“Amazon Should Replace Local Libraries to Save Taxpayers Money”

mope54

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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?
In all of the cities I've lived in, the city and/or employer has provided some sort of income scaled public transportation. They've always been very accessible for as long as I can remember. They also have the current newspapers and offer voter registration/polling.
 

rudy

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Hey man a lot of us happen to have kids, my daughter loves our library, its a Weekend pastime for us. They have a play area she can meet kids, I can rent new books I dont want to drop 20 bucks on, we meet people, they have events, and its nice to get Salmon Steelheader read without paying 7.99 a copy! But if its a good article, I buy the print. Libraries are great, I spent a crap ton of time there from age 6-16 myself and read books into dust. Maybe you should go see whats at your local library.


I actually did go to my local library recently I was in the area.[FONT=arial,verdana,geneva,lucida,"lucida grande",helvetica,sans-serif] First I am glad you posted this cause you actually answered the first question I had right in your post. You mentioned that you went to libraries as a kid and now you have your kids go. Humans have this insanely powerful drive to repeat child hood. For reasons I wont go into I became aware of this later in life and it fundamentally changed how I view decision making. Most people like you do not think rationally about your desire or even know where your desire comes from rather you retroactively assign logic to your emotional drive. But it is very obvious that is it. You have an emotional connection to libraries and you will defend them till the bitter end just exactly like millions of people had a similar emotional connection to Toys R Us. But it doesn't change the reality that libraries no longer serve their purpose as best as they can and efficiently. Your children can easily get their play time and meet kids in many other ways and clearly you are a heavy user of the library so you have a vested interest in convincing people to support the library.
[/FONT]

But to me if you tell me what the mission of the library is I see that in this modern world the classic library does not do its mission well. And there are ways that would be vastly superior and more accessible to get that mission done and the money used to run the brick and mortar library could be used to better serve people.

I have kids, I spent a lot of time in the library as a child, I also grew up poor, I have the same emotional drives as you, one difference is for other reasons I wont detail I recognize that is where my drive actually came from and have since disconnected it from my rational decision making. Libraries were great before many of the modern technologies like hand held computing devices and the internet came into existence. Now they just aren't needed except in specific archival scenarios that do not apply the vast majority of libraries.
 

rudy

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In all of the cities I've lived in, the city and/or employer has provided some sort of income scaled public transportation. They've always been very accessible for as long as I can remember. They also have the current newspapers and offer voter registration/polling.

Lets just say its all free, ok, it still takes time to get on the busses and move to the library and get back. this is a fundamental waste of time as it alienates a certain amount of your user base. It is an inefficiency.
Libaries just like many other virtue signaling like services really are heavily used by a small group of people and not particularly useful to most people. This is obvious because in all libraries I have ever visited they have a small parking lot, not a large one like say Walmart. Maybe people stop by quickly get books and get out in which case they don't need the physical library any more, or maybe they just aren't as heavily used as people want to believe.
 

macksomerville

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kju1

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Ha the irony, printed media losing its relevance is talking about one of the most useful resources of the society... Die and burn in hell...

If you think libraries are only printed media you missed the point entirely.
 

vegeta535

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Library still have their place. You people that say no one uses the library have not been to one in recent time. The one near me is always packed with people. They have several workshops every week.
 

Exavior

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Since when did a library and Barns and Noble become the same thing? Amazon is putting book stores out of business so they should become the new standard in every town to replace the library.... think somebody face planted trying to make that jump in logic.
 

Verge

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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.

Vote
 

Lith1um

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Said it before, I'll say it again. America is a farm. It's people are the livestock, corporations own the farm, politicians are the overseers, and law enforcement provides the muscle. Money in politics is the root of the evil.
 

jkmetal

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Library still have their place. You people that say no one uses the library have not been to one in recent time. The one near me is always packed with people. They have several workshops every week.

I love my local libraries and there are always tons of people there. I rent everything from books to PS4 games at my local library and I'm involved with a few library clubs as well. Fuck, I usually hit it up most Saturday afternoons just to read the most interesting graphic novel I can find and completely relax for a few hours. It always works wonders.

Amazon can't replace libraries. I've been in one of their stores just to see what it was, a bunch of overpriced books, amazon spy products and useless tac. Fuck Amazon, now and forever and I'm glad I don't buy shit from them, even if I can't avoid using sites/services that run off their data centers.
 

gamerk2

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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.

The primary problem with the US school system is it's based more around memorization of facts rather then actual learning. There's more focus on remembering what formula to use for some equation, but no knowledge on how you would apply that knowledge in the real world. Remember Calculus 2? I've still got the Chain Rule memorized; too bad I have no idea how to actually use it in real life.

Same deal with reading; the rest of the world went with phonics, where you learn prefixes and suffixes and infer meaning by combining them. We went with Dr. Suess, where we ask you to memorize a small vocabulary of words and nothing more.

On top of that, you have underfunded school systems, especially in poor regions that can't afford to raise taxes to pay for them. You have politicians dumbing down standards so they can bump up their pass/AP rates. You have paid off legislators redirecting public money to private schools that have lower pass rates then their public equivalent. And so on.
 

Joust

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The primary problem with the US school system is it's based more around memorization of facts rather then actual learning. There's more focus on remembering what formula to use for some equation, but no knowledge on how you would apply that knowledge in the real world.

Same deal with reading; the rest of the world went with phonics, where you learn prefixes and suffixes and infer meaning by combining them. We went with Dr. Suess, where we ask you to memorize a small vocabulary of words and nothing more.

My experience differs. If anything, I think we have shifted away from memorization to application. Look back at some lessons or tests from the early 20th century, and I bet you'll agree. All of Asia focuses very hard on memorization, rather than logic and application as well.

I had phonics in my classes, from what I recall. There seems to be this myth that we don't teach phonics in our schools. I'm not sure where it started, but it's false in so far as my experience.
 

BloodyIron

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Let's put aside the obviously different magnitudes of money being exchanged here for a second.

When you're paying money to run a library, that money stays local, and pays people in the area.

When you're (instead) paying money to an international business to buy books, like from amazon, that money will almost never come back to your community.

Which is better for society, having it feed itself, or sending money elsewhere?

Yes, I know the library will buy the books, probably from amazon, but the funds after that will stay for the Library.

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.
 

jnemesh

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If you have to have this explained to you why this is a bad idea...then you are part of the problem and should stay home for elections from now until you get a proper education in civics!
 

Joust

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Let's put aside the obviously different magnitudes of money being exchanged here for a second.

When you're paying money to run a library, that money stays local, and pays people in the area.

When you're (instead) paying money to an international business to buy books, like from amazon, that money will almost never come back to your community.

Which is better for society, having it feed itself, or sending money elsewhere?

Yes, I know the library will buy the books, probably from amazon, but the funds after that will stay for the Library.

First, I need to be clear: I support local libraries. I support spending locally.

I also support efficiency. It's simple. As with any public works project, the question is: do the benefits outweigh the costs?

In the case of the public library, I think the answer is generally yes. However, I think there are VASTLY different experiences with libraries represented in this thread.
 

viscountalpha

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Whomever created this article and whomever sought it out and thought it's a good idea, is a piece of shit person.

Some people actually think like this. It's disgusting. I lost so much respect for Forbes after this article. It really shows you how clueless some people are and that's scary.
 

griffinhart

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yeah... While I am definitely a small government sort of person, Amazon is not a replacement for my local library. While it's a great source for books and media, it doesn't replace the Library.

I'm sure my library isn't unique in that it also provides:
Community meeting rooms.
Microfiche archive copies of the local newspaper (Amazon isn't likely going to have a copy of the local paper available on it, let alone one from 30 years ago)
Discounts for museums
Free Internet access and computer usage
a Notary
Even archives of the towns school yearbooks and other local historic references.
Of course, while not nearly the selection that Amazon has, I regularly use my Library to borrow Audio Books through Overdrive. Living in NE Mass, I get access to my local library, a consortium of regional libraries and all of the Boston Public Libraries.

I will admit, that they are less relevant for researching general knowledge since the advent of the internet, but for local history research, they are still invaluable.
 

Mugato

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I actually did go to my local library recently I was in the area.[FONT=arial,verdana,geneva,lucida,"lucida grande",helvetica,sans-serif] First I am glad you posted this cause you actually answered the first question I had right in your post. You mentioned that you went to libraries as a kid and now you have your kids go. Humans have this insanely powerful drive to repeat child hood. For reasons I wont go into I became aware of this later in life and it fundamentally changed how I view decision making. Most people like you do not think rationally about your desire or even know where your desire comes from rather you retroactively assign logic to your emotional drive. But it is very obvious that is it. You have an emotional connection to libraries and you will defend them till the bitter end just exactly like millions of people had a similar emotional connection to Toys R Us. But it doesn't change the reality that libraries no longer serve their purpose as best as they can and efficiently. Your children can easily get their play time and meet kids in many other ways and clearly you are a heavy user of the library so you have a vested interest in convincing people to support the library.
[/FONT]

But to me if you tell me what the mission of the library is I see that in this modern world the classic library does not do its mission well. And there are ways that would be vastly superior and more accessible to get that mission done and the money used to run the brick and mortar library could be used to better serve people.

I have kids, I spent a lot of time in the library as a child, I also grew up poor, I have the same emotional drives as you, one difference is for other reasons I wont detail I recognize that is where my drive actually came from and have since disconnected it from my rational decision making. Libraries were great before many of the modern technologies like hand held computing devices and the internet came into existence. Now they just aren't needed except in specific archival scenarios that do not apply the vast majority of libraries.

LOL LOL LOL - great job assuming. My wife started taking my daughter to the library, not me. She was taking her as part of a Mom group that formed on Facebook, IT'S FREE. FREE (beyond taxes) is so much better than 5-25 dollars at some bounce house for an hour. Once the mom group fizzled, we made it part of our family routine on the weekends, and I think it's fantastic, my kid loves it and we spend time together. While I enjoy the time, we do a ton of different things as well, I'm not completely beholden to it and keep an open mind, if something else came along that was way more efficient I would listen. Amazon is not that thing.

Seriously? So everyone's on equal footing now and there is no need for libraries? When did that happen.
 

BettiePage

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It'll happen sooner or later... if folks want a book they can borrow for free from a library... why not be able to see/read a digital copy... no longer need to stock a book and wait till it is returned... borrow one and you can read it for X number of days... then poof. Not finished? just re-authorize it... limit the number of books/videos you can "borrow". Course how would publishers make money? maybe ads revenue directly to authors instead?
 

ewb302

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My county library branch still seems relevant to me. Raising kids, it's very interactive going for story time and socializing with other kids. This is important for development and can't be replaced by a tablet or television. I personally still check out books, e-books, etc. And our library is very busy, so you can't tell me it's become irrelevant. There is still something to be said for using printed materials and going out to a public library.
 

mope54

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It'll happen sooner or later... if folks want a book they can borrow for free from a library... why not be able to see/read a digital copy... no longer need to stock a book and wait till it is returned... borrow one and you can read it for X number of days... then poof. Not finished? just re-authorize it... limit the number of books/videos you can "borrow". Course how would publishers make money? maybe ads revenue directly to authors instead?
Local libraries already utilize eBook checkouts.
 

tempertantrum

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FU Forbes... when's the last time you've actually been to a library? It's not just books or even just media like CDs and DVDS. It's also a place to get everything from tools to electronics to musical instruments to scientific gear like microscopes and telescopes. Not to mention a community center, where all kinds of people get together, the poor working class can use the internet to apply for jobs or do homework, with kids programs, adult reading groups, and a host of other community events.

And a librarian is NOT a search bar. They know and understand information and connections in ways you have never even thought of and would be at least decades from programming into an Amazon search bar.

This is insulting and ignorant on an incredible number of levels, and is yet another example of how business people and programmers are completely out of touch with the real world, and introduce bias into the digital world in the interfaces and assumptions that force upon us.

Ugh....
 

jardows

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Libraries have been around for thousands of years. I don't think Amazon is going to replace them any time soon.

But, the modern public "Internet Cafe" masquerading as a library, that may need to be replaced.
 

tempertantrum

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Libraries have been around for thousands of years. I don't think Amazon is going to replace them any time soon.

But, the modern public "Internet Cafe" masquerading as a library, that may need to be replaced.

Maybe stop thinking of it as a "library," and think of it as a community center, focused on books, with lots of other media, and live experts who care about the community and want to help everyone?
 

jardows

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Maybe stop thinking of it as a "library," and think of it as a community center, focused on books, with lots of other media, and live experts who care about the community and want to help everyone?
Sure, but don't call them libraries. The town I just moved from had built a brand-new, huge "library." The first floor was half children's section, half administrative center. About half of the children's area was devoted to movies and video games. The second floor was where the books were, and was about half movies, cd's, and computers. The book shelves were half empty. The third floor had special use rooms, but no books. It wasn't always that way, there used to be many more books available, but in the last several years, they severely contracted their book selection to make room for more movies and computer stations. Forget about finding recent reference books - I think the latest computer books they had were about 10 years old. I could find all sorts of things, except something good to read. It is these non-library "community centers" - as you call them - that will get replaced.
 

tempertantrum

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Sure, but don't call them libraries. The town I just moved from had built a brand-new, huge "library." The first floor was half children's section, half administrative center. About half of the children's area was devoted to movies and video games. The second floor was where the books were, and was about half movies, cd's, and computers. The book shelves were half empty. The third floor had special use rooms, but no books. It wasn't always that way, there used to be many more books available, but in the last several years, they severely contracted their book selection to make room for more movies and computer stations. Forget about finding recent reference books - I think the latest computer books they had were about 10 years old. I could find all sorts of things, except something good to read. It is these non-library "community centers" - as you call them - that will get replaced.

It's still built around books and media. If you want to get into it, libraries weren't originally built around "books" per say, but scrolls, and other media formats. It's not just a community center. It's a library. I don't understand why people are so opposed to libraries growing and changing to meet new needs. Other terms, like "office" have changed to meet the needs of the times.

PS. If all you want is reference, why not go online? The library better serves other purposes than encyclopedias... which they also have online. And unlike Amazon or a community center, there's someone there you can say (especially as a student) I need help doing this research, and they can help.

Seriously, I'm curious how many people in here (or on Forbes) have, as adults, been to a modern library, or had an adult conversation with a librarian. I'm guessing the percentage is low... like in the teens.
 

JokerCPoC

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These big corporation should be forced to be broken down, just like Bell was in the 80s... but our govt is too corrupt now to do anything about it...
Well the Republican part is corrupt like Scott Pruitt(Resigned from EPA, His 3 assistants were fired by John Kelly), you and others have a chance to change this paradyne, there is an election on November 6th 2018, VOTE Democratic, it's your decision, do you want to help or just complain and do nothing?
And yes I'm voting, I always do.
 

Joust

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Well the Republican part is corrupt like Scott Pruitt(Resigned from EPA, His 3 assistants were fired by John Kelly), you and others have a chance to change this paradyne, there is an election on November 6th 2018, VOTE Democratic, it's your decision, do you want to help or just complain and do nothing?
And yes I'm voting, I always do.
And this thread, already on thin ice, just took a nose dive into a giant pile of bullshit.
 

Darunion

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ct6ozc1.jpg




I never really liked the libraries much, they seem dated in concept. I don't see getting rid of all of them though, maybe reducing.

Don't you still need high level education to work there and alphabetize books?
 

Darunion

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Again... when's the last time you went to a library or talked to a librarian?

It has been a long time. I hasn't filled any needs of mine that could only be taken care of by a library. I can't speak for anyone other than myself and so I do, I don't see much value in it. I do see a couple cars in the parking lot of the one near my parents house when I drive past it on weekends.

I don't personally know any librarians so I can't even remotely comment on that.
 

_l_

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One thing Libraries provide are Computer Access for the Public. Another service a library offers is research. As of right now you can't get those two just by going online to a digital library.

I wonder why no one has marketed "old book smell" for your iPad? That way the digital kids can make their iPads smell like old books :cautious:
 

ianken

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The guy who wrote this is an idiot. He's doubling down on twitter with the "they're not "free", you pay TAXES argument." SMDH.

I pay more for my yuppie coffee than I do in the taxes that support my local libraries. I have no problem with paying those taxes.

But WTF-ever. Let's just get this race-to-the-bottom #murika redneck idiocracy transformation done.
 

rudy

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LOL LOL LOL - great job assuming. My wife started taking my daughter to the library, not me. She was taking her as part of a Mom group that formed on Facebook, IT'S FREE. FREE (beyond taxes) is so much better than 5-25 dollars at some bounce house for an hour. Once the mom group fizzled, we made it part of our family routine on the weekends, and I think it's fantastic, my kid loves it and we spend time together. While I enjoy the time, we do a ton of different things as well, I'm not completely beholden to it and keep an open mind, if something else came along that was way more efficient I would listen. Amazon is not that thing.

Seriously? So everyone's on equal footing now and there is no need for libraries? When did that happen.

First the fact your wife takes your kids doesn't refute my point, might even mean that your mom took you as a kid and only further it. Ultimately you are the one here posting and defending the library exactly as you are programmed from childhood to do. I know its a really hard pill to swallow to think we might actually not be making the best decision and instead just running with our emotions.

Now lets talk about virtue signaling, library proponents often make the argument that the library provides much needed access to reading material to the underprivileged. But ultimately its still just a selfish endeavor that is empty in real value. Just like public transportation and many other virtue signaled ideals that actually serve the opposite purpose in practice. First you admit yourself that you heavily use the library, there fore it is in your best interest to convince others to continue funding it in its current state and possibly expand it. This is a purely selfish motive, however you make the argument that it serves the underprivileged. Underprivileged people have lots of problem, largely they cant get ahead in life because they lack resources to make themselves more efficient, it becomes a feedback mechanism the rich get richer the poor get poorer. What is the most valuable resource every human has? Answer is time. Asking people whom are poor and have to waste hours of time getting on inefficient bus systems, walking in the rain and snow, and all the other inefficiencies was fine when that was the only option, but its not now. We can deliver all the reading material electronically directly to these people where ever they are and eliminate all the inefficiency associated with traveling to the library, organizing the physical media in the library and running the library. This in turn gives those underprivileged people more time to invest in themselves, or the people they care about and waste less of their time traveling to and from an arbitrary point.
 

nutzo

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On top of that, you have underfunded school systems, especially in poor regions that can't afford to raise taxes to pay for them. You have politicians dumbing down standards so they can bump up their pass/AP rates. You have paid off legislators redirecting public money to private schools that have lower pass rates then their public equivalent. And so on.

Don't know what state you are from, but out here in California, that's nonsense.

Worse schools in the state tend to be in inner cities, and the state spending per student tends to be much higher than the suburbs.
As for redirecting money to private schools? that's illegal.

We do have something called charter schools, which are public schools, some of which are run by private companies.
These charter schools receive less funding that the regular public schools, yet have much higher scores and graduation rates.
This is also why many of the charter schools have long waiting lists.
Yet, many of the local school districts try to shut down these charter schools because they want the students (and their funding) for themselves.

My kid started in a private school, moved to homeschool, and is now in a charter high school.
(Couldn't afford a private high school and figured it was more important to save that money for college)
 

tetris42

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First the fact your wife takes your kids doesn't refute my point, might even mean that your mom took you as a kid and only further it. Ultimately you are the one here posting and defending the library exactly as you are programmed from childhood to do. I know its a really hard pill to swallow to think we might actually not be making the best decision and instead just running with our emotions.

Now lets talk about virtue signaling, library proponents often make the argument that the library provides much needed access to reading material to the underprivileged. But ultimately its still just a selfish endeavor that is empty in real value. Just like public transportation and many other virtue signaled ideals that actually serve the opposite purpose in practice. First you admit yourself that you heavily use the library, there fore it is in your best interest to convince others to continue funding it in its current state and possibly expand it. This is a purely selfish motive, however you make the argument that it serves the underprivileged. Underprivileged people have lots of problem, largely they cant get ahead in life because they lack resources to make themselves more efficient, it becomes a feedback mechanism the rich get richer the poor get poorer. What is the most valuable resource every human has? Answer is time. Asking people whom are poor and have to waste hours of time getting on inefficient bus systems, walking in the rain and snow, and all the other inefficiencies was fine when that was the only option, but its not now. We can deliver all the reading material electronically directly to these people where ever they are and eliminate all the inefficiency associated with traveling to the library, organizing the physical media in the library and running the library. This in turn gives those underprivileged people more time to invest in themselves, or the people they care about and waste less of their time traveling to and from an arbitrary point.
I'd say you're right and you're wrong. Everything you said about the efficiency I would argue is correct, however, in order to eliminate that, you need other levels of support in the first place. In this very thread, people were commenting how many homeless were in the library as it is. Your scenario only works if people also have a home, internet access, electricity, and a computer. We're sure as hell not solving homelessness, there are far, far more empty homes than there are homeless. And the majority are not people who choose to be that way, what's staggering is about 25% of the homeless are employed.

So it's not that you're wrong in concept, it's more like you're talking about the last step without having the foundation to build it on.
 
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