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Is there a place for libraries in the future?
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Christmas Cherry...
post Mar 29 2016, 11:00 AM
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Mattias wanted a SERIOUS thread so here we go~

I read an article this morning (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-35707956) on the closure of libraries. It made me sad, as when I was younger I used to love going to our town library! However nowdays I barely ever visit our town library, I popped in there the other day but the book selection wasn't great, and it was very empty in there. However I do spend quite a lot of time studying in the library at school, as more of the books there are relevant to the courses I study.

With E-books, and of course GOOGLE, what do you all think about the future of libraries?!

DISCUSS
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Christmas Cherry...
post Mar 29 2016, 11:01 AM
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omg I forgot to put a poll in

MATTTTIIIIIIIIAAAASSSSSSSSSSS
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Candlelit Snow
post Mar 29 2016, 11:12 AM
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OMG MATTERRRRSSS??

WHERE ARE??

Flop tbh, he's treating us like leftovers!! ohmy.gif
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Brett-Butler
post Mar 29 2016, 11:14 AM
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Sales of E-books have actually decreased over the last couple of years as people are drifting back to regular books, and on top of that libraries are more than just book depositories, they are meeting places for the exchange of thoughts and ideas. No doubt that libraries will modernise over the next few years to appeal to the current generation (i.e any library that doesn't have a cafe is just wasting an opportunity, having access to Kindles for those who do want e-Books and proliferating the number of e-Books that can be rented), but they still will have a place.
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Regina
post Mar 29 2016, 11:15 AM
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I think there is a place for them, but they need to modernise a bit. The one my Mum works in is great, it has a fab selection of books, a section with newspapers (old and new) and wifi with computer access. A lot of student still use it since there is loads of info at hand and its quiet, with places for food too.
Many libraries are just too old fashioned for the modern world.
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Popchartfreak
post Mar 29 2016, 11:15 AM
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There's always a queue outside the large main Bournemouth library before opening time - mainly students, the jobless, the homeless (warm). The small local libraries are the ones in trouble as they just don't have the stock to make it worthwhile visiting, save a few younger kids and elderly non-internet folk.

With local gov cuts the forseeable future forever, I sadly suspect small libraries are doomed as older folk disappear, and younger generations will age used to the internet and so have no need for them. sad.gif

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Christmas Cherry...
post Mar 29 2016, 11:19 AM
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QUOTE(popchartfreak @ Mar 29 2016, 12:15 PM) *
There's always a queue outside the large main Bournemouth library before opening time - mainly students, the jobless, the homeless (warm). The small local libraries are the ones in trouble as they just don't have the stock to make it worthwhile visiting, save a few younger kids and elderly non-internet folk.

With local gov cuts the forseeable future forever, I sadly suspect small libraries are doomed as older folk disappear, and younger generations will age used to the internet and so have no need for them. sad.gif


I've actually been meaning to come down to the Bournemouth library at some point ohmy.gif I've been doing a research project into the 500 year timeline of a town in Dorset, and sadly the library in said town is lacking in the detailed knowledge I wanted sad.gif

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mdh
post Mar 29 2016, 11:23 AM
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I can't see larger libraries such as that of the ones located in major cities such as Birmingham and London closing - as they're major tourist attractions and do receive overwhelming amounts of custom, and they are popular with parents and kids visiting the city, and tourists, as libraries in that kind of location provide travel information, and a place to eat etc. The familiarity of a library will always bring tourists to larger libraries, so I think as long as we live we'll always see them around in their larger forms.

However, in terms of local libraries, they're attracting less custom all the time, and with the older generation starting to fade away, our generation (anyone who will be working in 30 years time, lets say) won't be as inclined to visit a library if we need information, so I can see a fair load of town libraries fading away, sadly, however I still think they play a large part in community and city life and will do into the future.

My opinion? There is definitely a place for libraries, it's a great resource for people to meet up and chat, and the ability to have free books at our fingertips is great - I'm sad to see them fade in popularity, and I hope that we don't see a lot of them close as they are great facilities sad.gif

wow this is probably my longest post ever laugh.gif
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Christmas Cherry...
post Mar 29 2016, 11:27 AM
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I would love to see local libraries be revitalised. Reading through all of this I'm getting worried about my own local library now, despite it not being great I'd much prefer it to be modernised and stay in the town, rather than closed. I do live in quite a small town, where there is a strong sense of community (although the town facebook page is really the place to be for the community now, how scary is that?! mellow.gif ) but the library never really hosts events compared to like the Royal Legion and even the churches. I think I may have to go find out if my library has a suggestion box laugh.gif I'd hate another empty building.
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Liаm
post Mar 29 2016, 11:29 AM
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I don't use a library at home really but the uni one is invaluable, obviously for essays etc but also somewhere to sit and do work in a focused environment, there are vending machines and stuff as well, and all different areas like a group work area, a quiet area, an area to use the actual uni computers etc., so everyone can use it in their own way. I agree a lot of libraries aren't modern enough, in summer 2013 I did work experience in the one near me and it was just all old people getting books out really. They didn't even have newspaper archives (they had a few odd ones from the past few months but that's obviously not a proper archive), they did have a few computers but that was about it. But it will obviously cost a hell of a lot to do them all up and will it really be worth it?? I suppose events are a good place to start, bring people to the library with all different sorts of activities and groups and then custom might grow a bit. My local library only really does baby storytime and that sort of thing which isn't exactly the widest range of people!

So I'd say yes, but they'd have to adapt and really modernise in the case of small local libraries. The larger ones in cities will be fine anyway.
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HowToPronounceMa...
post Mar 29 2016, 11:30 AM
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Poll added!
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Christmas Cherry...
post Mar 29 2016, 11:33 AM
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QUOTE(Mattias @ Mar 29 2016, 12:30 PM) *
Poll added!


Thank you!

I went for 'Yes' because I really want there to be a place for libraries in the future, but modernisation is the way forward to ensure this.
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HowToPronounceMa...
post Mar 29 2016, 11:42 AM
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I sure hope so! Went for 'yes'.

I recently got a library card for my local town library, basically I wanted to use the internet in there when I had won BJSC but didn't have proper internet and wanted to read the thread and post in it lol. The one I'm speaking of is generally good from what I have experienced and seen, although I'm not sure what the deal was with all these noisy teenagers in the next room, I think there were some kind of classes going on in the library and it was a bit of a distraction which I didn't appreciate and I'm sure others felt the same way, but there you go. It has unlimited access to the internet if you're using your own laptop (which I was), and up to three hours per session if you wish to avail of the library's own computer services. The guy who organised the card for me was extremely friendly, told me about all the different services available, gave me a leaflet etc.
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HausAlone
post Mar 29 2016, 12:30 PM
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I can remember discussing the first ever book-less library in the States on here a few years ago and this brings up a similar debate. My stance is that YES there absolutely must be a place for libraries in the future and they can't become "retro" like Vinyl stores or anything like that - they need to continue being mainstream. They'll probably always exist in universities because of the reasons Liam mentioned but public libraries are the ones that need saving.

Working in a Primary school, my primary job is to get children enthused about books and reading and it's the thing I put most of my energy towards because I think it's the most important thing they can learn. It's very, very tough but it is manageable. The issue comes when they're a bit older and lose this interest.

I remember my lecturer at Uni describing a small boy in Reception he observed once who picked up a book and started swiping it like you do to a smartphone. A startling state of affairs and one that can't become the norm for the future generation. sad.gif
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Slade
post Mar 29 2016, 12:34 PM
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I basically agree with the general consensus here - libraries need to adapt. WiFi/computers are a must with internet research going hand-in-hand with books. The café idea is a good suggestion as well to draw more people in a social way.

I used to be in love with our library when I was younger (early secondary school age). I was THAT person who took out about 5 books every couple of weeks. We also had film rental too which I'd also make the most of. As I've gotten older I must admit I barely use libraries at all. I think I'd be more tempted if there was some kind of small shake-up as suggested.
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Yuki On Ice~
post Mar 29 2016, 12:41 PM
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University ones are fantastic for working, sure.

Public ones are a different beast, I always envision them as a sedate public space, quieter than a city park or a coffee shop, and therefore a place to discover knowledge and perhaps conduct research, but also somewhere to relax. To do that I think each library would have to be something of an archive - or with unfettered access to a local archive - with many things (like e-books and articles) available on an intranet that aren't available on the wider net.

And of course with events for the younger crowd, I remember having reading challenges from the local library back when I was younger, having to read a certain amount over the summer, which I was very into back then. I think part of drifting away from that has been getting older and getting access to so many sorts of things to read on the net, so they'd need to have some reason in content for people to go there and socialise.
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Suedehead2
post Mar 29 2016, 12:42 PM
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QUOTE(princess_lotti @ Mar 29 2016, 12:19 PM) *
I've actually been meaning to come down to the Bournemouth library at some point ohmy.gif I've been doing a research project into the 500 year timeline of a town in Dorset, and sadly the library in said town is lacking in the detailed knowledge I wanted sad.gif

Then do it! Bournemouth used to have a really old library well outside the centre of town, but now has much better facilities.

The advantage of a library over the internet is that the books may not always be as up-to-date as they could be (less of a problem for history), but they should be more reliable than, for example, Wikipedia.
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Suedehead2
post Mar 29 2016, 12:52 PM
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When I was growing up, the visit to the library was on e of the highlights of my week! At primary school, I got to the point where I had read every book in the library apart from ones that didn't interest me (and even some of them laugh.gif) . Of course, there was no internet to distract us then and no videos or DVDs, so there was a lot more time to read.

I agree with Haus that it is important to get children interested in books, although it cannot be forced on them. My sister's tow boys developed an interest at very different ages. The older one was like me - as soon as he could read, there was no stopping him. The younger one wasn't very interested until he was about nine, but now - at nearly twelve - he reads a lot.
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Nadolig Llawen!
post Mar 29 2016, 05:10 PM
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I think parents must be reading to kids from a young age up until they're old enough to be reading the book themselves. It should be a fun activity and not solely seen as something they have to do for school. I loved going to the library with my parents when I was little and we all came back with books. It was a cost effective family activity tbh.
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Sceryl_Streep
post Mar 29 2016, 06:38 PM
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For sure, like everything they will adapt to changing circumstances and technologies. Not that I actually read very much (aside from TV reviews and political shit online) I do quite like the idea of a large collection of physical books too, so hopefully they are around for the long haul. A book is so much more than just reading, its a tactile/immersive experience really and I don't think doing it on a screen/tablet has anything like the same calming impact.

Not really sure what the summary is of this post then. Yes libraries will be around for the long haul, really.
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