Saturday, January 15, 2005


Quiet in The Library

The irony of the cutbacks and closings suffered by American libraries is that in many cities library usage has been setting new records. But that's not true in Scotland, according to The Scotsman: "Audit Scotland said the number of items borrowed, including books and audio tapes, fell by more than 1.5 million from the previous year, to 32.5 million. "

Also noted is that many local council governments missed their goals in new book purchases. Ahh... now the statistics begin to make sense.

When I lived in Oregon, budgets dictated absurd contortions in the business hours of local libraries; yet I never noticed the new book racks going empty. Pent-up demand simply flowed more heavily (to a point, at least) into the reduced hours. But I doubt as many would have shown up if the books were mouldering. Skimping on new book purchases in a library is equivalent to killing and eating your sled dogs: eventually you'll be alone, abandoned, and frozen.

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