Town Square

Post a New Topic

What's in the future for libraries?

Original post made on Jul 6, 2007

On the bookcase in Victoria Johnson's San Mateo office is a lackluster librarian action figure dressed in a calf-length, navy blue dress suit. If you push a button, she raises one index finger to her lips.

Read the full story here Web Link

Comments (10)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by A Woodside Library User
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jul 6, 2007 at 1:08 pm

I love the library but I have two questions. The only books available for downloading (which is SOOO cool) are audio and reference books? Like the books you can't check out at the library? No mysteries or biographies or anything? Also, if the books don't have the call numbers assigned, what if you know the title you want? How would you find it? By searching around in all the shelves?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Worried
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jul 9, 2007 at 10:16 am

From the "What's in the future for libraries" article:

"Another new accommodation for updated libraries — this one certain to rankle some patrons: 'Quiet' cell phone conversations will be allowed on library premises, Ms. Johnson says."

What? Cell phone conversations allowed in the library? This seems to be a truly awful idea in and of itself. But "quiet"? The notion of carrying on a quiet cell phone conversation seems to be a foreign concept to people who yammer away on their mobile phones in public. And what about all those annoying, jingly and FULL VOLUME rings? Is this what we are going to have to listen to when trying to study/research/read in public libraries in the future?

This is an idea that I hope will get some public scrutiny and feedback before being put (or not put) in place.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jean
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 9, 2007 at 7:19 pm

I for one would like to see more diversity in staff.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by j.p.a.
a resident of another community
on Jul 14, 2007 at 12:52 pm

Wow, it doesn't matter what it is, there will always be someone who complains when things change. I think all of Ms. Johnson's ideas are revelevent to the world that we all actually live in.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 15, 2007 at 6:52 am

I love our library system. I do have a gripe about the dvd rental system though.

Some people are careless and scratch the disks. I have had at least half of my selections turn out to be ruined. With that being said, the selections available throughout the system are wonderful

The book buyer is very friendly and effective!

I don't like the $0.75 charge for every reserve though. It can get expensive. Driving to the other branches is bad for the environment and the pocket book. There are library vehicles going to and from branches, so why waste resources???


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PLS Employee
a resident of another community
on Jul 17, 2007 at 12:11 am

A Woodside Library User asks: "The only books available for downloading (which is SOOO cool) are audio and reference books? Like the books you can't check out at the library? No mysteries or biographies or anything? Also, if the books don't have the call numbers assigned, what if you know the title you want? How would you find it? By searching around in all the shelves?"

Glad you like the downloadable books! You can find downloadable books of many genres, not just reference and non-circulating materials; they're listed in the catalog as "e-books." If you look for the "Services" link on the SMCL homepage (www.smcl.org), you can click on "Digital Books" which will take you to a site allowing you to search for ebooks of all kinds. All you need is your library card.

For your second question, you can search the above site for books by topic or author in addition to title, or just browse the selections. You can also use the library catalog to search for books by format; just select "e-books." If this sounds too complicated, just ask a staff member at you're local library. They'll be more than happy to show you how to access these resources. I agree, they're great!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Me
a resident of another community
on Jul 17, 2007 at 12:20 am

Thank you for this interesting article. If Belmont Library is any indication of what libraries will be like in years to come, the future is looking bright.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Downwardly mobile
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 19, 2007 at 4:08 pm

I'm just happy that the Menlo Park library is no longer charging $1 to borrow movies.

As far as I know, they were the only library in the system doing so, and I can't imagine what the justification was -- especially since so many of the DVDs in the children's collection are in such poor condition.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 20, 2007 at 7:21 am

I propose using DVD copies instead of originals. Think of DVD originals as microfiche files. If you want to check a title out, you don't take the microfiche with you, you use a copy. When people are careless with these DVDs, the library can then replace the broken disk with a new one. It is a shame for one person to ruin the party for everyone else who wants to see a title.

If the library has to spring for every DVD that is broken, it can get prohibitively expensive fast!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Downwardly mobile
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 20, 2007 at 11:36 am

Joanna: that's a sensible suggestion, but wouldn't it violate copyright laws?


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

I Told My Mom She's Dying
By Chandrama Anderson | 10 comments | 2,311 views

Grab a Bowl of Heaven soon in Mountain View
By Elena Kadvany | 0 comments | 1,486 views

Quick Check List for UC Applications
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 0 comments | 892 views

Fancy Fast and Fun!
By Laura Stec | 3 comments | 826 views

“I live near Sunset”
By Stuart Soffer | 5 comments | 366 views