What's in the future for libraries? Other Topics, posted by Editor, The Almanac Online, on Jul 6, 2007 at 1:08 pm
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.
Posted by A Woodside Library User, a resident of the Woodside: other neighborhood, 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?
Posted by Worried, a resident of the Menlo Park: Fair Oaks neighborhood, 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.
Posted by Joanna, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, 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???
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!
Posted by Downwardly mobile, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, 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.
Posted by Joanna, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, 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!