More On Foothills Library -- Joyce Clark: "Foothills Library... Why Bother?", plus other links

Following up on the previous post's mention of the proposal to downsize/shrink/gut the local Foothills Branch Library here in Glendale, AZ:

Joyce Clark is a former Glendale City Council member who's been posting some of the most informative and useful commentary about the Foothills Library debacle. "Foothills Library... why bother?" is a eloquent piece about the many benefits beyond lending books that a decently-supported library provides to its community. A quote:

Today’s public libraries are part refuge and part community center. It would surprise you to know that many people who visit a public library don’t borrow a single book. For some it is a quiet sanctuary, warm and dry. You could sit there all day and not be bothered. It wards off the loneliness of life for others. Yet, in a fit of schizophrenia, it is a place of constant activities…you can take a class, participate in a book club discussion, hear a visiting musician or enjoy a lecture. Moms can take their little ones to story time to discover the wonderful, magical world of books.
It is a resource to those looking for a job, or needing to use a computer because they can’t afford one or the cost of the internet even if they had a computer. It is a place where a research librarian has helped countless numbers of children to do research for a writing assignment. 
Its wealth is beyond measure…books, magazines, newspapers, CDs, DVDs, movies.  You can use, read and borrow anything within its four walls…for free. Digital media is fine. I use it often, very often but there is something special about a book. The use of digital media is growing and should be encouraged but not as a replacement for the brick and mortar public library but as an enhancement to its offerings.
More from Joyce Clark here, with some background for the whole mess: Love Your Library... Work To Save it.

azcentral.com, the website for local newspaper The Arizona Republic and Channel 12 news, has a news story and video: "North Glendale residents not thrilled by library sale"

Googling around on the subject of digital libraries, I found this photo from one of the all-digital BiblioTech libraries in San Antonio, TX:

Good God. Being crammed in nearly elbow-to-elbow at long rows of sterile workstations is not anything like my idea of what a library should be. This looks more like a commercial call-center than anything else. I find it ghastly and horrifying. Is that really supposed to be the future of libraries?

There'll be another public hearing on the  proposal tonight, February 11th at 6:00 PM, at the Foothills Library in the Roadrunner Room. If you're local, and can attend, please do. I'd suggest getting there early; over 400 people on Facebook have indicated they're planning to come, plus any non-Facebookers like me, and I'm not sure the Roadrunner Room can hold that many.

1 comment:

Casi Nerina said...

Well, that picture is certainly part of the future of libraries. The two libraries that I frequent both have similar banks of computers.

I hope that print media doesn't disappear completely. However, I fear it is returning to an elite person's position to have many print books.