14 April 2008

Progress being made

Libraries are innovating to attract the crucial youth demographic:
Looking for new ways to attract young people, more than three quarters of the nation's public libraries support gaming, including card games and online activities, according to a study coming out this week....most librarians believe that gaming fits an overall strategy to increase teen involvement, noting a nationwide trend of libraries forming teen advisory boards, devoting more space to teen centers and allowing teens to help with the design...Libraries have worked hard in the past decade to change their hushed image, and gaming is now a common event. In early March, about 30 teenagers attended a game night at the public library in Burlington, Iowa, playing "Guitar Hero" and "Wii Sports" among others. About 100 teens compete monthly at "Guitar Hero" at the Rochester Hills Public Library in Michigan.
Libraries have considerable room for growth in this area. While progress has been made, most of them still have shelves and shelves of musty old books that could easily be removed to make space for video gaming areas, TV lounges, and vending machines dispensing junk food, condoms, and pimple creams.

With proper funding, all libraries should be able to fully implement these improvements by the end of the decade. Local municipalities will then meet the needs of the few remaining readers by building them euthanasia centers.

12 comments:

  1. The IHT article says libraries around the country are dedicated to increasing the diversity of libray staffs. So look on the bright side - as more hispanics enter the exciting field of Library Science, this will surely unleash an intellectual revolution in the nation's libraries, as youngsters will not be able to get enough of the fine reading material for which Mexico is famous, like those charming mexican crime tabloids.

    Or at least the librarians will be getting less frumpy.

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  2. Will minority kids really refuse to play video games unless the library staff looks like them?

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  3. Dear Mr. Country: You have put your finger on it. Libraries are public institutions; like all such, they are vulnerable to the empire-building ambitions of the people running them. My own public library now provides at least as many movie DVD's, tapes, and music CD's as it does books. As a result, the local Hollywood Video store is dying on the vine. They have also constructed the World's Strangest Library (view under Building Photos on the Middle Country Public Library, New York website...the influence of the architecture of the Elder Gods is clear)and doubled the budget.The final insult is an interactive sculpture...in the presence of at least four people (how does it know?)it maneuvers, squirts water and makes a whistling noise. It cost...$60,000.00. Just more proof that the Apocalyse is coming soon.

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  4. Lovely. I like how that one building has giant scales on it, to contrast with that other building's checkerboard pattern, while the building in the back looms like a Great Old One, newly arisen to devour both.

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  5. Just so you know: it is not three buildings in the picture; the Centereach library building, scales, checkerboard pattern, and looming Terror From Beyond, is actually one structure, combining three disparate and clashing themes in one building. Oh, and the roof leaks.

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  6. Might I bring to your attention Brisbane Square Library. Don't you just love the subtle colour scheme, the way it just blends in with the surrounding buildings, and the alien pods in the square outside. By the way it too offers X-Box games to the Illiterate Louts; and recorded announcements in three languages (English, Mandarin, and Japanese) warning patrons not to leave their belongings unattended.

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  7. Mild Colonial, your library takes the cake. It has got us Yanks and our Middle Country library beat by a mile. Not only does it look like the alien world-destroying robot, Chronos, it is also decorated in party colors. My hat is off to you and the suffering taxpayers of Brisbane.

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  8. Yes, it's hideous, but "It has an automated book shelving machine"! So what are you complaining about? Here is some more blight from the same architects. Nothing pleases the eye like buildings that look like they are about to fall on you.

    Nice to hear from you MCB, hope you've recovered from your mishap.

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  9. Dear Mr Carter,

    If Brisbane Square Library has "automated book shelving machine" I'll eat my hat. All I've ever seen are overflowing reshelving shelves and dull-eyed Shelvers trundling around the stacks pushing trollies and shelving books. Unless the Shelvers are Automatons (which may explain a few things) I think what they mean is an Automated Loans Return. Namely a machine that when items are returned in the slots automatically returns them on the computer catalogue and resensitises the tattle-tapes inside the items.

    And by the way thank you for your kind wishes - I'll be back at work in a month or so.

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  10. I was slightly incorrect here are some pictures of the automated books sorter here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/54511827@N00/tags/booksorter/

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  11. I would say something about commenting on a three month old post, but those pictures of the automated book sorter are terrific, and because there is breaking library news: libraries are now checking out garden tools.

    I can see my future self being told this: "You want a what? A book? This is a library, sir. Now either play a video game or borrow a rake, or else get out."

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