different terms. I'm sure you've heard of cases where the Freedom of Information Act has been misused & undue expense laid on some who asked for what many would say was unreasonable...so basically someone could ask for some obscure info that the library did NOT ALREADY have & have them jumping thru expense hoops. Different perspective from talking about info already in hand or even readily available

nymeria.stark
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Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:27 am

Re: Free Reading

Post by nymeria.stark » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:57 pm

not4me wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:27 pm
makes sense to me. I think you may be referring to a state law that doesn't apply to me. I was also really thinking in different terms. I'm sure you've heard of cases where the Freedom of Information Act has been misused & undue expense laid on some who asked for what many would say was unreasonable...so basically someone could ask for some obscure info that the library did NOT ALREADY have & have them jumping thru expense hoops. Different perspective from talking about info already in hand or even readily available
That's where the circulation guidelines come in handy. We had one person asking our library to basically order propaganda. Our circulation guidelines allowed staff to deny several requests based on our quality clause. I believe there's also a clause in there about redundancy in materials. So that helps cut down on unnecessary expenses, and those are specific to each library.

The ALA lobbies for freedom of and access to information nationwide. I would suspect your state has similar library laws to ours (we're a ruby-red state where we constantly have legislators lobbying to shut down access to things they consider "pornography," including any LGBTQ lit as well as more explicit classics. Any more liberal state, I assume, would have the same protections).

sreynard
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Re: Free Reading

Post by sreynard » Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:53 pm

rgs92 wrote:
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.
I don't know. I can't afford the parking at mine. :annoyed

tj
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Re: Free Reading

Post by tj » Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:17 pm

Do Vanguard fund prospectuses and annual reports count as free reading? :D

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Will do good
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Re: Free Reading

Post by Will do good » Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:38 pm

rgs92 wrote:
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.
Yes, our family uses the public library 4-5 times a month, we always have books or DVD's out.

sreynard
Posts: 198
Joined: Thu May 02, 2013 8:11 pm

Re: Free Reading

Post by sreynard » Thu Aug 17, 2017 2:35 pm

nymeria.stark wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:16 am
gkaplan wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:07 pm

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.
I'm cool with that. :) I haven't changed my dad's mind on this, either.

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+1
Question - A sentence, phrase, or gesture that seeks information through a reply.
Opinion - A belief or conclusion held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof.

I really wish people would stop assuming they know what is in other peoples minds. Rgs92 was asking a valid question, not making a declaration of war. Here's another one. What are the percentages of the local population that pay for a library and what percentage actually use them? It seems like a lot of them are searching for any way they can think of to get people in the door. There were stories a few months ago about libraries lending everything from musical instruments to rototillers! Really? That's the function of a library? My local library system has been trying for several years to get a sales tax increase to supplement their funding. The local politicians have limited tax revenues they can spend and have, probably rightly, allocated them to higher priorities.

I can certainly sympathize though. My main hobby is reading and I love libraries. If I didn't have to work, I would spend most of my days in a library. Of course since I do have to work and since the local libraries close before I get off work, that kind of limits my opportunity. I'm really looking forward to going back after I retire, if they are still around in another ten or fifteen years.

During college I worked as a circulation clerk and absolutely loved it. One of my favorite times was doing annual inventory (audit). I would find all kinds of interesting books I didn't know existed. To me walking into a library was like walking into Ali Baba's cave. What new treasures am I about to discover? I don't think I ever walked out without the max catch limit. :)

That said, I haven't been in a library in at least 20 years. The last time I was in it was good practice before sitting down to sniff the seats to see if they smelled of urine. . . . I used to joke about needing to bring Glad trash bags to use as seat covers. The other problem was always having to watch who was behind you. . . . I had noticed a sign to the children's section, "Children Only, No Adults". . . .

I posted previously I couldn't afford the parking. That's not exactly accurate. Because I loved going to the library so much I couldn't afford the parking tickets. . . . . The idea of the "free availability of information" seemed to take a real beating sometimes. . . . :annoyed

nymeria.stark
Posts: 84
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Re: Free Reading

Post by nymeria.stark » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:43 am

Thank you for pointing this out. I see now that my original post could have been interpreted as aggressive, which was not my intent. I simply wanted to provide information I didn't know until I became a library trustee and most of the general public doesn't know. I hope the OP didn't take offense. In short, my answer to his question is yes, brick-and-mortar libraries still serve a purpose.

That said, clearly some libraries have lost their way and have started trying sort of silly things to make up for lost revenue. And some libraries in cities become havens for the homeless because they are free and open to the public--there's heat/AC, internet access. The intent is noble; but, as always, YMMV. Or should that be YLMMV? :D

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