“Amazon Should Replace Local Libraries to Save Taxpayers Money”

Spidey329

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Libraries were and still are a very important government service. I'm OK with my taxes going towards them.

I don't come from a well off family, so I spent plenty of time in libraries growing up. I can only imagine how much it would have cost if I would have had to purchase every book I borrowed.

It's important for people of all ages and social status to have free access to knowledge, what this article is proposing is simply adding more hurdles for people to "grab the American dream" and do better for themselves.
 

cyclone3d

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This is a stupid argument. It cost everyone else in that community 75c as well for her to have the ability to get those books. Per the number of books loaned out, they are probably the most expensive in town.

Free lunch. You know the story.
We use the library all the time. My kids generally have about 20 or so books checked out at one time. And then there are DVDs and audio books on top of that.

Screw the libraries being shut down and Amazon stores replacing them.

Sounds to me like somebody has stock in Amazon and wants their stock price to go even higher.

Follow the money.
 

cyclone3d

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Yeah. So you think a repository of books enhances literacy more than a K-12 education? Interesting. As for the first paragraph you wrote, I think a response from me would be unproductive.
Public education pretty much sucks.

I have seen 6th and 7th graders who could barely read. The public school system just pushes kids through because they don't want to have to deal with actually doing their job.

And to top it off.. the US public school system was designed to dumb down the masses. Look at what level the US was at compared to the rest of the world before the Department of "Education" was established. And then compare it to what the US ranks at now.
 

Overblod

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We use the library all the time. My kids generally have about 20 or so books checked out at one time. And then there are DVDs and audio books on top of that.

Screw the libraries being shut down and Amazon stores replacing them.

Sounds to me like somebody has stock in Amazon and wants their stock price to go even higher.

Follow the money.
Yeah, all summer we visit the local library atleast once a week, often attend activities there as well. Someone even to downtown to the main library as they have greater collections. There are a lot of reading challenges in Summer and for that kids need books. Screw the Forbes and Amazon
 

Teenyman45

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In the world of Wikipedia and the ease at which digital information can be altered, libraries serve a very valuable role as archives of our printed history. I've got no issue with maintaining that tax burden on myself.
I started cringing when I first heard of school teachers and university professor begin accepting sources linked to wiki.

It's not just how easily things can be changed, many people still don't seem to understand just how often material "on the internet" lacks a certain degree of credibility when it comes to information and definitional sources. I still groan when telling an attorney that quoting without irony or sarcasm from "the" urban dictionary.com for a court filing was in no way a good idea. Why "the" urban dictionary, because this person also still refers to the generic source for internet searching as "the google" such as "I'm going to go to the google.com to look something up on the internet."
 

Overblod

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Public education pretty much sucks.

I have seen 6th and 7th graders who could barely read. The public school system just pushes kids through because they don't want to have to deal with actually doing their job.

And to top it off.. the US public school system was designed to dumb down the masses. Look at what level the US was at compared to the rest of the world before the Department of "Education" was established. And then compare it to what the US ranks at now.
True to certain extent, but it vastly varies by school districts, many districts have advanced options for kids as young as 3rd grade, and I am not talking good'ol GT program
 

Red Falcon

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Except the entire basis for having a Library is for the general populous to have access to virtually ALL available materials, without having to be charged each time. It's part of the Social Contract as part of being a US citizen. Next you're going to claim Amazon should replace all the bridges and pay for the construction and upkeep themselves.. its only going to cost you a little bit every single time you cross it....

wait... wut? :banghead:
The very basis of what every cyberpunk world is based on - strong mega-corporate rule and extremely weak/non-existent governments to control the masses.
 

mope54

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Yeah. So you think a repository of books enhances literacy more than a K-12 education? Interesting.
You altered the thrust of my statement. I wrote that a library is arguably an essential component of a free society, whereas compulsory education from K-12 is not. I did not compare libraries to all forms of education and the point was that it's possible to realistic points supporting the belief that a library serves a more essential function than one specific form of education you claimed to fully support.

A library's sole function is literacy and the people who direct their literacy programs and title acquisitions are trained in literacy education. Only a portion of public K-12 education is devoted to literacy, and as someone already mentioned, have not been doing a very good job at it.

Public libraries serve both children and adults vs. K-12 only providing access to services for children under 18 years old. Public libraries have existed before public education existed. Public libraries also serve as valuable repositories for information, regardless of the general population's literacy level.

The reality is that, at least until 9-12th grade, public education and libraries work closely together. The point, though, is to recognize that between the two institutions one has been around since antiquity and one is a relative newcomer whose demise would not necessarily be debilitating to society's functioning.

not meant to be a political litmus test, but before you answer for yourself consider the underlying premises of the models:
government coerced information
vs.
individualized personal edification

which of the two is structurally more coherent with a free democracy?
or put another way, isn't it also true that a freely available repository of a society's creative works a check against government and "public education?"
 

Joust

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Public education pretty much sucks.

I have seen 6th and 7th graders who could barely read. The public school system just pushes kids through because they don't want to have to deal with actually doing their job.

And to top it off.. the US public school system was designed to dumb down the masses. Look at what level the US was at compared to the rest of the world before the Department of "Education" was established. And then compare it to what the US ranks at now.
Several points here:

1) Some public school systems are better than others, no doubt.
2) There are bad teachers. There are good teachers. There are average teachers. Much of what one gets out of an education is what one puts into an education.
3) As far as international rankings go, that's grossly affected by political and social policy. We test everyone here. People that are mentally handicapped. Everyone. You think China does that? How many of the top universities in the world are in the US? How many of the top global businesses are in the US? I mean, there's no argument: we have demonstrably more intellectual capital, as cultivated by our schooling, than most other places. Or at least, we make better use of it.
 

Joust

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You altered the thrust of my statement. I wrote that a library is arguably an essential component of a free society, whereas compulsory education from K-12 is not. I did not compare libraries to all forms of education and the point was that it's possible to realistic points supporting the belief that a library serves a more essential function than one specific form of education you claimed to fully support.

A library's sole function is literacy and the people who direct their literacy programs and title acquisitions are trained in literacy education. Only a portion of public K-12 education is devoted to literacy, and as someone already mentioned, have not been doing a very good job at it.

Public libraries serve both children and adults vs. K-12 only providing access to services for children under 18 years old. Public libraries have existed before public education existed. Public libraries also serve as valuable repositories for information, regardless of the general population's literacy level.

The reality is that, at least until 9-12th grade, public education and libraries work closely together. The point, though, is to recognize that between the two institutions one has been around since antiquity and one is a relative newcomer whose demise would not necessarily be debilitating to society's functioning.

not meant to be a political litmus test, but before you answer for yourself consider the underlying premises of the models:
government coerced information
vs.
individualized personal edification

which of the two is structurally more coherent with a free democracy?
or put another way, isn't it also true that a freely available repository of a society's creative works a check against government and "public education?"

You're clearly a believer in the Montessori-type educational structure. I think it sounds like a good theory, and in practice, it falls woefully short of expectations.

K-12 teaches more about literacy - if not specific literature - than a library. Period. Literacy in both senses of the word: as to reading and writing, and as to competency in other areas, such as math, the sciences, history, etc. Do some adults get outreach programs to become literate later in life? I'm sure. And that is a very, very brave thing for them to do. I support that wholly. However, to say that a library is more useful than primary and secondary education is simply without foundation. It's a mere romanticism - an academic exercise and nothing more.
 

Zamboni

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Our local library checked out 21 million books last year, on top of however many CDs and DVDs and digital copies. They also have close to 4000 computers for public use, plus printers and faxes. None of this is going to be replaced by an Amazon retail kiosk.

What's next, local parks? No need for parks, people can just hang out in the Amazon lobbies?
 

tayunz

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I think Panos Mourdoukoutas got his degree from Amazon University. To think someone actually signed off on posting that trash is funny.
 
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gxp500

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I think Panos Mourdoukoutas got his degree from Amazon University. To think someone actually signed off on posting that trash is funny.
He's a contributor, not forbes staff, so just look at his past articles and see which ones stand out, those are who pay him.
 

mope54

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However, to say that a library is more useful than primary and secondary education is simply without foundation. It's a mere romanticism - an academic exercise and nothing more.
Again, you straw-man my position. I never wrote that. I said that public repositories of a society's entire works is an essential component of a free society. One does not need state mandated public education in order to preserve a free society, but one *does* need a public repository of all its works. This is not an argument about which one is more effective at spreading literacy, nor of which one serves the public good better, or anything else you continue to twist my point into.

The facts are that libraries have existed longer than public education and serve a more vital function to the freedom of a society. Furthermore, I never even mentioned secondary education so that's yet another attempt of yours to undermine a point that was never made.
 

Joust

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Furthermore, I never even mentioned secondary education so that's yet another attempt of yours to undermine a point that was never made.
t. I wrote that a library is arguably an essential component of a free society, whereas compulsory education from K-12 is not.

Only a portion of public K-12 education is devoted to literacy, and as someone already mentioned, have not been doing a very good job at it.

Public libraries serve both children and adults vs. K-12 only providing access to services for children under 18 years old.

The reality is that, at least until 9-12th grade, public education and libraries work closely together.

"
Never mentioned secondary education. Sure.
 

mope54

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Never mentioned secondary education. Sure.
You began using the phrase "K-12" and I responded by comparing public eduction vis-a-vis to public libraries, with your terminology of K-12 as a short-hand for "public education." The only place where I specifically mention "secondary education" was to exclude it from the point I was making so that's hardly evidence of me talking about it in any ordinary sense of the phrase.

Your rhetorical attempts aside, I did not make claims about pubic education's effectiveness or utility to a free society but rather its necessity. Public libraries can function without public education whereas public education can not function without public libraries. How do you envision a public education system with the information locked behind paywalls? Try to reason through your position without the straw-manning and nitpicking.
 
Last edited:

Joust

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You began using the phrase "K-12" and I responded by comparing public eduction vis-a-vis to public libraries, with your terminology of K-12 as a short-hand for "public education." The only place where I specifically mention "secondary education" was to exclude it from the point I was making so that's hardly evidence of me talking about it in any ordinary sense of the phrase.

Your rhetorical attempts aside, I did not make claims about pubic education's effectiveness or utility to a free society but rather its necessity. Public libraries can function without public education whereas public education can not function without public libraries. How do you envision a public education system with the information locked behind paywalls? Try to reason through your position without the straw-manning and nitpicking.
Better be picture books without the education.

Bro. You are waging war on yourself, and I'm trying to stop the fight.
 

mope54

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You're clearly a believer in the Montessori-type educational structure. I think it sounds like a good theory, and in practice, it falls woefully short of expectations.
You are wrong. I am a professor at a large state university. My wife and I bought a nice home in a highly rated public school district specifically because we support public K-12 education and want our children to experience the benefits it can provide. While being strong supporters of public education, we also realize that if it did not exist that would not usher in the end of democracy. We would find some other way of educating our children.

That has nothing to do with acknowledging that different modalities for educating a population exist, some better than others, and some better at some things than others. The democratization of knowledge is required for a free society. Government curated education, private education, personal education via experience, any of it, all of it, etc. none provides the essential democratization of information a public library provides to a free society. You and I are talking about two different things but you are stuck in winning an argument that you can't or won't understand the underlying premise.
 

Joust

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You are wrong. I am a professor at a large state university. My wife and I bought a nice home in a highly rated public school district specifically because we support public K-12 education and want our children to experience the benefits it can provide. While being strong supporters of public education, we also realize that if it did not exist that would not usher in the end of democracy. We would find some other way of educating our children.

That has nothing to do with acknowledging that different modalities for educating a population exist, some better than others, and some better at some things than others. The democratization of knowledge is required for a free society. Government curated education, private education, personal education via experience, any of it, all of it, etc. none provides the essential democratization of information a public library provides to a free society. You and I are talking about two different things but you are stuck in winning an argument that you can't or won't understand the underlying premise.
Ok. I have now moved from my mobile device - which makes life difficult when typing extended statements - to a keyboard. In a sense, in this act I have quite genuinely "lost" the discussion that I have no interest in "winning." However, since you've identified yourself as an academic and have not degraded into basic insults, I will respond in kind.

I confess, I feel all the more foolish for climbing out of bed to do this. Alas.

Here's the deal: you state that a repository of information, as in a library, is essential for a free society. To quote you:

"In fact, I think a functional repository of literature and literacy advocacy is arguably more structurally important to the maintenance of a free society than state mandating K-12 education."

Where you and I differ is that I believe that "literature" - and here I'm going to assume that you mean this in the sense of "written works containing knowledge" as opposed to literature in the conventional parlance, meaning written works with some sort of artistic or historical significance (also artistic, as it relates to the existing art at the time) - is a tool that may only be found useful by those able to properly use it. Seems axiomatic, right? Put another way, I think that depositing the works in a building does not, I argue, "democratize" (to use your verbiage) the knowledge contained in the books. Rather, it is the learning of learning, and learning to learn, and the subsequently acquired literacy that gives meaning to the words and ideas which would otherwise sit idle and useless. It is the functional equivalent of putting blindfolded men into a painting exhibit. The art, as the literature, is there for the taking - but cannot be.

No. Where you and I disagree is upon the basic premise that literature in a library equals access to the knowledge contained within. Herein is the impasse. It is the collection of competencies gathered in primary and second education (at a minimum) or a reasonable facsimile thereof that make the information contained in the library useful. Education must necessary precede the discovery of communal "literature" for it to be of any practical effect. Otherwise, it's merely ink and paper - nothing more.

As a side note: I'm not sure what your intentions were regarding 'secondary' education tangent. I responded in that manner simply because I thought it might've been the start of some juvenile antics. My expectation, with your credentials, is greater than that.
 
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Amazon Books is a chain of bookstores that does what Amazon originally intended to do; replace the local bookstore. It improves on the bookstore model by adding online searches and coffee shops. Amazon Go basically combines a library with a Starbucks. At the core, Amazon has provided something better than a local library without the tax fees. This is why Amazon should replace local libraries. The move would save taxpayers money and enhance the stockholder value of Amazon all in one fell swoop.
Wow.

Reading this kind of made me sick to my stomach.

Why don’t we post up the photo of Bezos with the robot murder dog while we’re at it.

America is doomed.
 

Mugato

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True to certain extent, but it vastly varies by school districts, many districts have advanced options for kids as young as 3rd grade, and I am not talking good'ol GT program
It does vary by school, but overall we spend WAY too much for what our kids get (indoctrination into the west coast ideology mostly) serious tens of thousands per head, teachers are effectively making 75k+ with three months off and the lowest graduation rates around? Just. Sad.
 

velusip

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First off, this is a Forbes Contributor article and shouldn't be linked here.[1] "Contributors" are people writing personal blogs with special permission to use this Forbes hosting function based on the buzz and crossclicks their articles drum up. i.e. Maintaining a click quota in exchange for permission to advertise their own personal product/service/website in the article. (See the bottom of the article -- it's an ad for a book.)

The article itself is baseless clickbait without explanation or the slightest of topical cognition. It doesn't explain at all how this could save taxpayer money (it can't).

[1] Personally, I recommend never linking to forbes articles. Everything they do seems trashy.
 

mavrocket

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The Forbes author obviously lives in a high-income neighborhood and doesn't ever visit the library outside of their gentrified local location.

The local library in my quaint hometown is where those without the money for a $100 e-reader and $8 digital books actually get their books to read.

Stupid rich city-slickers.
 

haste.

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The Forbes author obviously lives in a high-income neighborhood and doesn't ever visit the library outside of their gentrified local location.

The local library in my quaint hometown is where those without the money for a $100 e-reader and $8 digital books actually get their books to read.

Stupid rich city-slickers.
Hold up. $100 ereader? $8 ebooks? What are you typing on Eh? Is this sarcasm? If it's not I guess I'm far disconnected from the appalachian far south...
 

Balkroth

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My college library has one of the most most extensive magazine collections in the country, I can see late 1800's Popular Mechanics to every Playboy ever.

Granted this isn't a normal "public" library, but it is paid from taxes and is open to everyone.

Now the STL public book system is amazing and I love the libraries there, and I enjoy going to them, even if it's to randomly look through the shelves and find a book to read for a few hours.
 

velusip

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My college library has one of the most most extensive magazine collections in the country, I can see late 1800's Popular Mechanics to every Playboy ever.

Granted this isn't a normal "public" library, but it is paid from taxes and is open to everyone.

Now the STL public book system is amazing and I love the libraries there, and I enjoy going to them, even if it's to randomly look through the shelves and find a book to read for a few hours.
That's an important point. Every library I've ever been to has been very unique. Each a curator of local information with all kinds of learning and skill training services. Oh, and not a noisy espresso cafe and best-seller boutique. The thought of libraries becoming more like a Chapters/Indigo chain is just disturbing.
 

Overblod

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It does vary by school, but overall we spend WAY too much for what our kids get (indoctrination into the west coast ideology mostly) serious tens of thousands per head, teachers are effectively making 75k+ with three months off and the lowest graduation rates around? Just. Sad.
Agreed, that's why with just getting 75% for what a public schools get per kid the charters still provide (in most cases) better education and higher salaries
 

mope54

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Where you and I disagree is upon the basic premise that literature in a library equals access to the knowledge contained within. Herein is the impasse. It is the collection of competencies gathered in primary and second education (at a minimum) or a reasonable facsimile thereof that make the information contained in the library useful. Education must necessary precede the discovery of communal "literature" for it to be of any practical effect. Otherwise, it's merely ink and paper - nothing more.
It's difficult to disagree with this (not only your summation, but also your conclusion). I re-read the post that I was initially responding to and I don't think it says what I was carrying in my mind so I apologize for that. I can certainly agree that education in the broad sense has the same structural necessity as public libraries (public repositories, broadly speaking, where yes you are correct that I ascribe some value to simple storage and intergenerational transfer of works). I don't necessarily agree that without formal, curated education a library's collection can be reduced to mere ink on paper but I can understand the position or sentiment.

That said, I may have given too much weight to the term "K-12" when you may have been also using it in colloquially to refer to public education.
For some reason I misread your comments to prioritize early public education over public libraries. I was curious why you were singling out that particularly modality because, at least to me, even if the K-12 public education system was to wither away other modalities would suffice to accomplish the same goal--and that's agreeing that the K-12 paradigm is "learning to learn," which I think is a shaky proposition at best. I wasn't able to make the same point in regards to public libraries and that was the basis of my "arguably" comment (that is, a position to be fleshed out rather than a foregone conclusion).
 

sadsteve

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I think we just should not replace libraries there comes a point where things are so ubiquitous you just need it and you can't rely on it being free and partially accessible. Towns should apply all the money that once went to libraries to improving internet speeds and accessibility. We don't need paper books anymore even the bums with no house have a smart phone and that is all you need to read an unlimited amount of informational and access almost any service you want.
I sure as hell don't want to try to read a book on my 4.3 inch phone screen!
 

mvmiller12

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I would just like to point out here that Barnes & Nobles stores have had comfy chairs and a Starbucks cafe (serving all the same things as a regular Starbucks retail outlet) attached to them for at least TWO DECADES now, and they're still trying not to swirl the corporate drain. How would just being Amazon make that any better?
 

SmokeRngs

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The writer of this article is a fucking moron. Or he's just a shill. There's a very good chance he's both.

First he lays out the services libraries provide. Then he goes on to say that an auditorium should take the place of library events. Why would this somehow be better and how would it cost less? Library events are planned and hosted by the library itself. Without the library, what would be the chance of the events happening anyway? Even if they do happen, who is going to be paid to host the event and then pay for the auditorium rental as well as advertising for the event?

Next he tries to make it sound like Starbucks is somehow supposed to replace the library somehow. I don't care if people sit on their asses for hours at a time reading in Starbucks. But what the hell does that have to do with replacing a library.

Then he goes on to say that streaming services are somehow supposed to replace the DVD/BluRay sections of libraries. Um... I don't know if he's ever looked at Netflix's movie selection but it's small and shitty overall. I'm pretty sure the vast majority of the movies I can get at the library aren't on Netflix at all. I haven't looked at Amazon's Prime video selection in a long time since I don't have Prime but the last time I looked it was even worse than Netflix's selection and tons of the movies which would show up in a search or something still required a rental fee.

Next up is that somehow an Amazon store is supposed to replace the library. How is this store (where I have to buy every single book, magazine, paper, DVD or BluRay) going to be the same value as a library where I don't have to pay anything to check out all of the previously mentioned things (outside of the taxes I'm already paying)? Are they going to somehow put up an Amazon store in every single city as well as most towns? Are they going to guarantee the same or better selection of all the books, magazines, papers and media as the library? This would need to include back issues of said papers and magazines.

How are these stores going to handle out of print books? I have no doubt my local library has quite a few out of print books that you couldn't find in hardly any bookstores. The library only needs one copy each of books like this. The stores would need the same except they would need multiple copies because once the book is sold they would need to replace it. Each library would just need one since the book would go back on the shelf for someone else to checkout and so on.

I must say it again, the writer of the "article" is a fucking moron.
 

Maxx

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Supporting any idea originating with Bezos as being good for the taxpayer is just dumb from the beginning, but it takes an extra-special level of stupid to help it find a conclusion.
 

kamxam

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I'm hoping to have a Happy-Happy joy-joy day tomorrow. ;)
(Either at the library or not)
 

rudy

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I sure as hell don't want to try to read a book on my 4.3 inch phone screen!
Now is it really that bad? you can zoom in on your phone, cant do that with a paper book. You can also search for things, skip to any page and a lot of other advantages.

You may read it on your tablet, computer, or anything the point of that comment was simply to say that computing devices especially phones have become so common that even a someone with no home has one. And those people whom are so poor they cannot afford anything and need the library do all sorts of things on their phones down to writing whole resumes. Is it ideal? No, but its passable for someone whom is poor. I think so. Lets just think about if people are that poor how is there access to the library? Do they get free bus tickets or taxi rides? Not around here but ultimately their life will be vastly more efficient and accessible through electronic means than being forced to travel to the library.
 
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