The Librarian and the Hot Rod Shop


4 Responses to “The Librarian and the Hot Rod Shop”

  1. Deidzoeb says:

    Some old school mobile libraries:

    1938: Works Progress Administration Pack Horse Librarians make regular calls at mountain schools where children are furnished with books for themselves and books to read to their illiterate parents and elders.

    Here’s a donkey-drawn mobile library operating in Ethiopia (2009?): 

    and a “Biblioburro” donkey library in Colombia (2009?): 

  2. Chuk says:

    FVRL is my local library (I even used to work there as a casual). They have a lot of really good programs and a decent collection — they were one of the first regional libraries.

  3. Derek Attig says:

    Excellent post! Here are my thoughts  on how Library Live fits into the history of bookmobiles (preview: it’s not as different as it first appears)-

  4. YourMessageHere says:

    So this doesn’t issue books, and has all these “very un-library-like enhancements”.  That’s nice, but I fail to see how this in any way actually might convince anyone to use the library.

    I work in my former university’s library (I’m a cleaner).  From 2006 to now, the library has vastly increased the number of computers and study spaces it offers, started providing e-readers for loan, set up plasma info screens all over the place.  How has it done this?  By clearing out the books.  All the journals, including many things I myself used to write my final dissertation, that are not available electronically, are gone, shoved into storage several miles away.  The display screens regurgitate the same messages now that they did when they were installed three years ago.  I’ve never seen anyone with an e-reader. At least half of the students I see are using the library computers or their own laptops to look at facebook, youtube, cracked, spotify or to play games.  They sleep in the study rooms – or screw each other – and treat the place like their own personal office.  I’d estimate that only about 10% of the students I see in any given day are there to get a book.  The place is not really a repository of knowledge any more; it’s more like a sort of multi-purpose study barn.

    My point in saying this is, libraries are clearly losing the plot, and this pimped-out Nissan Cube is just another aspect of the information age panic.  You DO NOT have to make libraries attractive to everyone.  Libraries are there to protect and store information, and provide it freely to everyone – if they want it.  Anything else is outside their remit.  If you want to use a library, you will.  If you don’t, parading gadgetry and irrelevant car enhancements in front of you will only serve to either decieve you or bore you.  The idea that everyone can benefit from a library is as misguided and foolish as saying everyone can enjoy sport, or that everyone likes TV, or that national service is universally positive.

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