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$39.5 Million Hi-Tech Library Opens In Illinois

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the not-your-mother's-library dept.

Education 98

The new $39.5 million Fountaindale Public Library features: flat-screen TVs, video games, self-checkout stations, a variety of e-readers, and a cafe. Library officials say the new facility is a blueprint for libraries of the future, and will focus on using new technologies. From the article: "The Fountaindale Public Library, with its state-of-the-art, Wi-Fi equipped space, is starkly different from the previous antiquated library, a nearby one-story brick structure built in 1975 that awaits the wrecking ball. Officials are hopeful the new facility attracts a demographic libraries haven't seen in a number of years — young professionals."

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Recession? (0)

Tigger's Pet (130655) | more than 3 years ago | (#35422938)

What freaking recession? I guess they haven't heard of it.

Re:Recession? (3, Insightful)

Defenestrar (1773808) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423034)

Or perhaps they heard that education is the sure way to bolster and sustain the economy in the long term within a world market.

Re:Recession? (4, Insightful)

anyGould (1295481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423042)

Hey, we got cash for new sports stadiums and missiles and what-not, why not libraries - at least they target generally lower-income people.

Edmonton moved to the "high-tech" libraries a few years ago, and the only complaint I have about them is the self-checkout, and that's just because I like librarians (the machines generally work just fine).

Videogames get kids in the door, at which point there's a chance they'll actually pick up a book. Ditto movies and music. Public wi-fi is a logical partner to libraries (open access, etc.)

Re:Recession? (0)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423110)

>>>they target generally lower-income people.

I'd rather show them how to get online. i.e. Set them up with a cheap $7 dialup or $20 DSL line, so they can access an entire world of information (wikipedia) or books (random authors websites). Also eliminates the need to burn gasoline driving to the library. ----- Anybody know someone without a computer? Give them an old laptop or PC and get them connected to wikipedia.com and yahoo.com and start exploring.
.

>>new sports stadiums and missiles

Waste and waste. End the war and you don't need the missiles except to repel an invader. And sports is fine IF the money comes from the rich Team's Megacorp rather than my pocket.

Re:Recession? (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423726)

No one cares what you would do. Go start your own library.

Re:Recession? (1)

SargentDU (1161355) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423900)

My city's library has internet and email classes people can attend for free, as well as large print books and a new children's wing that has indoor trees that kids can sit in and read from with specially aimed lights to help make that work. We don't have all that fancy TV stuff as the one in this story though. We do have a coffee, soup and sandwich shop though!

Re:Recession? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35424566)

I'm not a racist, I just really hate niggers.

Re:Recession? (0)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35426104)

I see.

Re:Recession? (0)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35435456)

>>>No one cares what you would do.

If you don't want my opinion, stop sucking My money out of My wallet which I earned with My labor, and I will no longer comment on the library. BUT as long as my dollars are involved, the product of my own sweat and work, then I will offer my opinion on the matter whenever, however, and wherever I desire.

And in the future, if you or any other Politician tries to silence me, then I will remove him from office at the earliest opportunity because he is no longer listening to the Will of the People.

Re:Recession? (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35439240)

How much taxes did you pay to Fountaindale Illinois again?

BUT as long as my dollars are involved, the product of my own sweat and work, then I will offer my opinion on the matter whenever, however, and wherever I desire.

If you don't like things like libraries being built, move to ... Somalia! The government free utopia you Ayn Rand fucks have been ejaculating too for years.

And in the future, if you or any other Politician tries to silence me, then I will remove him from office at the earliest opportunity because he is no longer listening to the Will of the People.

Haha, don't make me laugh with your threats. What are you going to do, make some more sockpuppet accounts on Slashdot and flame me? LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLO

Re:Recession? (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423470)

... that's just because I like librarians

Yeah, me too [ebaumsworld.com] .

Re:Recession? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35430662)

I recognise a few of those sexy librarians...sadly only from adult fine art films though.

Re:Recession? (1)

Paradoks (711398) | more than 3 years ago | (#35424328)

only complaint I have about them is the self-checkout

But self-checkout lets you check out in Pirate [checkoutthemes.com] !

Okay, the necessary disclaimer is that that's my website, and I made the themes.

And, of course, they only work with ITG's machines, and I have no idea which self-check vendor your library uses.

Still, speaking as someone who was originally not sold on the self-checkout machines, especially when the edict from above was, "Make everyone use the self-checkout machines unless there's no other option." Once that got toned down, and I came up with the themes, they became a fun, focal point of the library where people would go because it offered something of value, rather than just making it so the library doesn't have to hire more people.

I suppose my secondary point is that this is another case where technology has scary aspects, but has some nifty possibilities that weren't necessarily foreseen.

Re:Recession? (1)

biek (1946790) | more than 3 years ago | (#35424482)

why not libraries - at least they target generally lower-income people.

So do the missiles. Let's eliminate waste by cutting those redundant libraries!

I Can't Wait! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35423016)

I can't wait to be a homeless person so I can start hanging out in that library!

Re:I Can't Wait! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35424296)

I don't think she's homeless...she just has an over-bite and a rather large forehead.

Re:I Can't Wait! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35451728)

I can't wait to be a homeless person so I can start hanging out in that library!

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Re:I Can't Wait! (0)

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books secondary in some libraries and bookstores (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423036)

They'll keep a few print books in the back as museum specimens.

Waste. (0)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423038)

Libraries are going the same direction was Blockbuster. People will borrow (or just buy) directly from the comfort of their fat recliner. I used to be an avid library patron, visiting at least once a week, but then the Web arrived and now I get all my stuff from amazon (used market) or isohunt (theft) or official websites (legal).

Re:Waste. (0)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423168)

P.S. I like how they say "39.5" since it sounds smaller than "40 million". The politicians must have learned from marketers - "Oh this radio is only $9.95," sales the salesman. "9 dollar huh? Great!" replies the customer without realizing they just spend 10 dollars (with tax).

Re:Waste. (1)

Defenestrar (1773808) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423206)

But the library probably got off tax free... ;)

Re:Waste. (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423860)

The funny part is my city library has all those amenities, is in a building far older than "antiquated 1975" and cost a heck of a lot less than $40M to add those amenities.

It really is kind of shocking to add up the costs of those exotic amenities, subtract from $40M, and see whats left. Probably about $39.5M

Re:Waste. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35424790)

Illinois Accounting 101

Re:Waste. (4, Insightful)

Defenestrar (1773808) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423192)

I doubt it, in my experience most libraries fill far more than just the role of book repository. My local public library has live readings, local authors, numerous child programs (including some for infants and families), internet and computer access, study rooms, conference rooms, inter-library loan for those hard to get (and very much non-electronic) books, tutoring programs, etc... They fill both social and personal flesh-space needs centering around knowledge, information sharing, and learning.

And don't forget the almost-mystic power of a good librarian. Perhaps they could perform in a telework model if libraries do go the way of Blockbuster, but they'll still be needed as both public and private servants.

Re:Waste. (-1, Troll)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423322)

>>>My local public library has live readings

audible.com and various authors websites have the same

>>> local authors

Not interested in meeting them - would rather follow their website or facebook.

>>>numerous child programs, tutoring

that's what videogames and school/teachers are for

>internet and computer access

have it at home

>>>study rooms, conference rooms
bedroom, basement

>>>inter-library loan

amazon.com will find whatever you request. Bottom line I simply see nothing a library (or blockbuster) offers that can not be found at home, at school, at work, or via the internet. That's why I stopped going to the library or blockbuster.

Re:Waste. (3, Insightful)

anyGould (1295481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423370)

>>>numerous child programs, tutoring

that's what videogames and school/teachers are for

If I had to pick between a good teacher and a good librarian, I'd take the librarian. The upside of spending your work day surrounded by books is that you tend to become well-rounded and well-informed.

Disclaimer: I spent a summer in my youth working in a library (upgrading the card catalog from Apple II to PC). You can't help but learn things in that environment.

Re:Waste. (1)

Monchanger (637670) | more than 3 years ago | (#35426256)

Bottom line I simply see nothing a library (or blockbuster) offers that can not be found in my ten-room home That's why I stopped going to the library or blockbuster.

FTFY. You'd be shocked to learn how many Americans still don't have Internet at home [census.gov] , nor credit cards (or even bank accounts) to use on Amazon, nor basements and bedrooms with "fat recliners", nor can afford to buy every book they would pick up in a library. While you may like to imagine you're "normal", there are far more people living in one-room apartments with thin walls and loud neighbors. Your unsolicited individual habits are irrelevant and nothing you've "simply" said really matters in the discussion because it's based on a misunderstanding what the real, larger world is like. Fact of the matter is libraries are a necessary public service in much of the United States.

Beside costs, there are qualitative issues at hand as well. Audible and author websites are not equivalent. They don't let you interact with the author and provide a a static and one-dimensional listening experience compared to live, interactive and actually-interesting readings (you've never actually attended a decent one, right?). Facebook? Why would I want to subscribe to a feed telling me in which far-away city an author is appearing each weekend to sell their current book? I want to talk to them about their craft- not their bus tour. Suggesting teachers are tutors suggests you understand the role of neither. In addition to that, substituting child programs with computer games tells us you're either not a parent, or a really crappy one.

I'm guessing you use Slashdot to check "social life" off your list too. How sad. There's a big world to experience out, and it's very obvious you're not getting enough of it through your monitor. No amount of money is too much to prevent more kids from growing up like that.

Re:Waste. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35424124)

I would just like to chime in that my campus library already appears to have outsourced their weekend "chat-live-with-a-librarian" feature to a central hosting company.

That being said, I am an avid user of technology. I have been a trade programmer, systems engineer, graduate student, and doctoral student. I know my way around advanced google searching/filtering, rapidsharing, torrenting, linux, web directories, and document sharing. I log into several library systems for access to journal articles on a weekly, if not daily basis. The power of the librarians to find information has STILL eclipsed my own on all occasions (4) over 2 years.

Re:Waste. (1)

Paradoks (711398) | more than 3 years ago | (#35424596)

Perhaps they could perform in a telework model

I think they're already doing that. Well, if askaway.info [askaway.info] is the sort of thing you mean. I guess that's Wisconsin's portion of the system, but libraries throughout the country are involved.

Re:Waste. (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35426132)

What does a librarian do that google can't?

Re:Waste. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35426976)

"librarians doing library things" was one of the original invocations of Rule 37. No doubt that is what GP was referring to while extolling their necessity.

CAPTCHA: witness

Re:Waste. (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35427884)

Provide a place where you can actually meet real people.

Re:Waste. (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35430760)

What does a librarian do that google can't?

Handjobs.

Re:Waste. (0)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35433514)

I agree the library is a great place to visit, and I went there regularly myself in the 80s and 90s to borrow books/videotapes, but technology has advanced since then. - So I stopped going. I don't use horses anymore either. My grandfather did but later he replaced them with engines to move his carriage (car). Likewise the library has moved to the web where you can find virtually any book, song, or video you desire.

>>>My local public library has live readings
Audible.com and various authors websites have the same. For example I listen to James Patrick Kelly reading his own stories. Stephen King and Toni Morrison have also read several of their works, which I listen to while driving, working, or just relaxing at home.

>>> local authors
(shrug) None of the authors I enjoy are "local" but instead live in far-away in places like Maine, California, etc, and I meet them in convention centers as part of Scifi cons. So I don't feel I'm missing out on anything.

>>>numerous child programs, tutoring
That's what online education, school sports/clubs, and tutoring by teachers/teaching aides are for

>internet and computer access
Have it at home

>>>study rooms, conference rooms
Bedroom, basement, work, local school, local YMCA

>>>inter-library loan
Amazon.com will find whatever you request, even obscure titles. Bottom line I simply see nothing a library (or blockbuster) offers that can not be found at home, at school, at work, or via the internet. That's why I stopped going to the library or blockbuster because the technology, like horses, is inconvenient and not as easy to use as the alternatives,.

Re:Waste. (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35430694)

now I get all my stuff from amazon (used market) or isohunt (theft) or official websites (legal)

Nice subtle troll, that's more like it.

Deficit == 50% of operating budget (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35423056)

Illinois is broke dot com [illinoisisbroke.com]

Space age libraries. Woohoo.

Re:Deficit == 50% of operating budget (-1, Offtopic)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423238)

>>>Illinois is broke dot com

"The state is not broke. The country is not broke. There is plenty of money being hoarded by the rich* people. All we have to do is take it from them." - Van Jones, white house adviser.

*
* where rich == $125,000 annual income ($250k for married persons)

Re:Deficit == 50% of operating budget (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35423538)

If you're making more than $125K/year or $250K/year for married, and you are not rich, you are a fool and deserve to be parted from your cash.

You need to try living on $50K/year then you will find out that you really are rich.

Re:Deficit == 50% of operating budget (1)

extraordinaire (2010224) | more than 3 years ago | (#35426236)

You need to pay the tax bills of someone making $125k/year or $250k/year, living in a high expense area, before you surmise that someone is rich, simply because they make a bit more than you.

Re:Deficit == 50% of operating budget (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35430846)

You need to pay the tax bills of someone making $125k/year or $250k/year, living in a high expense area, before you surmise that someone is rich, simply because they make a bit more than you.

Ignoring your stupid comment about taxes (as I don't suppose you have a greater than 100% tax rate where you live) then if you choose to live in a high expense area you really shouldn't complain about how much it costs. It's like saying "do you know how expensive it is running a Ferrari?" to a homeless person begging for change.

Re:Deficit == 50% of operating budget (1)

extraordinaire (2010224) | more than 3 years ago | (#35437786)

Who the fuck said anything about a 100% tax rate?

Re:Deficit == 50% of operating budget (2)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423650)

Illinois is broke dot com [illinoisisbroke.com]

Space age libraries. Woohoo.

Yeah, who needs all that high-falutin edumication stuff? All this talk of having an educated population is just an excuse for wasteful spending to fund the fat cat librarians. Think of how that $39.5 million would have plugged the state's budget hole.

libraries (1)

manitee (2974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423082)

Is there really much point to non-collegiate / scholastic libraries in 2011? It seems like most non-print resources are available at home.

Re:libraries (5, Informative)

mcspoo (933106) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423194)

As one who works in a library, my response is more than likely to be prejudiced...

Part of why we need libraries is a total failure of informational literacy. Many of the people we see today have no clue how to tell the difference between REAL and NOT REAL (hence, people who think World News Digest or Fox News are "real": they lack the skill set to determine what information has value and what does not.)

Libraries are also tremendous community and learning centers. We're really the center of democracy and freedom. We aid the local schools, the senior centers, the youth assistance groups, and provide training and access to job searching. A community without a Library is a community without a heart: it will wither, suffer and die.

Maybe one day a level of informational literacy will exist. Maybe one day it'll be taught in schools, from Pre-School through College/University. That day is not today, and not likely in this century. Modern Librarians are experts on finding information, and making sure it's good information.

Need to know more? Look up multiple resources on Informational Literacy. Just for an example: http://tln.lib.mi.us/searchpath/ [lib.mi.us]

Re:libraries (1)

Celestialwolf (1656075) | more than 3 years ago | (#35435460)

Let me guess; you erroneously suppose MSNBC to be a real news channel?

Re:libraries (1)

mcspoo (933106) | more than 3 years ago | (#35438610)

Really? For everything in that post, you focused on the Fox News comment?

To clarify: Informational Literacy means ALL SOURCES. Currently, many news sources are guilty of reporting OPINION as NEWS. Fox News is extremely fond of this. MSNBC is as well.

Thank you for playing "let's miss the point entirely"

Re:libraries (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423210)

Is there really much point to non-collegiate / scholastic libraries in 2011? It seems like most non-print resources are available at home.

I was thinking the same thing. Sadly, the last time I went to a library a sizable number of the visitors were homeless. I suppose they enjoy surfing the web and playing video games as much as the rest of us.

Re:libraries (2)

anyGould (1295481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423410)

Also, because a library is one of the last places where Everyone Is Equal. So long as you're well behaved, a library doesn't care who you are. Which is how it should be.

A favorite story of mine is a library system that tried to fix their "homeless problem", and so added rules prohibiting sleeping. Which lasted until the librarians kicked out a wealthier patron who was caught catnapping in one of the chairs. The rule was quickly revoked...

Re:libraries (2)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423686)

I used to get annoyed by this homeless dude in the San Francisco public library at the Civic Center who would sit muttering to himself out loud constantly.

Equally annoying was the nicely dressed guy having an argument with his bank over his cellphone at the top of his lungs.

Moral: Homeless people haven't cornered the market on bad or annoying behaviour.

Re:libraries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35427622)

I used to get annoyed by this homeless dude in the San Francisco public library at the Civic Center who would sit muttering to himself out loud constantly.

But enough about Richard Stallman.

Re:libraries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35423824)

This is an interesting comment since both my undergrad and grad universities are transitioning to more multimedia/study space at the expense of book floorspace*. The reason is that journals are more useful in electronic formats and many basic references have good online replacements. I think we have also seen an uptick in group projects and small group seminar/conference rooms are now much more valuable than racks of 30 year old books to students. Libraries are great when you don't have money - when young, in/just out of school or old on a limited budget. For the 30-50 demographic, odds are it is not worth your time to go to the library vs just ordering from Amazon et al. I help teach a Saturday class for middle schoolers in math enrichment and having a meeting room there is great for us. This is a much more palatable option than teaching it out of someone's house or even a church setting. There are also some things - math competitions for instance that require administration in a public setting which largely means libraries for a non-school secular option.

*in the case of my grad university, they've replaced stationary shelves with the automated shelves to maintain shelfspace while re-purposing floorspace. In the case of undergrad it was part of a library expansion. Books were not removed in either other than during construction.

Re:libraries (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423978)

Read all the monthly magazines you want, for free, in comfy chairs. The problem is most monthly magazines are not worth reading. They used to be, when I was a kid, or so it seemed. Remember the glory days of Scientific American?

Even the smallest most pitiful library has better genealogical resources than the best free online sites. Now if you're willing to cough up $150/yr you can get better access at home, but you may as well exhaust your free local library first.

Local collections. All my hometown newspaper editions on microfilm and several bookcases of local history. Even after decades of digitization, theres still more at the library than online.

Re:libraries (1)

ProfessionalCookie (673314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35426898)

Print resources.

Hangout! (1)

jimmerz28 (1928616) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423122)

Maybe they'll be like the RCL (sp? the VFW equivalents that are like clubs for each city) in Australia because as much as I like coffee and gay boys I'm just not a fan of having to go to Starbucks as a place to concentrate.

That and my local library is in a township which is not up to par at all.

Oh thank god (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423128)

Apparently they got that whole budget / bankrupt thing handled

Can doesn't mean should (2)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423150)

Don't get me wrong, I like libraries. I use them fairly frequently too, actually. But the single biggest factor for me about a library is the number and quality of books. Wi-Fi is nice, though I have mobile internet with me most of the time anyway. Plasma screens usually just relay simple info that could be covered by a sign.

I don't want to disparage technology - but it's much less important than the books (and good chairs...).

Is it now time to get off your lawn?

Re:Can doesn't mean should (3, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423268)

The question is, essentially, "what is a library?"

Is it purely a book repository?

Or is it more of a cultural or information repository?

Because a good chunk of our culture and information these days is never printed out in a book.

Re:Can doesn't mean should (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35424042)

Even if you define a library as a culture and information repository, this library fails that test - because it's an internet access point, not a repository. A repository holds and conserves physical objects or digital data, this library does not.

Re:Can doesn't mean should (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#35424538)

Even if you define a library as a culture and information repository, this library fails that test - because it's an internet access point, not a repository. A repository holds and conserves physical objects or digital data, this library does not.

I didn't read the fine article... But from the summary I was under the impression that the library consisted of more than a giant wireless access point. I thought it contained flat-screen TVs, video games, and a variety of e-readers.

And while it is true that these may all be provided on a bring-your-own-content basis... I had kind of assumed that the library would contain media to be used with those devices.

Wooooooooeeeee! (2)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423166)

Flat screen TVs? Self-checkout? That makes it as sophisticated as... every grocery store in Bollingbrook.

That said, I think the reinvention of libraries from a book-storage facility to a community space devoted to being a platform for self education, ad hoc business, and community organizing is awesome. That, not the inclusion of teevee, is the point worth noting here.

Re:Wooooooooeeeee! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35486384)

I read your comment, and at first I started replying to say how odd it was that you know about the grocery stores in Bolingbrook, as its uncommon to find other people who hail from there.... and then I looked at the actual article and realized that this is talking about the Fountaindale library. Thats the point that my jaw hit the floor.... Maybe next time I'll read the article first...

Bring on the haters (0)

the_hellspawn (908071) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423214)

Haters gonna hate!

creators; prime directive initiated..., (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35423230)

hold on to your hemisphere.

Stop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35423244)

Stop spending money! Are these guys crazy?

What a money dump (1, Interesting)

Shompol (1690084) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423260)

"blueprint for libraries of the future"???? How about my home computer as the "libary of the future"? It costs exactly ZERO money to build that, while the convenience factor is sky-high compared to this abomination.

Ah, what, don't want it to be too convenient? Will infringe on the bookstore business? How about you take the gazillion dollars dumped on this library and award it to writers/e-publishers instead, maybe pro-rated per online interest in their books.

I frequently feel that the centralized commie approach to books is better for culture and literacy.

how appropriate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35423316)

A "professional" used to be a well-read practitioner of a skill requiring, well, lots of reading.

But today's "young professional" is anyone with a blue-collar skill set who is convinced that not getting grease on his hands makes him somehow better. This includes, of course, the "IT admin" or the run-of-the-mill commercial developer.

Re:how appropriate (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 3 years ago | (#35425700)

I thought a professional was just someone who spent their mornings in the cafe reading a paper.

$39 Million (1)

diskofish (1037768) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423356)

What I wonder is couldn't they have put something effective together for less than $39 million? It seems like a ton of money. ebooks seem like such a waste too if you need a reader to read them and cost the same as a regular book. Books are easy and you don't need batteries or an e-reader to view them. There is something satisfying about coming home from the library with a stack full of books. Ahhh, I can almost smell that old book smell now.

Power outages? (1)

e9th (652576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423366)

I wonder how they handle extended power outages.

Do they just close? Do they have a UPS/generator system that will carry them over? Is there a manual system for those who simply want to check out an old-school dead-tree book?

Re:Power outages? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423916)

I wonder how they handle extended power outages.

Do they just close? Do they have a UPS/generator system that will carry them over? Is there a manual system for those who simply want to check out an old-school dead-tree book?

Businesses lose money during power outages hence exotic UPS and generator schemes.

Libraries save money during power outages... Especially if they "close for remainder of day" if there is a 15 minute outage at 2pm.

As far as the manual system goes, I recall several libraries that have no windows... So hand write a checkout slip if you must, but you'll be doing it by flashlight.

Nice to see money going to libraries (4, Insightful)

starseeker (141897) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423394)

I guess I'm a bit old school when it comes to libraries (nothing better than an old Carnige library building) so I'm a little dubious that televisions and video games should be there - they constitute a distraction from reading and research. On the other hand, it's heartening to hear that money is being put into libraries - they're an important resource. Technology for cataloging and checkout is certainly good, as a library full of books can be quite the resource management challenge.

I'm a little surprised they're unhappy about not seeing professionals - in my experience as people move to the young professional stage specialization means the local public library isn't likely to have what they need (specialized technical books tend to be a long shot, since only one in 1000 patrons will want it and that one probably would order a newer version through Amazon...). On the other hand, they're GREAT for young kids who will burn through a ton of books on a broad range of topics in short order. They're also good when you get towards retirement and don't need the intense focus demanded by professional careers - wandering into the library and picking up a random book for half a day is more practical then.

If they want young professionals(why?) they'd have to get a whole bunch of subscriptions (online, if nothing else) to paywall publications that people can't cheaply get at home via the internet. (One of the great things about universities - if you want a random scientific article you can often go online and download it, as opposed to coughing up $30...)

Mod Up Parent (1)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423788)

One of the great things about universities - if you want a random scientific article you can often go online and download it, as opposed to coughing up $30

So true.

Re:Mod Up Parent (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35424028)

One of the great things about universities - if you want a random scientific article you can often go online and download it, as opposed to coughing up $30

So true.

Yes. I was very sad when my university finally got around to disabling my access to their proxy that let me read all the journal articles (took something like five years after I left before it stopped working). It really is amazing to me how much journals charge for individual articles. Unfortunately most public libraries don't seem to have subscriptions to many journals, so only those of us lucky enough to be connected to a university or have a really wealthy employer are able to actually read research articles first-hand. Fortunately for me my wife is still doing research at the university, so I can just use her login when I really feel the need - although the university keeps threatening to disable off-campus access, so even that might be running out.

Re:Mod Up Parent (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#35425376)

Or you can download preprints directly from the author's website.

Most scientific articles aren't one off, but rather stand together with a body of work by the same author(s) consisting of several articles exploring broadly the same idea.

If you've found a promising article on a journal website, you can often get the gist of it from a similarly titled paper that the author published somewhere else or keeps on his website. Do yourself a favour and read that first, and you'll probably realize then if getting/buying a copy of the journal article will be worth it or not (more often not).

For really seminal articles, you can probably find a student somewhere on the net who has a scanned PDF of it lying about.

Re:Mod Up Parent (1)

ElizabethGreene (1185405) | more than 3 years ago | (#35426048)

I've had pretty good luck emailing the first or second author on the paper. Usually I get a pdf or .doc the next day.

Indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35423998)

Yup, until copyright law gets a lot more sane libraries will be needed to allow people to read without buying.

Re:Nice to see money going to libraries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35427270)

By the way, there is a difference between "random" and "arbitrary".

If you really needed a "random scientific article", you might be surprised at the topic that it covered.

"Random" does not mean "selected on a whim".

Perhaps you could swing by a library and read-up?

Re:Nice to see money going to libraries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35443722)

Should random access memory then be redesignated "arbitrary access memory"?

Partner with Coffee: Starbucks / Caribou / Etc ? (1)

adisakp (705706) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423446)

Want to get young professionals in libraries? Make an area where people can sit in comfy chairs and get a coffee while they read or surf WiFi.

Libraries could use the extra revenue from coffee shops (heck it can be a local shop, not even a chain). Have several large desks where people can spread out work or homework and work in small groups... again, with coffee.

You'd be surprised how many more young professionals would spend hours in a library if they can get their caffeine addiction served.

Re:Partner with Coffee: Starbucks / Caribou / Etc (1)

Zorque (894011) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423660)

They did this when they built the new Salt Lake City main library a few years back. Along with some of the small shops in there, it seems to have worked pretty well.

Re:Partner with Coffee: Starbucks / Caribou / Etc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35423814)

Similarly with the new library in Indianapolis back in 2002. It seems a major goal was to make it a place for otherwise likely to be troubled youth to hang out and be in a safe environment. Everything I have heard suggested that it was a smashing success... turns out that whether they play games or read books kids in libraries learn more than kids breaking car windows.

Re:Partner with Coffee: Starbucks / Caribou / Etc (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#35424162)

depends on what you want them to lean, just cause its evil doesnt mean its not knowledge

Re:Partner with Coffee: Starbucks / Caribou / Etc (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35423936)

You'd be surprised how many more young professionals would spend hours in a library if they can get their caffeine addiction served.

They tried that at my local library. Mostly attracted homeless, drunks, and teenagers, whom repelled more young professionals than the coffee attracted.

Re:Partner with Coffee: Starbucks / Caribou / Etc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35427334)

> whom repelled more young professionals than the coffee attracted.

Hello again vlm. How many times have we explained to you that "whom" is not a posh alternative to "who"?

Use "whom" in contexts that require "them" and "who" where you would use "they".

Your sentence therefore reads
"them repelled more young professionals than the coffee attracted"
which is obviously incorrect.

Re:Partner with Coffee: Starbucks / Caribou / Etc (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 3 years ago | (#35425714)

In otherwords just build a cafe.

Re:Partner with Coffee: Starbucks / Caribou / Etc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35426694)

There is a cafe at this library.

the kindest cut of all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35423534)

as the fear fades, regard grows, evile flees. see you there?

Best place to pick up chicks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35423724)

Seriously, library chicks are absolute sluts! I've never left a library without getting laid. Whether its a studious goth reading up on castles, a middle aged soccer mom learning about new recipes, or even a frisky granny checking out a copy of Lolita, you can't beat the library for sex! Heck the septuagenarian marms manning the desk will rock your world. Ask to see the special collection of "rafter jacks", that is your secret pass phrase for hedonism.

Local libraries don't service "professionals" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35423772)

Given that I use major copyright deposit libraries, special collections, and libraries that collect deeply beyond their copyright deposit rights (ie: prior to foundation, other nation's material); I don't really give a rat's arse. Local libraries do not, cannot, and ought not to meet my professional needs.

If they're attempting to attract latte sipping aspirational petits-bourgeois / managerial 80s guys, then they really ought to listen to my record of Huey Lewis and the News.

Young professionals have already bought a single serving consumable unit of "culture" in the form of their degree. They barely use it apart from being able to interpret Futurama references for intertextual "comedic" purposes (ha ha, Richard Nixon).

Local libraries have a mission primarily as worker's education centres, for autodidacts, and for the children of workers.

this is the library of the future? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35424516)

four flat panel TVs and some bean bags?

yeah, because TV panels are great for learning, and we need four of them side by side so we can...be distracted by the other three TVs...or something. How about...wireless tablets/e-readers connected to servers full of free pdf books, and preloaded with links to online resources. How about...different spaces conducive to getting shit done, or socializing, or peace and quiet. How about...rethinking the idea that a library is a place to store books. It's really more of a self-learning center, and there are lots of ways a library could go about facilitating self-learning...they can start by getting rid of the books. Just think, if you get rid of the books, you'll have a lot more space for learning.

The Pirate Bay (1)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35424738)

Is a good model library of the future. All the world's information at my fingertips, with minimal hosting costs and minimal hassle. No need for taxpayer-paid fancy facilities, flat-screen TVs and all that shit. Fix copyright length and it might just become possible!

rollerball (1)

acdc_rules (519822) | more than 3 years ago | (#35426294)

can't help but think of rollerball (with james caan). does anyone remember the library scene where books are being converted into digital format and then accidentally get deleted, forever?

Libraries have lost their focus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35427540)

A library is a place for books.

Real books, printed with ink on wood pulp. Think about it. Much that is printed and bound is still not available in any other (electronic) format. Once knowledge has been made electronic, it's freely available. You don't need a library to access it. You can get that chunk of knowledge anywhere on the planet, in unlimited copies, somehow.

Books, on the other hand, are made of reconstituted wood. They cannot be easily copied - they are a shared resource. It's a concept that most /.ers should be familiar with. You can't just grab a duplicate of the Proceedings of the IEEE Particle Accelerator Conference, Volume II, Catalog #67CB36167, ISBN 0-7803-4377-8 off of Pirate Bay. To access that chunk of knowledge, you must deprive everyone else at your local library of the use of it while it's checked out by you. Libraries are the best method of obtaining a mutex, if you will, on a printed resource.

Libraries with things like Internet access, Killzone 3 for the PS3, System of a Down on CD, and Kill Bill on Blu-ray are a perversion of the function of a library and a waste of money. These are all things that are ubiquitous and duplicated at-will and without cost. Books are special because of their tangible nature, and they need a separate, appropriate method of access control.

Of course, no one will read this comment, or even see it, but this Anon is feeling a bit maudlin and I want to type this out anyway.

TL;DR, libraries are being ruined by nonsense like this, get off my lawn, etc.

BTW, this site has the wrong name. It should be Dotslash. When's the last time you used /. in a statement? Never. When's the last time you used ./? All the time. Plus ./ is the current directory. As in news? Current news? Get it? Insert laughing trombone here.

Re:Libraries have lost their focus (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35427966)

Your argument makes no sense. The only reason books are tangible is because nobody has scanned them yet and converted/released them to electronic form (Google's working on that). They are really not any different from the latest Killzone 3, which thanks to modern copy-protection, is also not that easy to duplicate (hackers and crackers are working on that).

And they wonder... (1)

mnewcomb (1042270) | more than 3 years ago | (#35428966)

why people are upset at government spending... a cafe? video games?

The library in Orange County, Florida will even deliver books/videos to your house...

This is beyond ridiculous.

Re:And they wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35431152)

Agreed. Multimedia?!? What a waste.

Compare this extravagance to the state of the education system and the materials made available to it.

Oh, well. Can't expect too much from a 21st U.S. gov entity.

Oh, look! (1)

kenh (9056) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429092)

Borders [washingtonpost.com] has TVs now!

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