Saturday, March 03, 2007

Public libraries: or as I like to call them, Blockbuster without the price tag

Somene please explain to me why my property taxes go to fund a place where John Q. Citizen (and Juan Q. Noncitizen) can go to rent Talladega Nights without having to pay for it.

What was the function/mission of the public library system 15 years ago and what is it today?

Is it so that kids can get books? They have access to the same books at their school library.

What I see when I go to the library is people walking up to the checkout counter with stacks of DVD's in their hands. (waits patiently for the hyperventilating liberals to attempt to type, with shaky fingers, that I am such a hypocrite because I've been to the library)

When I look at my end of the year property tax statement and how it gets broken down I see important things like police, TVFR (fire), schools... then I see the library. The first three all have bonds, I say we take the library money and give it to the important stuff and let Juan Q. Noncitizen get his spanish language DVD in from the library in Mexico.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

>>>Someone please explain to me ...

Why bother? What's the point? You've staked out your position, so don't pretend you're open to changing it by inviting people to "explain" things to you. You want to close libraries? Then go for it. Let's see Daniel Miglavs stop pussyfooting around and start walking the talk. To quote Sean Connery from "The Untouchables," let's see "what you're prepared to do now." Are you prepared to do anything other than blow smoke out your ass? I doubt it.

bjdorr said...

I pulled up this site, Oregon Library Facts (.PDF file), from October, 2006.

A good line from the report: "School libraries are endangered in Oregon. Currently, there are only 433 school librarians to serve 1,290 schools, and more school libraries will be run by aides and volunteers if school funding does not improve."

Anonymous said...

Daniel, you sound like you would thrive in Bradbury's Farenheight 451 universe. How can I make such a claim?

You are a proponent of removing all publicly funded libraries based solely on the assumption that people use libraries as price free blockbusters. Why not argue only for the removal of video rental from a library, or for the removal of all non-academic/educational videos from libraries?

The only conclusion a rational person will come up with is that Daniel is a facist, pro big government person who is advocating the removal of information from those who could not otherwise afford it.

BEAR said...

hey, anon 02:05, priceless argument (pun intended). You accuse Mr. Daniel of being "pro big government," and then declare your support for libraries as another costly entitlement from the nanny-state. You should read your own stuff. It's pretty silly.
Our schools are demonstrably negligent in teaching their charges anything other than the liberal/gay/anti-American political agenda. They know that reading will instill a greater understanding of, and love for, freedom, so......shezaam, they don't require that skill for promotion or graduation.
If folks are thus discouraged from using printed media (except the age 12 vocabulary the fish-wrap uses), then the libraries cease to have any purpose, except as another endless and useless relic of the politics of entitlement.
You lefties really have to read more, ya know? Oh, yeah, you don't know how......must be Bush's fault.
And BTW, if you don't approve of the word negligent in referrence to schools, try the word incompetent. When their job is left undone, those are your only two choices. Check the latest C.I.M. results....goin' down, baby.

Anonymous said...

What, close Libraries?

Where will all the perverts go to watch our kids?

What will happen to all the Non-achivers, what will they do?

Where will Pedo get his ID?

Better think about that.

Daniel said...

Can I assume that everyone here would support the idea of libraries selling off their DVD collections?

Rooster said...

I would heartily support libraries selling off the DVD collections and getting back to what libraries are supposed to do.

Wallace said...

I can't speak for everyone, but as someone who believes that your hostility toward libraries is wildly misplaced, not to mention ridiculous, I will say this: I, too, am somewhat uncomfortable with the trend in libraries to duplicate the local video store's new release shelf. You mentioned "Talledega Nights," dozens of copies of which will be available at every Blockbuster. What's the point? As a taxpayer, reader and someone who sees movies once in a while, I would prefer that libraries invest their DVD budgets in films that are generally NOT available at Blockbusters: hard-to-find documentaries, silents, foreign classics, classic Broadway plays, etc. Any big-city library, I believe, ought to have on its shelves the full offerings of the Janus Collection. They also ought to build up their CD books, and especially lectures-on-DVD collections, the latter of which are which prohibitively expensive for individuals, particularly for the low-income, poor and working-class. With Janus, there probably aren't going to be more than a couple dozen films that will duplicate what the average video store carries. The rest of them -- and there are hundreds, would be unique to the library.

Is that a fair compromise? I suspect not, since you seem to believe that there should be no public funding for libraries: a position that is completely at odds with the principles and democratic ideals of the American Republic. Hell, you wouldn't even be able to get the Bush family on your side.

bjdorr said...

Libraries can also be the Barnes and Noble without the price tag (and Starbucks).

Or the Music Millenium without the price tag.

Kaelri said...

I second Wallace's opinion.

I also question how much time Bear has spent in a public school recently. I'm enrolled in one, and the overwhelming message I've received is that our schools fear to touch any kind of public controversy. Teachers who express their opinions risk their jobs. And make headlines.

And frankly, that's also consistent with a basic code of ethics that, you may be surprised, many if not most teachers wholeheartedly uphold. A teacher's job is to inform, not dictate, and to guide learning toward critical thought, not script it toward an inevitable conclusion. My teachers' belief in this responsibility is surprisingly fierce; only in the last three years, really, have I had teachers really trust a class enough to broach a politicized subject. I'll be the first to say that our public schools need to be reformed on an epic scale, but neutrality is not one of their problems.

BEAR said...

kaelri, if you are a product of public schools (and apparently proud of it), you have once more helped immeasurably in making my point. Thanx, again.
Please name the specific Article
and Section of the Constitution where publicly funded libraries are mentioned......that's o.k., we can wait.
BTW, kaelri, does 'Heather Has Two Mommies' ring any bells? How about cucumbers and condoms? And, let's see....oh yeah, the goracle's phony "documentary" 'an inconvenient truth' being shown in health class? HEALTH CLASS? The list is, unfortunately, endless. Public schools are all about lefty propaganda. The drop-out rates (over 40%), and lack of literate graduates (C.A.T. scores) prove it. 69% of Oregon public school sophomores are below grade level. Libraries offering videos in place of actual books is symptomatic of the utter failure of our schools. To ignore this, or deny it, is symptomatic of how little the liberals care for the kids. Homeschooling is huge, and growing by leaps and bounds, because actual parents are determined to ensure that their kids are successful as adults. Too bad the havens for porn (oops, I mean libraries) don't share that commitment.

blue man said...

Bear, regardless of whether you attended public schools, private schools, or were home-schooled, it obviously didn't take. To dismiss the legitimacy of public libraries or their value in this country simply because the word itself does not appear in the Constitution is absurd. But as long as you want to pursue that line of argument, please direct our attention to that section of the Constitution that discusses government-financed moon shots and space travel.

Good God, I remember when "Heather Has Two Mommies" was a non-issue in the 1990s, seized by the OCA and blown all out of proportion. You're still in a lather about that? Have you ever been to a library for your own enjoyment, or are you always on a mission to find something that will offend you so you can bitch about it? What was the last book you checked out? What was the last book you actually read?

bjdorr said...

Send in Conan the librarian (from "UHF").

"Don't you know the Dewey Decimal system?"

Scottiebill said...

I had planned to mek a comment here but Bear and anon6:47am and rooster said it all way better than I. And, of course,anon 2:05, bjdorr, anon12:06, wallace and kaelri have all come out against anything Daniel has posted, kind of like the Dumocrats (just for you kaelri) have done against anything President Bush has ever thought, said, thought of saying or anything in between. They are a pathetic bunch, are they not Bear?

Scottiebill said...

I had planned to mek a comment here but Bear and anon6:47am and rooster said it all way better than I. And, of course,anon 2:05, bjdorr, anon12:06, wallace and kaelri have all come out against anything Daniel has posted, kind of like the Dumocrats (just for you kaelri) have done against anything President Bush has ever thought, said, thought of saying or anything in between. They are a pathetic bunch, are they not Bear?

Anon 12:06 AM said...

I see that Daniel has given up on libraries and moved on to a new thread. As I thought, just a lot of hot air and chest-beating. All talk and no work makes Daniel a dull, dull boy.

Scottie, you can't play the Democrat/liberal card on this one. If Daniel or you or anyone else wants to wage war on America's libraries, you're going to find yourselves going up against a hell of a lot of pissed-off Republicans, too.

Anonymous said...

If that's the best you can do, Bear (and scotty, since you claim to agree with Bear's arguments), then you've lost. Bear's best shot was disagreeing with a miniscule detail of an argument.

Kaelri said...

Scottie: search this blog and you'll find plenty of evidence to the contrary. Don't write about what you don't know.

Bear: how do illiteracy and drop-outs imply a left-leaning bias in the curricula? If anything, it suggests to me that these huge numbers of kids don't give a damn either way about what they're being taught. As for what happens to them afterward, I hate to disillusion you, Bear, but the trend in this country is still for the less-educated, lower-income communities to vote Republican.

I'd also like to point out that the kids most likely to fail or drop out of high school are not the ones whose parents are going to homeschool them instead.

If you want the article of the Constitution that legitimizes public education, it's in the first sentence. "To promote the general welfare." And I am proud of it. Is it a perfect solution? No. Does the system need to be fixed? Yesterday. But it's better, infinitely better, than nothing. Education is everything. A person with a public school degree is going to live longer, richer and healthier, and be a better worker, voter, and representative of their society. This system, for all its faults, makes people's lives better, and until you can show me a private-sector alternative that can give 50 million students the standard academic and social education that they need, I can't possibly turn my back on it.

And what, by the way, is your objection to An Inconvenient Truth as an educational publication? 'Cause I think it's no less than a public service announcement. And I think that has nothing to do with left and right. Democrats can't make glaciers melt.

bjdorr said...

Moving on... There are far bigger problems out there than libraries that need to be addressed.

Scottiebill said...

Anon 12:06: I believe that you should re-read my post. You will find in it NO reference of any kind to libraries, or that they should be closed.

Kaelri: Once again you are trying to tell me what I should or should not write. It ain't gonna work. No one is forcing you to read my comments. Volatire once said,"I dsapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Maybe you should try that instead of make continuous feeble attempts to censor postings here. If you would try that, then maybe, just maybe, I will try to stop referring to the lefties as Dumocrats.

Kaelri said...

That's not the issue at all. You wrote something that was factually false, and I corrected you. I guarantee you, Voltaire would have no problem with that.

Anonymous said...

hello enviros...

NO LOGGING...NOW MEAN NO LIBRARIES. WHERE DO YOU THINK THE MONEY CAME FROM?


GET IT...

IT IS WHAT YOU WANTED.

R. L. said...

As a professional librarian, let me try and answer that.

1) In public librariens we have collection development policies that focus on material that has educational, cultural or enterntainment value. DVDs fall into all three categories. And we have simply filled a demand that was requested by a large number of our patrons. Seems like a lose-lose. If we buy DVDs, we are wasting public monies. If we don't buy DVDs we are ignoring the public we are supposed to serve.

2) Try and go to your public library and get a brand new release. My guess is you will end up on a hold list and will have to wait weeks before you see the move. Blockbuster, and the others, fill and instant demand that libraries don't generally address. Or attempt to. In fact, I asked a local, independent, Video store owner if she felt we were competing with her. She did not. The vast majority of her business is in high demand recent material. In fact, she has been a very enthusiastic supporter of our summer reading program. I suspect if we were taking money from her, this would not be the case.

3) Portland has an incredibly high number of used book stores, and Powells, I believe is the largest used book store west of the Mississippi. Yet, the Portland systems also boasts one of the busiest systems in the United States. Evidently libraries and private industry can coexist and thrive even though the convential wisdom would have you believe that a strong library system would cut into private enterprise.

4) School libararies are cutting back, and frequently are not open very accesible hours. Staffing and materials have been severely cut back. Kids can not necessarily get the books they want from their school library.

5) We don't just check out DVDs. Although extremely popular, we also provide a wide range of matieral and services that the public wants, and we contribute to the long term health and growth of communities.

blue man said...

RL, thank-you for posting a rational, articulate and insightful post. You make some good points. Unfortunately, your contribution will be completely lost on most of those who frequent this board, with the exception of Kaelri. You will be dimissed as a communist or a "faggot," with a monosyllabic grunt or two thrown in for good measure. Thanks for the work you do, I suspect you probably get it from all sides.

R. L. said...

Thanks. LOL, I didn't even get to finish.

Unlike Police and Fire we are not an immediate necessity. If your house if on fire, don't call me, I'll just tell you to call 911.

However, that doesn't mean that we're not necessary.

Try going to the Police or Fire Department to pick up tax forms.

If you want to type a resume or apply for a job online, which many businesses are now going to, try doing that at the Police or Fire Department. Believe it or not, not everyone has the internet.

Next time you want to pick up a voter registration card, check on the most recent minutes of the city council, find out what exactly are the side effects of the drugs you've been prescribed are, need a car repair manual, or want a comparison of various security alarms and smoke detectors, try going to the Police or Fire department and see if they have the resources to help you.

By the way, all of the above, except for comparisons of security systems and smoke detectors, are common questions I help patrons with on a weekly, if not daily, basis.

R. L. said...

Oh, to the person that asked where will the pervets go to watch our children. Where they have always gone... where the kids are. Softball and soccer coaches, Church camp counselors, Scout leaders, etc... The vast majority of people who volunteer their time to work with kids are honest and decent, however, pedophiles will go where they can be in a position of authority and trust, and have easy access to children.

If you think closing libraries will even put a miniscule dent in predation, you are living in a fantasy world.

bjdorr said...

R.L., I like your comments, and you presented it well.

There are the public playgrounds and public parks too that pedophiles go stakeout.

There are certain levels of public service and resources. Fire and police are urgent services in need for emergencies, but they too are also a good resource for learning about crime prevention and home safety against fire and crime. They do this through internet, literature, seminars, and community interaction.

Libraries, as you said R.L., are not emergency services but it is a resource that is available to the general public, anyone that is.

The taxpayer-funded administrations, divisions, departments, and programs that I would like to see cut are those that of race, gender, ethnic background, and sexual orientation specific programs.

If Oregon could get rid of all the "politically correct" programs and departments out of its system, just stick with the basics, Oregon could save a boatload of money.