Re: Simple Minds
Mon, 21 Jun 1999 05:38:39 EDT

I hate to get defensive here, but I never suggested libraries ARE a thing of
the past. I was practically reared in one, have a deep fondness (not to
mention respect) for our main library here in Jacksonville. It is
architecturally magnificent; built in the sixties it is a tribute to modern
mosaic. Its low-slung Wright. The offerings are wnderful, the service a
little less so.

I once wrote something to the Atlantic Monthly P&R, that I was beginning to
feel more natural with a mouse under hand than a hard copy in my lap. I was
transitioning. I'm sure this is true for most of us. However, I still
receive hard copies of the Architectural Digest; digital can't reproduce the
"feel" of a full-color glossy page to my eyes, or the heft of the ($5.50)
magazine and security it provides in my hands. (Wondering what e-ink (tm)
might do.)

(I've never taken a laptop to bed, but my bed is stewn with all sorts of
reading material. So THERE.)

In a message dated 6/21/99 12:47:05 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
quotes (Janie Wilkins):

<<Libraries are not victims of the information age (at least not yet) and to
<< that they are anachronisms in today's society is premature.
Which is why I didn't say it: "However, I drive by a library daily; it does
LOOK A BIT anachronistic."

In a message dated 6/21/99 12:47:05 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
< Some luddite observations:
(seemingly of mutual exclusivity)

< A reference librarian can be a better resource than a search engine, and
< are much less painful to contact by cell phone.
My mother can be a better resource than a search engine.

< Videotapes in a backpack beat the bandwidth I have on my pitiful landline.
Not exclusive to libraries.

< I've come to enjoy the art shows at the library; they rotate much more
< frequently than at the local MoA. It'd be difficult to do them justice
< current online technology.
I couldn't agree more; just because I do the Starbucks thing online doesn't
mean I don't enjoy hanging in coffeeshops. Galleries, as do coffeeshops,
provide a setting, specific lighting, artistic air-to-matter ratios,
ambience. Not everything can be reproduced virtually.

< And some synergistic observations:

< Many libraries offer their catalog over the net; I remember one that also
< allowed browsing by catalog number, so you could virtually browse a shelf
< allow serendipity to assist your searches. Given an account, they'd also
< and deliver copies for you, allowing for full couch potato mode.
$$$ x (-T) = X

< Adding web browsers to libraries certainly fits in with the ideal
< at least, I'm not enough up on library theory to know if there are any
< others), and foot traffic at ours is up quite a bit because of them. I
< see quite a few books in the hands of people who wait in line for computer
< time (shades of the days of batch!).

< -Dave

UF now requires all incoming students to have a computer. By fall 1999, ALL
(40,000 +) students must have one. Prior to the edict, WHEREVER the
computers were, traffic was up. LUIS can be accessed anywhere.

<(paperback genre fiction seem to be a good counterexample to the idea that
<"more information/IT is better". Someone still goes to the effort of
< shelving, but other than that, our local libraries don't bother to track
< despite having the infrastructure available due to its use for hardbacks.
< suppose one could attempt to mount a denial of service attack by not
< out, but returning truckloads of paperbacks :-)