Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

More Conversation about Libraries . . .

Sandusky Ohio Library Our current conversation began this past Monday, with A Blog Conversation about Libraries . . .

To kick off the conversation, I said:

“I’m going to be rather desultory with this beginning of our discussion—bounce around a bit—rather like being in a library—So much to do…”

And, we had four comments—one from Australia, one from the UK, and two from the USA…

Here’s Jane, from Australia:

“I did love the local library that was in the basement of the town hall near my school. It seemed to have all the books I liked and I had completely forgotten about it until I read this post. I also loved my father’s Volkswagen which had a strange compartment behind the back seat, lined with carpet, into which passengers could throw their paraphernalia. I threw almost all of my favourite books into this sweet spot, so I could read through my collection in the morning on the way to school. Until one day my father said: ‘A book or two is fine in the back but an occasional cull may work well, you know. This is not a travelling library’…then, he smiled because he knew it was…”

I love the early focus here, the local basement library, the library in her father’s Volkswagen, reading on the way to school…

I truly wish my memory were that good—the best I could do (in the first post of this conversation) was the city’s main library I shelved books in when I was 18Though, I’m sure I was in some library before that—at least at school…

It would be interesting to have an ethical hypnotist take me back to my earliest libraries—hang out for a bit, see what books I took out…

Now, Julie, from the United Kingdom:

“We have just come back from Charlbury in Oxfordshire where I took some of my books, to what I thought was an independent bookshop.
“When I got there I found it was a room where local people brought books and bought another copy for 50p—rather like a charity shop. In fact, it was a charity, for the upkeep of the building. Not strictly a library but almost the same. I had to donate, rather than sell.
“The library I use is a mobile library that is only nearby for one morning a week. I get out four novels and have usually read three by the next week!
“I have always used libraries and rarely buy books.”

I tried to find Julie’s charity-shop-library—best I could do was the link up there for Charlbury; plus, on that site, a Gallery that shows the atmosphere of this small English town…

And, speaking of small town libraries, that image up at the beginning of this post is my hometown library in Sandusky, Ohio

Now, Ali, from the USA:

Adventures at my local library:

*seeing the dog for Paws to Read walk herself…
*searching for books from Ursula K. Le Guin and Andre Norton in both the adult and children’s section—doesn’t matter if they’re in the same series or not…
*discovering the library has more than books—music, ways to learn other languages, tv, free wifi access…
*finding lots of old Victorian books printed in the original individual hardback volumes as books used to be printed then…
*learning the library has some ebooks, but not everything I want to read and wondering why…

Speaking of library ebooks; and, referencing a news article from 2014 (plus, considering the pace of institutional change probably not having resolved these issues...):

“Publishers put restrictions not just on which ebooks libraries can offer, but how they can offer them. Some publishers only allow for an ebook to be borrowed 26 times before the library has to purchase the license again. Others opt for the license to expire after a year. And still others instead charge libraries significantly more than they do consumers for ebooks.”

Then, there’s the situation of libraries using self-published ebooks

Finally, this wonderful comment from Tea, also in the USA:

“Well, my first memories of books were of my mothers old encyclopedia collection. I used to tear through the thin pages, resisting the urge to color inside. But my early memories of the library began with the book mobile—the local children’s mobile book service. Inside that huge old colorful bus was a fantasy world where my imagination could run free. Later, as a young adult walking around town, every day I would visit the local University’s library. The long hot days and walks in the southern sun were exhausting. As soon as the automatic doors opened, out rushed the cold air conditioning. Of course, the smell of books was the first thing to jar my senses. The days of my younger years ended in that small library on campus. Later, as an adult, the public libraries became more of a necessity for my lifestyle. There, I could find media resources too, not only books. Also, there was a local popular cafe I frequented. Here people would sit and talk for hours and read. Nowadays, it seems like the laptop has replaced that physical book you held in your hand.”

I happen to know Tea…

I’d never seen anything she’d written. And, though she’s an accomplished artist, apparently, the creative impulse easily crosses over from canvas to the realm of words…

I wonder how many folks reading this post might be willing to share their memories of the library (“…the smell of books was the first thing to jar my senses…”)

Or, how many of you might comment about imperfections of libraries—or, your home libraries—or, street libraries—or, specialized libraries—or, personal digital libraries—or, prison libraries—or, possibly, famous libraries…

All it takes is one comment to let this conversation continue on Friday………
If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…

For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

4 responses to “More Conversation about Libraries . . .

  1. juliecroundblog July 12, 2018 at 6:43 am

    The proper bookshop in Charlbury has closed but if you look up ‘The Corner House’ you’ll find where all the books went.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alexander M Zoltai July 12, 2018 at 8:31 am

    Ah! Then I did “find” it—thank you for the confirmation and the tip :-)


  3. Pingback: Yet More Conversation about Libraries . . . | Notes from An Alien

  4. Pingback: Still More Conversation about Libraries . . . | Notes from An Alien

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