“Amazon Should Replace Local Libraries to Save Taxpayers Money”

NoOther

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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:
Local libraries usually have some charge associated with various services or to get a card from them. They also have generally had limited access to content. There really isn't a strong reason to keep Amazon from providing similar capabilities as long as their are restrictions and limitations on the content. They could treat it as a charity arm of their corporation and provide the services for a deduction on their taxes. They would have to agree to the same kinds of principles that govern the local libraries. The caveat could be that they are allowed to sell food services on premises.

Personally I don't see it being a popular choice unless they really provide the same kinds of access as local libraries. A lot of local libraries offer services to "borrow" books online to read so you don't even have to go to the library anymore to get a book/movie/publication. You can check out/in digitally from an app. Local libraries around me also offer tutoring services, loan musical instruments, digital readers, etc.
 

lcpiper

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NoOther

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Here here! I’m all for capitalism but when one dude is worth more than like 40 countries on the planet, Iiiiiii don’t think that was the intention behind it all. Shouldn’t he be donating half of that or something? That might be why people think he’s such a douche bag. F’in maybe pay your employees a bit more? Give them all free healthcare? Create a set of hospitals around the country 25 per state that are free to the migrants, setup a set of schools for them alongside the hospitals? Isn’t he a “philanthropist” elite shmarmy cuck of the highest order my gosh.
The problem with that thinking is a lot of his "wealth" is not tangible wealth, it is based on the value of his shares in the company. He has to sell those shares to get that money. What he actually lives off is his salary and perhaps dividends from his stocks. So even though he may be "worth" that much, that isn't really what he has on hand.

That doesn't mean he couldn't do more, he probably could. As far as employee compensation, last I checked, they were being fairly well compensated for their specific jobs. Nothing is going to magically make some of those jobs much better though. Also most of their money now comes from AWS. So should they be spending their AWS money on e-commerce workers? What if they are forced to separate the two?
 

NoOther

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Isn't the idea is that even if it may cost more (which it may not), it levels the playing field for people who can't afford them to still have access to books? But yeah, screw this equality of opportunity bullshit.
Libraries are a local resource. Have you compared inner city libraries to nice suburban libraries? No comparison. So no, it isn't about equality of opportunity. If you did it on a larger scale, then sure, you could have more equality of opportunity, but that isn't how it works.
 

tetris42

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Libraries are a local resource. Have you compared inner city libraries to nice suburban libraries? No comparison. So no, it isn't about equality of opportunity. If you did it on a larger scale, then sure, you could have more equality of opportunity, but that isn't how it works.
I was simplifying. The point is comparing libraries to NO libraries. True, a well funded one provides more opportunity than a poor one, so that is not equality of opportunity. But a crappy inner city library still provides more opportunity than NO library.

Perfect equality of opportunity doesn't exist, but you get better results overall the more you can minimize the gaps.
 

NoOther

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I was simplifying. The point is comparing libraries to NO libraries. True, a well funded one provides more opportunity than a poor one, so that is not equality of opportunity. But a crappy inner city library still provides more opportunity than NO library.

Perfect equality of opportunity doesn't exist, but you get better results overall the more you can minimize the gaps.
True, the original premise being made in the article, which doesn't seem to be up anymore, was not very good. But using Amazon as a resource to enhance/replace public libraries is not necessarily a bad idea. It could potentially be better than the current system. It could also be worse. If they could mimic the current services provided by public libraries and make them more equal so that more kids in poorer areas and out of the way areas had better access, that would be an improvement in my book. I just don't see that happening. I think there are many ways they could improve the library experience, but relying on one company is not my favorite idea.
 

James Robinson

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Local libraries usually have some charge associated with various services or to get a card from them. They also have generally had limited access to content. There really isn't a strong reason to keep Amazon from providing similar capabilities as long as their are restrictions and limitations on the content. They could treat it as a charity arm of their corporation and provide the services for a deduction on their taxes. They would have to agree to the same kinds of principles that govern the local libraries. The caveat could be that they are allowed to sell food services on premises.

Personally I don't see it being a popular choice unless they really provide the same kinds of access as local libraries. A lot of local libraries offer services to "borrow" books online to read so you don't even have to go to the library anymore to get a book/movie/publication. You can check out/in digitally from an app. Local libraries around me also offer tutoring services, loan musical instruments, digital readers, etc.
Um... no.. they don't. Cards are free, and they have no restrictions on access of materials... what are you talking about? I take a trip to my Library a couple times a month because there is ALWAYS something I want to check out, be it books or movies... And businesses will traditionally agree to ANY set of rules a Community places down in order to get in the door, but voluntarily adhering to them is secondary to maximizing of profit. Businesses don't do anything 'for free'. Amazon is no different... if they get into the 'business' of 'Librarys', it's because there is an utter crap-ton of money to be made.
 

NoOther

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Um... no.. they don't. Cards are free, and they have no restrictions on access of materials... what are you talking about? I take a trip to my Library a couple times a month because there is ALWAYS something I want to check out, be it books or movies... And businesses will traditionally agree to ANY set of rules a Community places down in order to get in the door, but voluntarily adhering to them is secondary to maximizing of profit. Businesses don't do anything 'for free'. Amazon is no different... if they get into the 'business' of 'Librarys', it's because there is an utter crap-ton of money to be made.
Umm, yes, some do. My local library growing up charged $15 for a library card. Other local libraries charged other fees. It depends on your locale.

Also, not all corporations get into things because they can make money. Many corporations have their own charities that they form, and no, it isn't just to get tax breaks, but that is part of it.
 

tetris42

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Also, not all corporations get into things because they can make money. Many corporations have their own charities that they form, and no, it isn't just to get tax breaks, but that is part of it.
Well let's get real, CEOs of publicly traded corporations have a fiduciary responsibility to maximize profit or they can be fired. It's their very job description. Everything they do is to make money, but some are gambles or are much more long-game than others.

For charities, it's also to mitigate PR. So if a company dumps toxins into the water that ends up poisoning tends of thousands of people, but then also sets up a charity for a children's hospital and parades that all over the news, that helps obfuscate the messaging so that they're not going to get hit as hard by public outcry if it ever goes to court, or undercuts the momentum needed by the public to successfully bring lawsuits against them or have new regulations created to curb their behavior in the future. It's a complex machine.
 

lcpiper

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Well let's get real, CEOs of publicly traded corporations have a fiduciary responsibility to maximize profit or they can be fired. It's their very job description. Everything they do is to make money, but some are gambles or are much more long-game than others.

For charities, it's also to mitigate PR. So if a company dumps toxins into the water that ends up poisoning tends of thousands of people, but then also sets up a charity for a children's hospital and parades that all over the news, that helps obfuscate the messaging so that they're not going to get hit as hard by public outcry if it ever goes to court, or undercuts the momentum needed by the public to successfully bring lawsuits against them or have new regulations created to curb their behavior in the future. It's a complex machine.
I don't see anything wrong with this statement or the angle of your argument as long as we remember that not all companies are publicly traded and some CEOs of private businesses do tremendous things for communities.
 

rudy

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And what solution do you propose for free of charge delivery for the services a library provides? Amazon will not do it for free. They will charge.
I have already proposed the library move all their resources to an electronic format and deliver it over the internet.
 

kju1

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I have already proposed the library move all their resources to an electronic format and deliver it over the internet.
Have you heard of the digital divide? Nearly a third of all Americans do not have access to the internet. The majority of Americans below the poverty line that do have internet access do not have access to anything other than a smart phone. Personally I think thats a low %, my parents live in a rural area and they have "access" but its worthless for doing anything with. You can check email at best on the highest speed connection. So that idea wont really work very well. The rich will continue to have access and the poor will largely be left out in the cold...

Have you been to a public library lately? They have internet terminals...and they are always booked solid.
 

Joust

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Have you heard of the digital divide? Nearly a third of all Americans do not have access to the internet. The majority of Americans below the poverty line that do have internet access do not have access to anything other than a smart phone. Personally I think thats a low %, my parents live in a rural area and they have "access" but its worthless for doing anything with. You can check email at best on the highest speed connection. So that idea wont really work very well. The rich will continue to have access and the poor will largely be left out in the cold...

Have you been to a public library lately? They have internet terminals...and they are always booked solid.
In 2016, 11.5% of the population didn't have access in the US. I'm sure that's less now. A far cry from "nearly a third." As for a smartphone being insufficient... Aside from my professional work, I interact with the internet more on my phone than any other device, and I have them all.

That's only considering being at home. There are a host of free open wifi sources in any populated area, as well.

I mean, to an extent people have to make a good faith attempt to help themselves. Anyone who does not, truly does not, have internet access today is in a very unfortunate circumstance. I think it's a pretty small group of people.
 

kju1

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In 2016, 11.5% of the population didn't have access in the US. I'm sure that's less now. A far cry from "nearly a third." As for a smartphone being insufficient... Aside from my professional work, I interact with the internet more on my phone than any other device, and I have them all.

That's only considering being at home. There are a host of free open wifi sources in any populated area, as well.

I mean, to an extent people have to make a good faith attempt to help themselves. Anyone who does not, truly does not, have internet access today is in a very unfortunate circumstance. I think it's a pretty small group of people.

15% for total population this year. I misspoke and the third was the statistic for the number of poor individuals who do not have any access. Half dont have broadband (poor folk) http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/03/22/digital-divide-persists-even-as-lower-income-americans-make-gains-in-tech-adoption/

I also think the govts #s on broadband are way off base. I know several people in rural areas that are in the "covered" map (meaning they have access to broadband) but cannot get service.

You aren't exactly representative of the population working with the device and likely having multiple ones at home. Try being reliant on a small screen doing research for school homework.
 

Joust

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15% for total population this year. I misspoke and the third was the statistic for the number of poor individuals who do not have any access. Half dont have broadband (poor folk) http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/03/22/digital-divide-persists-even-as-lower-income-americans-make-gains-in-tech-adoption/

I also think the govts #s on broadband are way off base. I know several people in rural areas that are in the "covered" map (meaning they have access to broadband) but cannot get service.

You aren't exactly representative of the population working with the device and likely having multiple ones at home. Try being reliant on a small screen doing research for school homework.
I mean, there's a strong argument to treat it like a utility. I think it has evolved to be that important. I do not disagree on that point. I'm certainly not saying it's not a problem, but I am saying it isn't a strictly socioeconomic divide, and it is not affecting a huge percentage of the population. Rural doesn't mean poor.
 

rudy

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Have you heard of the digital divide? Nearly a third of all Americans do not have access to the internet. The majority of Americans below the poverty line that do have internet access do not have access to anything other than a smart phone. Personally I think thats a low %, my parents live in a rural area and they have "access" but its worthless for doing anything with. You can check email at best on the highest speed connection. So that idea wont really work very well. The rich will continue to have access and the poor will largely be left out in the cold...

Have you been to a public library lately? They have internet terminals...and they are always booked solid.
yes I am aware of it the digital divide was a term coined in the mid 90s. It was VERY relevant back then in fact I am an anomaly of the digital divide I came from a poor family but my dad knew that computers would be important so he made the sacrifices to get one for our family and yes it gave all of my siblings a leg up in life.

lack of access to the internet and electronic devices IS a problem. This is probably what we agree on. However at the time a computer cost like $3000 and it sat in your house. The digital divide is not the same its no where near as big now and how you think about it is different. For instance you said they don't have access to anything other than a smart phone. This is one of those cases where you can trick yourself and others into following an idea based on how you phrase it. Another way of putting it is they do have access to a smart phone. That's powerful, even poor people have access to smart phones. And if you read some of my other comments you will see that I am focusing on this. So lets deliver the information to them through their smart phone. That's how you bridge the digital divide. Maybe they cannot afford cell service, so instead of focusing on a central library focus on distributed free wifi throughout the city.

yes I have been to a library and yes I noticed that the small number of computers they have are full of people playing free 2 play games and doing what ever else. I also noticed the aisles of books are just basically empty. Its time to close these largely empty unused buildings down and move their resources to a more efficient and relevant services.

I am saying its time for us to accept that over the time span it takes to reinvent the library the digital divide will get to the point where the only people who do not have access to a smart phone or tablet will be so small it wont be because they cant get it, it will be something else like they are crazy, hate the devices or just refuse to accept their value. The library resources can be poured into getting ready to service this new reality. Search for and read my other posts on this topic.

Note the most important point. A smart phone is a digital device and its even about the same size as many paper back books. It is cheap and accessible. It is perfectly acceptable for a person with limited means to use a smart phone for consuming information.
 

rudy

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15% for total population this year. I misspoke and the third was the statistic for the number of poor individuals who do not have any access. Half dont have broadband (poor folk) http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/03/22/digital-divide-persists-even-as-lower-income-americans-make-gains-in-tech-adoption/

I also think the govts #s on broadband are way off base. I know several people in rural areas that are in the "covered" map (meaning they have access to broadband) but cannot get service.

You aren't exactly representative of the population working with the device and likely having multiple ones at home. Try being reliant on a small screen doing research for school homework.
Be careful how you think about information. In this study you cited you can clearly see the bias and the point of the article because it completely neglects to include more important information and totally skews the interpretation of the data.

For instance they did this study right? Now look at all the data they collected and think about it, is there a very important question the author did not show us any data to answer? yes there is. What percentage of households have nothing? All the data they need is actually in the data they collected but the funny thing is either pew or the author completely neglected to display that data. Maybe they are saving it to sell to someone? The data that is missing is what percentage of households have nothing. meaning they don't have a smart phone, tablet, or computer and no internet access at all?

Another issue is they said that a growing number of americans are using cell phones only, as if this is a bad thing. Another way to interpret this is that a growing number of Americans have realized that cell phones and wifi or cell service is now good enough that they don't need a computer or broad band. And when you phrase it that was it sounds way different than how the author phrased it. When you consider that people can hook up a keyboard and mouse and even a monitor to a phone that becomes even more fascinating. Accessibility is looking at possibilities not looking for how we can say no and feel bad for ourselves or others. This is what the library should be doing.

Thinking about it that way can completely change how you interpret the data and when you consider that these should be pretty smart people and they neglected to include such data then that tells you clearly they have a bias and a motive. because I will repeat all the data is there. They literally just didn't process and display it even though they had it all there in their spreadsheets, because the click bait article was better than actually interpreting the data.
 

tetris42

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That's powerful, even poor people have access to smart phones. And if you read some of my other comments you will see that I am focusing on this. So lets deliver the information to them through their smart phone. That's how you bridge the digital divide. Maybe they cannot afford cell service, so instead of focusing on a central library focus on distributed free wifi throughout the city.
Ah, the neoliberal solution to things, buy products and services from private companies and the poor will benefit, providing they can afford it. Here's the difference between your solution and a library: a library is open to ALL, regardless of what they own. You talk about bridging the divide, just not the people who can't afford a smartphone, electricity to charge it, or a replacement if it breaks. If you're talking about a GUARANTEE, so that literally ANYONE can obtain a smartphone, service, and charging, at NO COST, then you might have a point. I'd argue libraries still have other services that are valued that you wouldn't get from a phone, but again, you're talking about taking a resource open to EVERYONE and changing it to one open to MOST. Unless you're talking about 100% inclusion, that's a LOSS, thus widening the divide.
 

SIS

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Well. You should go make those billions. Then you can donate your billions, instead of criticizing others for how they spend theirs.

I would hope the dude does something to benefit mankind. I support his right to turn it into gold coins and swim through it like Scrouge McDuck.
Yeah, he should make them out of thin air, just like all the other benevolent genius billionaires out there.

They just waved their arms, focused their personalities just right, and pulled up those bootstraps!

(In reality, billions are given to people by society in exchange for perceived worth. They are not made out of thin air. They are resources that society chooses to enable certain people to control because, allegedly, that is beneficial to society. In reality, it's often called plutocracy, not meritocracy.)
 

rudy

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Ah, the neoliberal solution to things, buy products and services from private companies and the poor will benefit, providing they can afford it. Here's the difference between your solution and a library: a library is open to ALL, regardless of what they own. You talk about bridging the divide, just not the people who can't afford a smartphone, electricity to charge it, or a replacement if it breaks. If you're talking about a GUARANTEE, so that literally ANYONE can obtain a smartphone, service, and charging, at NO COST, then you might have a point. I'd argue libraries still have other services that are valued that you wouldn't get from a phone, but again, you're talking about taking a resource open to EVERYONE and changing it to one open to MOST. Unless you're talking about 100% inclusion, that's a LOSS, thus widening the divide.
If you read my previous posts you will see that part of the solution may be to have kiosks distributed around town that have wifi, electricity and a computer. This is the closest you can get to a guarantee without it being obscenely expensive.

Also I completely disagree with you the library is not even close to remotely a resource that is open to everyone. You can read previous replies here that debunk that myth.

At the end of the day the point is reality, not ideals. In reality you want the service to serve the most people. The more people it serves and the more accessible it is, the better it does its job and improves society.

At one time computers were expensive, internet access was lacking. We have already got a point where that is not true. its time to modernize the idea of the library and what it delivers to better serve people. Especially poor people because the current implementation of many libraries does not do that as well as it could and is actually serving to do the opposite.
 

Joust

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Ah, the neoliberal solution to things, buy products and services from private companies and the poor will benefit, providing they can afford it. Here's the difference between your solution and a library: a library is open to ALL, regardless of what they own. You talk about bridging the divide, just not the people who can't afford a smartphone, electricity to charge it, or a replacement if it breaks. If you're talking about a GUARANTEE, so that literally ANYONE can obtain a smartphone, service, and charging, at NO COST, then you might have a point. I'd argue libraries still have other services that are valued that you wouldn't get from a phone, but again, you're talking about taking a resource open to EVERYONE and changing it to one open to MOST. Unless you're talking about 100% inclusion, that's a LOSS, thus widening the divide.
Look, man. I'm going to say it like this: internet access is available, at some cost, to essentially anyone. Modest means, poor, whatever. People live paycheck to paycheck. It's a thing. However, what's a basic smart phone on even an unsubsidized plan that includes SOME internet access? Or has ability to use wifi connectivity? Cheap. Very cheap. Maybe people have to budget a bit, but if they want it, they can get it. Drink water instead of soda, and you've probably made up more than enough.

It does not have to be FREE to be accessible or available. Is the service as could as it could be? No. It'll be a basic service, but that's access. I'm not blaming anyone for their lot - life happens and I understand it. The very, very few that truly cannot get access? Give them a lifeline phone with some data.
 

Joust

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Yeah, he should make them out of thin air, just like all the other benevolent genius billionaires out there.

They just waved their arms, focused their personalities just right, and pulled up those bootstraps!

(In reality, billions are given to people by society in exchange for perceived worth. They are not made out of thin air. They are resources that society chooses to enable certain people to control because, allegedly, that is beneficial to society. In reality, it's often called plutocracy, not meritocracy.)
What's your point? Sounds a lot like politics of envy with a garnish of 100-level social studies.
 

James Robinson

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15% for total population this year. I misspoke and the third was the statistic for the number of poor individuals who do not have any access. Half dont have broadband (poor folk) http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/03/22/digital-divide-persists-even-as-lower-income-americans-make-gains-in-tech-adoption/

I also think the govts #s on broadband are way off base. I know several people in rural areas that are in the "covered" map (meaning they have access to broadband) but cannot get service.

You aren't exactly representative of the population working with the device and likely having multiple ones at home. Try being reliant on a small screen doing research for school homework.
Census and assessment processes continue to 'fudge' the definition of what constitutes broadband... there was some scandal a while back about how ISPs and Providers were referring to anything over 14k dial-up as 'broadband'
 

SIS

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What's your point? Sounds a lot like politics of envy with a garnish of 100-level social studies.
If you don't know what point I'm making then how can you legitimately mock it?

"I don't understand so I'm going to make fun of it."
 

Joust

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More like, "it's nonsensical, so I'm going to give the statement it's due consideration - which isn't much."
 

/dev/null

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My library does SO MUCH MORE than reading material....

Private background check service? Yes
3DS/Xbox 360/one/PS3/PS4 games? Yes
Blu-ray/dvd? Yes
Internet access from their computers? Yes
Free Wifi? Yes
Toy/Play Area for kids? Yes
Going to rain for the next week & your umbrella broke? Check one out!

So is Amazon going to provide all of this? Books/magazines simply aren't enough to compete with a modern library.
 
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compslckr

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"Amazon Go basically combines a library with a Starbucks."

wait.... what? Amazon Go has nothing to do with Books or Coffee?

Also.. the Forbes link is dead now.
 

ThatITGuy

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Only way I can see this work is that Amazon replaces the "Overdrive" or whatever the online e-book distribution software is, and opens the current Prime only library to everyone. I think they would also need to allow more than just the 1 book checked out at a time, and would need to increase the available library.
 
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