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February 13, 2013
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Libraries: Have they had their day?

:iconmemnalar:
Memnalar Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013
I admire this gent's balls anyway.

Deary is calling for a public debate around libraries, and for an end to the "sentimentality" he believes has framed the issue so far. "Why are all the authors coming out in support of libraries when libraries are cutting their throats and slashing their purses?" he asked. "We can't give everything away under the public purse. Books are part of the entertainment industry. Literature has been something elite, but it is not any more. This is not the Roman empire, where we give away free bread and circuses to the masses.

What say you? Looking at this not only as a writer but also as an artist who may wish to gain financially through your craft (and also as a taxpayer supporting libraries) does this man have a point?
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Devious Comments

:icontiganusi:
tiganusi Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Professional
I agree with his point but with the prices of library memberships in Canada these days I'd argue they ain't giving anything away. :/ I haven't been able to afford a damn membership since college when it was free.
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:icon3lano:
3lano Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I've always like libraries because I don't need to buy anything in order to enjoy a good book. Not to mention, they hold a lot of activities I can get involved in. I've always loved the library.

I don't think this guy really understands what he's talking about. I mean, you may not be able to afford books. I know a lot of the elementary schools around where I live are really poor, and have old, old books, only getting new ones every now and then. Not to mention the fact that as some people have already said, it can lead to purchases. Some books you just can't live without! I've never thought of libraries as a bad thing in this way. :c Not to mention libraries have many old books and records from a long time ago. I go there when I'm researching a topic, or looking for something interesting.

But in short, I disagree with this guy a lot.
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:iconmaiquelin:
maiquelin Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013
that guy isn't a writer, a writer wants to make books and if he gets money for that better, but in certain way that part is secondary.
also the libraries are a part of the society, you can go and find a little diamond there if you are lucky
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:iconlittle-wild-one:
little-wild-one Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013
So I loan his book from a library, he feels cheated because he earns less money than if I'd have bought it? But take away libraries, he doesn't get any money at all from me, because I wouldn't buy it. I think he's a greedy piece of shit who just wants to make more money. Hell, I like making money too, but I wouldn't want it at the expense of libraries and people who use them. The library in our town is great. I'd have more books than I have space for if I bought them all. Why should I have to limit the amount I read because of money and space issues, when I can use a library instead and take them back when I'm done?

Anyway, that's what he gets for writing educational books. People always loan them from libraries instead of buying them. Just like people buy more dvds of movies than they do documentaries. He wouldn't make half as much money as he has done if there were no libraries. Asshole.
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:iconnycterent:
nycterent Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Professional Writer
Getting books at the library was my gateway to being a reader - and eventually - a writer. And I still use libraries, though now I tend to use its online counterpart more. 

This depends on jurisdiction, but every so and so number of lends, an author received a check in their mailbox from libraries. That, and books sold to libraries do make a difference, especially for those authors who have not made it superbig.

Libraries are also community hubs that offer a lot more resources than just books. 
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:iconpolaroidred:
PolaroidRed Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
My mother is a reference librarian for a public library, Library's do more than just loan out books now a days, my mother basically has to answer any question the public can come up with, they also teach courses on computers. They are also a good resource for collage students to find answers for their classes. My mother doesn't just deal with elderly people that haven't adapted to new technology. Library's are still very busy. Maybe in the next 20 years they will be obsolete but for now they are still working okay.
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:icontuesdaynightcompany:
TuesdayNightCompany Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
I think that guy's thinking is pretty flawed. He's bitching about potential lost profits and such. But frankly, about 50% of the books I own I read first in a library, for free. It's free promotion, in my opinion. But the non-fiction is invaluable. My researches have always been supported by the printed books in libraries. I think libraries, along with roads and defense of one's country, are the most valuable things a government can operate for it's people.
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:iconskygal333:
skygal333 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I see that there's a decline in libraries but once technology is incorporated, they'll be back and better than ever.
As a matter of fact, I work as a librarian's assistant. Before we introduced new tech systems into the place, we were doing alright. Slow days here, busy days there. Patrons of all ages coming & going. But once those new technology programs were incorporated into the library, we've been busier than ever! More people now come in and take part in the many features we have to offer!
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:iconbarbecuediguana:
BarbecuedIguana Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
First off, go watch the movies Robot & Frank pronto! Especially you Jay.

I don't agree with him. Not everything in the library is donated, libraries actually buy many many books. And taking stuff out of the library has led me to make actual purchases. It's better than nothing.
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:iconmemnalar:
Memnalar Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013
Wow, I never heard of that. Is it streaming anywhere?
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:iconbarbecuediguana:
BarbecuedIguana Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013
It should be. I watched the DVD version through netflix. It really is a surprisingly good tale. No explosions, no alien ships, yet it is scifi and it's totally engrossing. It probably won't get an Oscar but I'll be damned if it doesn't deserve one.
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:iconaircatskylion:
AircatSkylion Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Libraries enable you to take a chance on a new book. If you don't like it, you take it back and try another. If I find a book I really like at my library, then I try and buy a copy from a bookshop, so it's mine. A lot of people I know take the same attitude. If libraries are the bridge to new books, then why destroy that bridge when it's in constant use everyday?
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:iconbloodart:
BloodArt Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013
Library.

act as the actors
to act at the streets
rights all these for the money
till the privacy.

act as the business
to impose the streets
rights all these for the money
til the privacy.

work as the act
to charge at the streets
rights all these for the money
beyond the privacy.

duty as the value
to trap the streets
rights all these for the money
beyond the privacy.

Pick up a book and sit at the cornor,
all praise then to the consumer.

BloodArt(literature): Library Collection
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:iconxazz:
Xazz Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013
While I can't speak to other libraries, our local ones serve more as a community center. My boyfriend works at the city's downtown branch, and besides the lending of books, they hold public events every month from poetry reading, author signings to music groups. Yes, its funded by taxpayer dollars, but it is also accessible to anyone in the community to use as a resource. They just recently received several e-readers for patrons to take out on loan, which I think is an interesting move. I'm for keeping libraries, though I seldom use them myself
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:iconliliwrites:
LiliWrites Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I think this man is missing the point. :B Libraries are much more than store-houses for books. They are access to the internet for those without it at home, to courses in basic computer knowledge, and reading and writing, and resume preparation, and job-hunting skills, and so many other vital information sources for the community. They are meeting places for literature enthusiasts. In my town, the library is also where the art shows are held, where J.A. Jance will be doing a book signing tomorrow because our little town doesn't have a Barnes & Noble, where a miniature petting zoo was set up a couple summers ago for small children in the community who can't afford to drive all the way to Seattle to see a proper zoo. 

The library is the center of knowledge and activism in many communities, so no. I don't think they are going anywhere, at least not any time soon.
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:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree with the things already said. Libraries don't stock books until a while after they have come out, so if you like an author and are waiting for their book, you'd go buy it instead of waiting. Libraries, instead, are a great way to introduce new authors to us. I would almost never buy a book from an author I've never read before. 

I think libraries are awesome, without them I would be a lot less interested in books. 
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:iconlucy-merriman:
Lucy-Merriman Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013  Student General Artist
Hot damn, I practically live at libraries. I work at one, on campus, and I almost always pick up a book on my way out, and then every other weekend abouts I make the trek downtown to return my overdue books and pick up things on the list I've acquired. It's a nicer place to be than most downtown hangouts.

Obvious point, though: libraries and bookstores have kindly co-existed for centuries; you can't blame them for struggling bookstores now. Possible causes for lost bookstore sales might include Amazon, the poor economy, and fewer avid readers. The last problem can only be cured by libraries.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
At the obvious point...right?! :lol: that part was just like dude, I only pay full price for books I already LOVE.
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:iconlucy-merriman:
Lucy-Merriman Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Student General Artist
Exactly!
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:icontheskaboss:
TheSkaBoss Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Had libraries not existed when I was a kid, I wouldn't be writing now*. Simple as.

*Or spending money on /all the books/. Jesus Christ, they take so much of my money, there are hundreds of them! D:
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:iconalockwood2:
alockwood2 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Libraries have books I don't have- spent a good deal of time borrowing the last three books of the Redwall series from the nearby library until I could get my own. Coincidentally, we need more book stores- not everyone uses the E-book stuff- they might hold 1000 books, but you can't use them if they don't have a charge. As it is, I had to order the last two Redwall books online- got them, but it would have been easier to just go to the book store and buy them in person.
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:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013   Digital Artist
As well as what everyone's said that libraries do more than lend books, when I was a kid there was no way my parents would have been able to afford to buy me all the books I read.
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:iconhuffingtontheonly:
HuffingtontheOnly Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013  Student Digital Artist
... DON'T MESS WITH MY LIBRARIES!

I love using the libraries to find authors i may never hear of otherwise. If i like them, then i will more likely be persuaded to purchase one of their other books. Also, I use the computers these libraries so kindly provide for many different services. So I say keep the libraries! DEFEND THEM WITH OUR LIVES!!!!
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:iconorangekrissy:
OrangeKrissy Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013
What would kids do if they didn't have access to libraries for research? Or a place to study where it is quiet and any books they may need is at hand? They certainly wouldn't have that stuff at home, or even a quiet place there. The library also has the latest magazines as well as Talking books, DVD's, and use of computers for those who don't have access to one. I'd rather see a library than a Walmart in a town.
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:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013
Considering the amount of various things I can do when I am in the library, I feel horrified by the fact that I didn't even have access to it before I was in Canada. :dead: There's so much that can be done with money to buy enough books.
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:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
"This is not the Roman empire, where we give away free bread and circuses to the masses."
And yet... they give us [sell us cheap] potato chips, and cheeze-whiz, and burgers, and Glee, and Community, and more tasteless, vapid "reality" television than anyone could stomach.

What I wouldn't give for a good old-fashioned circus! ;)
Or at least a quiet corner and a nice book to read.

I will admit, I don't visit our local library as much as I should. But I used to spend a lot of time there when I was still in school! I know our current school-age kids will benefit hugely from having that same access available.

And as ~Armonah said, most of us have read many, many books via the library which we would not have gone out and bought at list price. Many of the library books I enjoyed most are things I would never have discovered if I hadn't seen them sitting on the shelves there. ;)
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:iconvglory:
vglory Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013
Food stamps and PBS. It's basically the same thing, surely?
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:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
At least PBS has some informative and interesting programs. ;}

But... I don't get food stamps. ;p
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:iconarmonah:
Armonah Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013
His math relies on the assumption that every person who borrowed his book would have been willing to pay the full price for it if libraries didn't exist. I hope I don't have to point out that that argument wouldn't work in practise. It's much more likely that people would read a whole lot less books and the books they did read would be circulated between family and friends. People are going to be stingy with their money either way, because books are fucking expensive, and in this new era of technology there are cheap alternatives to entertainment everywhere.

Book stores aren't disappearing "all of a sudden" because of public libraries. Public libraries and bookstores have managed to peacefully co-exist for decades. Things that are more likely to kill the book industry are, for instance, e-books, which already are ridiculously easy to pirate. Or the way the entertainment industry as a whole has changed, not to mention the way the internet became a major part in our daily lives, which simply has left people less interested in books than they used to.

On a personal level I'm quite happy with the libraries I have access to. I know everyone's all over the internet nowadays (and so am I, most of the time), but I've found that when it comes to quality of information, the internet's just not (yet) a match for books. In addition to that, the libraries have access to a national database, which is a tremendously useful resource. I don't visit the library every day, or even every week. But I visit it quite often nonetheless, and I wouldn't want them gone.

As for him having balls: I'd have to disagree with that. The things he says are by no means things nobody has ever said before, or things people are too afraid to talk about. People have spoken up about tax dollars being used from healthcare and education to libraries and swimming pools. Nothing he says is new, or even daring, and it sounds equally self-centered coming out of his mouth as it does anyone else's. This guy just happens to have the kind of fame that lets him be heard.
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:iconburntchurro:
burntchurro Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013
Libraries offer ebooks to be loaned out.
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:iconarmonah:
Armonah Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013
I know.
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:iconmemnalar:
Memnalar Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013
Maybe "chutzpah" is a better word. :)
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:iconarmonah:
Armonah Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013
I suppose so =P
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:iconfutilitarian:
futilitarian Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013   Writer
Neil Gaiman: "Selfish & stupid, shortsighted & sad. Mostly selfish. Terry Deary gets avaricious & anti-library"
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:iconmemnalar:
Memnalar Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013
Twitter, I assume?
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:iconfutilitarian:
futilitarian Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013   Writer
Aye
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:iconbeccajs:
BeccaJS Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013   Writer
I can't wait for a year or so when I can take my son to a library to start picking books! He's already intrigued by them (probably more for the bright pictures but still I am excited!)
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:iconmemnalar:
Memnalar Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013
Richard Scarry. His were the first books I picked at the library as a kid. I vividly remember the little machine at the checkout counter that pressed down on the book, glowed hot, and imprinted the due date. They never let me press the button, though. :(
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:iconbeccajs:
BeccaJS Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013   Writer
Oh I so wanted to stamp the books myself! I still do...
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:iconmormonbookworm:
mormonbookworm Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Kindergartners don't get nap time anymore....and now people want to get rid Libraries....we've gone crazy!
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:iconchris000:
Chris000 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
No, I don't think Libraries should disappear. Physical knowledge is something that is readily available, doesn't need a wifi connection, doesn't need the latest app or OS to access it. Books don't break down or require power. Open, accessible, and easy to work with.

To get rid of libraries does nothing but hurt a society. It just strikes me as a bad idea.
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Only a fraction of a library is about literature.
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:iconmemnalar:
Memnalar Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013
In the library on our campus, there are three computer labs, a video viewing center, a writing center, an art gallery, a huge display of model airplanes and a television studio.
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Not to mention reference and other research resources. Not everything is online. MOST things are probably not online.
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:iconmemnalar:
Memnalar Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013
Of course, the reference librarian is often worth his or her weight in gold. I remember the cranky old hellion at the library in college. If you walked up to her and asked where a certain reference book was, she'd glare at you and say, "Tell me what you want to know, not what resource you think you want." Gotta admit, nine times out of ten, she steered me to something I had no idea existed.
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013  Professional General Artist
His comparison of books to films doesn't really work.  Libraries function more like video rental stores or Netflix, albeit not asking for a nominal fee for the rental.  Actually, a lot of libraries anymore do allow patrons to check out DVDs for a nominal fee, often cheaper than rental stores, so :P.

Anyway, aren't author getting paid for the books that libraries are buying up?  I wonder if he's against lending books to friends as well.  They didn't pay the author either, the cheap bastards.

While he kinda has an interesting point, he's totally ignoring the value that libraries provide, which goes beyond just lending books for entertainment.  Many people use libraries for research or use the internet.  One of the libraries in our system has a jobs resource center.  Libraries also provide classes for the public, lectures, etc.  Whenever someone complains along these lines, I also can't help but detect a subtle classism.  A lot of the people using the library can't afford home computers, e-readers, or to buy a few new books each month.
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:iconmemnalar:
Memnalar Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013
Pretty much this. I think his argument is novel, but not entirely convincing (and more than a little unhelpful).
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013  Professional General Artist
Yep. He's also totally ignoring the whole concept of the commons, on which public services like libraries are based and which most people in modern societies consider worth maintaining. Makes me wanna go on some crazy commie pinko rant about bourgeois capitalist swine. :lol:
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
My library made DVD and video game rentals free. Although the rent period is shorter and the late fee's a lot higher. :B
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:iconcalvero:
Calvero Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Student
Your library has video games? My library is so old fashioned. It still rents out VHS. :ohnoes:
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